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The Third Option: Buying It Yourself (BIY)

When it comes time for a home renovation, the typical homeowner is going to think of two main methods to get the job done: do it yourself (DIY) or hire it out. A homeowner who enjoys manual work, has experience, and is willing to put in some time and effort into the project is going to lean towards a DIY project. It allows homeowners to be involved in the renovation of their home, giving them the ability to take ownership of an aspect of it. It also allows the homeowner to save money. By being able to purchase the supplies and then complete the construction project on his or her own, the homeowner will likely save a substantial amount of money.

If, however, a homeowner does not have the necessary experience and skills, the time, or desire to complete a project on his or her own, yet does not want to completely hire out the project, there is a third option: buying it yourself (BIY). It may not enable a homeowner to have the full benefit of taking ownership of a renovation, but it does allow a homeowner to save money. Hiring a professional to both purchase the supplies and do the construction is expensive. Buying the supplies is a happy medium.

What does it take?

Becoming a buy it yourself homeowner is not a simple walk in the park. It takes a specific type of person. The homeowner is going to need to be willing to put in the hard work, be persistent, persevere, be timely, communicate well, and pay attention to the details. Without each of these characteristics, the buy it yourself project could fail.

Where to start?

  1. Communication with the contractor. A homeowner needs to know what they are going to need to purchase, both the materials and appliances necessary for the project. To determine this, the homeowner needs to talk to the contractor. Good communication with the contractor is one of the most important aspects of completing a BIY project well. There has to be communication on what items the homeowner is going to purchase, what type of item needs to be purchased, how many of each item, and when and where the items are going to be delivered. Any changes in any of these items have to be talked through with the contractor.
  2. Sign a contract. As you communicate with the contractor, be sure to have a signed contract on what is your responsibility and what is the contractor’s responsibility. There needs to be a written statement that has the details of the project to ensure that there are no miscommunications. If there are any changes during the process, a new contract needs to be written out including those changes. Without a contract detailing all of the specifics, the risk is higher of having a contractor dispute. These disputes can lead to hundreds of dollars in court fees, turning the entire project into a disaster.
  3. Research. If a homeowner wants to become a buy it yourself homeowner, then they are going to have to do research. Those who are successful at buying materials themselves put time into being informed buyers. This is where the homeowner exemplifies being a hard worker. Once they have a list of items from the contractors, they can go research the range of prices available for the materials and appliances, the quality of the items, and places to buy the supplies. This will take persistence and perseverance. A willingness to continue looking until the homeowner knows they have the best deal. By taking care of these steps, the homeowner will not have to pay the cost of having the contractor look for items, buy the items, and then having them delivered. The homeowner may also be able to find deals and bargains that the contractor may not have paid much attention to. If the homeowner is unable to find the specific item they are supposed to find, they are going to need to talk to the contractor about a substitute. There needs to be an agreement between both parties on what to purchase.
  4. Make the purchase. Once you have all the information you need on what to buy, how much to buy, and whether it can be delivered in the time that you need it to be, the next step is to make the purchase! When purchasing the items, make sure that the supplier provides you with a specific time and date that you can expect the delivery.
  5. Ensure timely delivery and storage. One the supplies are all purchased, the last step for the homeowner is ensuring that any item they purchase is at the work site at the correct time. The homeowner is going to have to be timely and communicate well with the supplier and contractor to ensure that this step is completed well. As emphasized already, any changes that happen need to be communicated clearly. Call the supplier a couple of days prior to the expected delivery to make sure that everything is going smoothly. Then make sure that the contractor is aware of when the items are going to be delivered in order for a person to be present to check and store the supplies. If no one is present when the items are dropped off, you risk having the items stolen or weather-damaged because of being left out in the open.

What should a homeowner BIY?

The homeowner should not purchase all of the items necessary for a renovation. There are certain items that are better left for the contractors. But the items that can more easily be bought by a homeowner include: flooring, tile, cabinets, countertops, lights, doors, paint, hardware, and bathroom appliances (sink, toilet, shower, etc.). Those are the easiest items to purchase. If, however, a homeowner has special knowledge about the renovation and construction of houses, they could potentially purchase more. To purchase supplies to renovate the roof, windows, insulation, and pavement takes special skills.

What should a homeowner not BIY?

Then there are items that are generally always better left to the contractor. These are items that are going to be difficult for a homeowner who is not a contractor or does not have extensive knowledge of construction. Items that make it onto this list include purchasing: pipes for plumbing, wires for electricity, concrete, nuts, bolts, and other items that are small yet necessary to complete a project.

Becoming a BYI homeowner is a great way to save money and still be involved in the renovation of a home. Through taking the time and effort to purchase supplies on your own, you could save around 20% on the entire renovation project. Take the time to be involved in making your dream home even more of a reality!

Contact Paul Chunyk

Reach out to me, I would love to give you more details and get you headed in the right direction to accomplish your goals.

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