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Published on Jun 24, 2024

Embarking on a home remodel is an exciting venture, but it can also be a significant financial undertaking. At Coons Construction in Lynnwood, WA, we understand that finding ways to save money on your remodel can be crucial to making your project affordable. One effective strategy is to take on some of the work yourself. Drawing from our experience with numerous projects, we offer insights and advice on how homeowners can save on labor costs by completing some tasks themselves.

Discussing DIY Options with Your Contractor

Before diving into any do-it-yourself (DIY) tasks, it’s essential to discuss this approach with the contractors you are considering for your project. The specific terms of the arrangement should be finalized before the final estimate is provided. Keep in mind that not all contractors are open to shared work arrangements, so it’s important to clarify this early on in your discussions.

Two Approaches to DIY Remodeling

There are two primary ways to approach a shared work agreement:

  1. Separating Contractor and Homeowner Tasks
  2. Collaborating on the Same Tasks

Separating Contractor and Homeowner Tasks

Keeping the contractor’s work separate from the homeowner’s tasks is often the best approach. This method provides clear boundaries and ensures transparency regarding quality, warranty work, and billing. For example, many homeowners choose to handle painting. In such cases, the contractor completes their defined tasks before and after the homeowner’s painting work. Other tasks homeowners might take on include demolition before the contractor starts the project and decking installation after the framing is complete. This separation helps maintain a smooth workflow and clear accountability.

Collaborating on the Same Tasks

While riskier, it is possible for homeowners and contractors to work on the same tasks under certain conditions. This approach is most common with cleanup tasks at the end of the day or over the weekend when the contractor is off-site. It’s important to note that this does not include cleaning the contractor’s crew must do to maintain safe working conditions during the week. This type of shared-task agreement can typically only be done with a Cost-Plus contract. However, there are at least three risk factors to consider:

  1. Warranty Responsibility: Clearly identifying who is responsible for warranty work is crucial to avoid disputes.
  2. Efficiency Tracking: Homeowners may take longer to complete tasks, which can affect the overall project timeline and cost savings.
  3. Documentation: Accurately documenting who completed each task is essential for project records and accountability.

Finding the Right Contractor

Finding a contractor who is open to either of these approaches can lead to significant savings. However, it’s important to recognize the risks involved for both the homeowner and the contractor. To make this arrangement work, defining the terms clearly before signing the detailed estimate and maintaining good communication throughout the project are key.

Benefits of DIY Involvement

Taking on some of the remodeling tasks yourself offers several benefits beyond cost savings. It provides a sense of ownership and involvement in the project, allowing you to contribute to the transformation of your home. Additionally, completing tasks such as painting, demolition, or cleanup can be rewarding and give you a greater appreciation for the work involved.

Conclusion: Partnering with Coons Construction for a Successful Remodel

At Coons Construction, we are committed to helping our clients achieve their remodeling goals while managing costs effectively. Whether you choose to take on some of the work yourself or prefer to leave everything to the professionals, we are here to support you every step of the way. Our "Built Green" certification by the Master Builder's Association underscores our dedication to sustainable practices and using building science to enhance every project.

If you’re planning a remodel in 2024 and are considering a DIY approach to save money, contact Coons Construction today. We can help you navigate the complexities of shared work agreements and ensure that your project is completed to the highest standards. Together, we can create a beautiful, functional space that reflects your vision and stays within your budget.

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