Should I DIY My Own Remodel?

Should I DIY My Own Remodel?

In a world of YouTube tutorials and free Amazon 2-day shipping, we often think that we can handle the challenge of a DIY remodel project. We see the influencers we follow learn how to set tile and redo their own backsplash and we see these beautiful projects that were done on Pinterest, however there are a lot of things that someone needs to consider before they decide to move forward DIYing their own remodel project.

One quick caveat, though: this article isn’t written for the handyman working on their own home. This is written for the young family that just bought their first home and want to make improvements. Perhaps you worked summer jobs where you learned to set tile and install LVP flooring, or perhaps you work in construction and have the experience already. This article is written for the person who has hammered a few nails or may own a cordless drill but has never really gotten their hands dirty in a restoration project. If that describes you, please read on.

What skills do you already have?

Hammer surrounded by messily hammered in nailsPerhaps one of the first questions that someone should ask before starting your own DIY project is whether you have the necessary skills to actually do the project. Have you laid tile before? Or have you installed cabinetry? Or have you installed lighting? Some things can be learned in a short period of time, yes, but the gap in the quality of work that someone who is just starting out can do vs a professional with years of experience is really quite large.

One thing to consider is that the people who are instructing on the DIY videos are professionals who have years of training trying to teach a general audience. They cannot see the work that you’re performing and they can’t help when corrections are needed. Learning to recognize when you need to make corrections is an incredibly important piece of the installation puzzle. Which brings us to our next point…

Do you know recognize when something is done incorrectly?

disgusting leaking pipeIt may seem like one could assume that if something looks good then the job must have been done adequately. However, this isn’t necessarily the case. Things may look good to the untrained eye, but a professional may see an issue that will become a problem in the short or long term. Their experience and expertise include training to know when something is done incorrectly, not to code, or haphazardly. A pro will fix this quickly where the untrained DIYer may not even realize that there is a problem.

Are you comfortable planning everything out?

Even a small remodel project has several steps that need to be taken in order to be successful, and those steps need to be carefully planned. Can you properly take measurements, design and plan the installation, surgically demo the correct areas, install the project and finish everything according to the plan? Professionals have years of training in specialized areas: a designer has a degree that ensures they know how to design a project, plan it, and make sure that it’s correct. A GC knows how to properly schedule a project so that things are done in the correct order and knows what needs to be done for any permits, what proper building code is, etc. An installer knows how to do the physical work of demo and installation. There really is a lot that goes into any construction project!

Do you know the correct sequence of events for a project?

When conducting a remodel project, it’s important to understand what needs to be done first, second, third, etc. Doing things in the wrong order can have major ramifications down the line. For example, if you were working on a bathroom, you wouldn’t want to decide to change your shower pan after you had already finished everything else. By saving that for last, you’ve covered all of the shower plumbing and drain, making it impossible to replace anything without having to demo the wall and floor that you had already finished. Experience is what is going to guide what order you do different phases of a project.

But I really think I can do this!

If you really want to try your hand at DIYing a project, don’t take on the entire kitchen all at once. Start small. Re-tile the small powder bath and see how that goes. Try one part of a small space that you can close the door. That way, if it looks terrible you can shut the door and have it corrected later. Most likely your first tile job will have issues, no matter how closely you followed instructions. You are, after all, learning a new skill set, one that a pro has spent years mastering.

Also, be prepared for the amount of time that it will take to do any of these projects. You may be able to do the work, but it’s going to take you three times longer than a skilled professional simply because you don’t have the experience that they do. Plus, this is the installer’s full-time job, they are doing all of this work for 8 plus hours during the day, while you probably only have nights and weekends, meaning that the available work hours that you have for any given project are much less than a pro.

The other thing to remember is that, should you need to tear something out and redo it, you may not see as much of a cost savings to make it worth the time and effort it will take to do it yourself. Having to redo tile would probably require having to purchase more tile to replace the ones that were set incorrectly and likely broken when removed.

