DIY renovations have been the purview of handy homeowners since people started living in homes. The invention of YouTube, however, has made DIY renovations more accessible and appealing to even the least handy among us. We’re here to tell you, sometimes is best to let the experts take over. As a team, we tour hundreds of homes each year and it becomes very obvious which houses have been taken care of by a professional (or a handy and knowledgeable homeowner) and which have been updated over time by a YouTuber’er. Aesthetics aside, as a buyer, you need to be aware of a poor renovation job because you don’t know what is hiding behind the walls. Likely, once you start opening up the walls you will find more problems. Here are four ways to identify that someone not so handy updated the place.
Look at the electrical box. If the area around the box looks like a bird’s nest of dead electrical wires there have likely been a few electrical updates done by a DIY’er
Find where the load bearing wall should be (following the directions of the floor joists, if you can see those) and make sure there is still a wall there. Failing that, make sure there is a large beam that looks structurally significant. We can’t tell you how many newly-renovated homes seem to have removed a load bearing wall without replacing it with anything.
Look for evidence of moisture on the drywall in the basement. If the drywall and paint in the basement are new but still damp looking, it is likely that the owner didn’t property waterproof before finishing their basement.
Look at the tiling job in bathrooms and kitchens. Nothing is easier to mess up on your first time than tiling. It is a finicky, delicate business.
The best advice is to always get a home inspection on the property. Your real estate agent can also request to see permits for the most recent work completed on the house. If the owner did the renovations with permits, you can rest assured that a professional was involved.