Experts Weigh in on What Should and Shouldn’t Happen in Remodeling
An estimated 30 percent of all remodeling projects are the result of DIYers trying to take on too much—and then realizing too late where they went wrong. How they’ve gone wrong differs, whether it’s from the work itself or paying for it.

Using Tax-Deferred Money

The Albuquerque Journal has a question-and-answer feature in the Business section, with one interesting query from a senior citizen recently. The 72-year-old man wrote in, asking if it was a good idea to take $55,000 out of his IRA to pay for the remodeling he and his wife had lined up.

James Hamill, the writer of the column, strongly advised against doing this, writing, “I don’t know what other funds you may have access to, but it is generally best to leave funds in a tax-deferred account as long as possible [because] the IRA distribution plan may create a greater tax burden than you might think”.

Hamill went on to write that the couple—and by extension, all remodelers—should look at other sources of funding before they touch their IRA, like home equity loans. He reasons that because rates are low, they’re a lot more easily repayable than using an IRA as an option.

Top Mistakes, an outlet of Gannett, recently wrote an article outlining the most common mistakes DIYers make when it comes to remodeling, with DIY projects comprising about 37 of all remodeling projects. Some of the “highlights”?

  • Unexpected or unforseen costs: Diligent homeowners will have done their research well in advance of the prices and costs associated with remodeling, but there’s almost bound to be something that pops up they won’t have predicted. says that one of the most common ones is paying for tools, using them once, and then having them sit around the house. A smarter option would be to rent what you need, even if the prices are a little overinflated.
  • Getting injured: Most professional remodelers have either completed an apprenticeship or taken college courses, in addition to working regularly with tools and materials that can quickly become dangerous. DIYers haven’t. Their lack of experience, combined with a zealous gung-ho attitude, can result in possibly life-threatening injuries that may not be covered by insurance.
  • Length of project: Another point of professional remodelers—because they do the same type of work day in and day out, they’ve grown well used to how long each part of the process takes. They can also foresee bumps in the road, which are two things eager DIYers may not be able to.

    When it comes to DIY remodeling, make sure you read this post first before starting your next project.
    Amy Wright
    Amy Wright is the Lead Editor of Remodeling Central. When she isn't playing with her dogs she is trying to remodel a classic Chicago style brownstone with her husband.

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