Pros and Cons of DIY:



Potential cost savings

Bragging rights



Takes much longer

Requires skills that you may not possess

Need to buy or rent equipment you don’t have

You are responsible for the outcome



Pros and Cons of hiring a professional


Project finishes on timeframe and budget anticipated
Quality of work is much higher

Accountability for outcome

Work takes much less time

Doesn’t require you to learn a new skill



More expensive


Ultimately it comes down to what you are able to tolerate in the process and with the outcome of your work. If you can handle the time and effort it will take for you to learn a new skill and to do all of the work yourself, then can you live with the end results? Looking at the pros and cons, it may simply be worth the extra cost of hiring a professional, especially when you will likely appreciate the end product that much more.

So, if you would like to save yourself the time and headaches and ensure that you’re going to love your spaces for years to come, then talk to one of our designers today!

Should I Work With What I Already Have?

Should I work with what I already have?

Many times, when people start considering a remodel, one of the first things    that they’ll ask is whether they should work with what they already have in their home. There are many reasons someone might ask this, including potential cost or time savings, but there are definitely some things to consider before going that route.

Are you happy with your current layout?


woman admiring her new cabinets

Suppose you’re doing a kitchen remodel and you’re considering reusing your existing cabinets to save some money.

Cabinetry comes in incremental sizes and it may not be possible to arrange things as you envision within the limitations of your existing cabinetry.  Even if cabinets can be relocated, often it will require ordering more parts from the original cabinet manufacturer to finish now exposed ends, add fillers, or replace the moldings.  When reworking the design using existing cabinetry, this will only be worthwhile if you love the cabinetry you already have.

Perhaps you’re looking into some bathroom renovations. If you’re fine with leaving things where they already are, there is a major cost savings with not having to relocate plumbing, even if you’re replacing all the items in the bathroom. So, leaving your sink, toilet, and tub where they are, but replacing the actual sink toilet and tub could be a great way to go.

Will the look be consistent?

old, dilapidated interiorThe remodel process can be daunting for the average homeowner—there is so much to consider to make sure your design decisions are all cohesive.  Existing materials also age, so ideas that seem simple from the outset may have more implications than originally considered. You may want to use your existing cabinet bases, but maybe swap out the doors. Can you match the new doors to the old bases? Will the look of your existing cabinets be cohesive with the new countertops and backsplash that you’re putting in?

Suppose you’re adding new cabinets alongside your existing ones. Can you get the same cabinets? Are your existing cabinets sun-faded, dinged or scuffed, giving away their age? The fact is that it is nearly impossible to match new to old, especially in rooms that receive a lot of sun or have high traffic.

Appliances are another consideration. You may want to keep your fridge but replace your range and oven. Does the new range and oven match the style of the fridge, or will it stick out like a sore thumb? Though keeping the old fridge may save you some money in the short term, it may drive you crazy that your beige fridge contrasts so starkly with the new range and backsplash in the rest of the kitchen.

One more thing to consider is how an old item will look next to new things. When you consider the look of your old bathroom, you don’t necessarily see the age of the items that you’re looking to keep. Afterall, you’ve lived with them for years, so you haven’t noticed the impact that age has had on the finish or even style of the things you’re looking to reuse. However, if you install a new shower next to your old toilet, the age of the toilet will suddenly become much more obvious. Putting an old item next to a new one will make the old one look much older.

Are there things that you hate that could potentially drive your decisions?

woman with back to camera, leaning on cabinetsSometimes that decision to work with your existing pieces comes with the idea of compromise for something we may not like. Perhaps you have painted cabinets, and you decide to keep them to save some money, but you hate the way a painted cabinet looks. How much can you tolerate those painted cabinets that you hate in order to save a few dollars? If this is something you’ll likely want to change later on, then it may be worth it to change it now instead of living with it a while longer.

Or perhaps you hate the fireplace that’s visible from your kitchen because its tile work is extremely bold. Don’t design your kitchen around the bold tile of the fireplace just because it can be seen. If that thing that you dislike is driving other design decisions, then perhaps it’s simply time to change that thing as well.  Is it worth settling for something that doesn’t meet your ideals when you’re already making other major changes to your home?

