DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My husband is good at making some repairs around the house, but there are some jobs he just wants to get done as quickly as possible, not necessarily the best way possible. Over the course of the past couple of years, some of his “repairs” ended up costing us much more than they should have because we have to call in a professional to undo what he’s done wrong.
For instance, he decided to redo the powder room. It was part of an addition to our house one of the previous owners put on, and when they did it, as we found out, they did not do the work to code. So, when my husband started stripping out the original fixtures, he hit some weird plumbing issues that were beyond his knowing how to fix. Three weeks and a very expensive plumber bill later, the situation was fixed. And now, he is talking about trying to redo the kitchen with just the two of us.
Like I say, he often knows what he is doing, but how do I convince him to lay off the jobs beyond his abilities and patience levels, like I am sure a kitchen remodel would be? --- WIFE OF A WOULD-BE-FIX-IT-UP MAN
DEAR WIFE OF A WOULD-BE-FIX-IT-UP MAN: There’s something to be said for your husband’s initial motives, but I agree with you that knowing his own limits would very likely end up saving you time, money, and aggravation in the long run.
It could help make your case if you check around with friends or relatives who have recently done a kitchen remodel using professionals. This will at least give you a potential pool of contractors to contact if you decide to get some quotes or, in the worst case, professionals waiting in the wings, should they be needed.
Another thing you might work with your husband on is exploring piecemeal renovations that the two of you can readily tackle. Restaining or repainting your existing cabinets, replacing countertops, or just repainting the room are relatively straightforward rehab projects that can refresh and upgrade the look of your kitchen economically, and, if done right, without putting it out of commission for the duration of the job.