Is it time to replace any appliances?

Told, junky applianceshere are appliances that we often forget have a definite life span and need to be replaced every so often. However, they are tucked away out of view, and we never think about them. For example, your disposal should be replaced every 7-10 years, however because it’s out of sight, under the sink, we think we can just reuse it and not have any issues. But unless your existing disposal is only 2-3 years old, then it would make more sense to simply replace it when your new sink is installed. The same goes for things like hot water heaters, furnaces, air conditioners and even ovens and microwaves. So, unless these are relatively new, it may not be a bad idea to simply replace them due to potential failure in the near future.

When you’re considering a remodel, it’s important to think through what you want to use to save money, but also how you want to use that old item. If you like where it is, it isn’t time to be replaced and you are genuinely happy with it, then it is probably worth it to reuse it, however if the answer to any of those is no, then consider replacing it with new pieces and completely enjoy the space. And ultimately, if you just aren’t sure talk to one of our designers and get their opinion! They’ll walk you through the options and help you make the best decision for your budget and your lifestyle. So, schedule a free no-hassle consultation today!


The Eheart Story

The Eheart Story

When considering who you will trust with your home’s remodel, it is important to know who you’re going to be working with. Eheart Interior Solutions has a history in Northern Colorado and we fully believe that history has helped develop this company into the trusted partner that thousands have turned to over the last several decades.

From Humble Beginnings

Ken Eheart, founder of Eheart Interior Solutions

In February of 1979, Ken Eheart started the company that would become Eheart Interior Solutions. Using a bank loan that was supposed to finance a new stereo, he began selling flooring during the day and installing flooring in the evenings. Operating out of a store front on Cleveland Avenue in downtown Loveland, Eheart quickly outgrew the space and moved to a new 1800 square foot building on Barberry place in 1983 and officially became Eheart Design Center.

In 1994, Eheart Design Center purchased the local Carpet Max franchise, greatly expanding the buying power of the company. As a member of a co-op, Eheart Design Center now had the combined buying power of hundreds of storefronts. In 2000, Carpet Max would change their name to Flooring America and to this day, Eheart is still a member of this co-op, giving our customers access to options they wouldn’t otherwise have.

New Building, New Chapter

Eheart building on hwy 34Ken Eheart had dreamt of going beyond just flooring, though. He wanted his company to be a full design studio as well as a retail store. In 2007, Eheart built a 30000 square foot showroom which housed the company for another five years. However, not long after, the great recession hit, new home construction ground to a halt and Eheart began focusing its efforts on helping its customer base remodel their homes after years of enjoyment with their original installs.  The dedication to customer experience, service, and installation quality that had always defined the company made for an excellent remodel process, and word quickly spread as Eheart became a sought design-build company.

From Loveland to Fort Collins

In 2012, Ken seized the opportunity to move to the showroom to Fort Collins and recreate the showroom experience now geared towards a design-build experience.  Moving the focus from builders to homeowners came with a new mission: to simplify the remodel and design process. Because of the relationships with several builders in the area, it was simple for Eheart to handle all of the installation making the entire experience simple and enjoyable for the customer.

Now, several years later, Eheart is still providing a simplified approach to home renovations. From humble beginnings as a one-man operation to now being one of the premier design firms in Northern Colorado, Eheart has always been a part of the Northern Colorado community, and we’re not going to change that aspect of who we are.

Our Founder and His Legacy

Ken was the heart of Eheart from the day he first opened the doors to the time of his unfortunate passing in 2016. He stood as a pillar in the community, expecting excellence from those around him and was committed to running his business with utmost integrity. Today, his daughter Missy runs the company with the same moral fiber and commitment to quality that defined how her father lived his life. Because of the foundation that he laid, when you work with Eheart Interior Solutions, you work with quality people who will have always your best interests at heart.

So, if you’ve been considering remodeling your bathroom or kitchen, don’t wait! Schedule your free consultation today!