HelloButler founder Jungang Gu (Kenny Gu) offers advice on doing house renos yourself versus hiring professionals

BURNABY, British Columbia, Aug. 26, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Poor workmanship and errors can be costly for Do It Yourself (DIY) house renovations trying to save money, according to Vancouver-area builder/developer Kenny Gu. Home improvement projects, especially kitchen and bath updates, can be expensive. But cutting corners may cost more down the road. The key question is: How skilled is the homeowner and what’s best left in the hands of a professional?
Mr. Gu advises people do a plan before work begins. Start a ‘to do’ list. Look at all the work ahead taking costs and timeframes into account. “It’s worth it to pay someone to think strategically about the entire project,” says Mr, Gu. “You need to figure out the maximum scope of work, break down how to phase the project and know the best way to accomplish the tasks.”Most homeowners can easily purchase the materials, equipment and appliances. Tiles, cabinetry, bathroom and kitchen fixtures and doors can be sourced from building supply companies.Demolition can be a DIY project but just the smaller work – not structural work. Homeowners can remove unwanted cabinets, appliances, fixtures, tile work, moldings and pull up floorboards or carpeting. An experienced contractor can then come in to do the structural work when everything is out.Many homeowners with home reno projects experience difficulty finding reliable and competent trades people through online or newspaper ads. This led Mr. Gu to develop the HelloButler platform. He knew the best technicians and tradespeople because of the renovation and construction work he was doing. After four years, the HelloButler mobile app has 10,000 Vancouver-area homeowners who are customers and more than 2,000 partners. They include plumbing, heating, roofing, carpentry, landscape, maintenance and emergency repair contractors. By using the free interactive app, homeowners can reference a price table for the service category selected so they have a sense of how much it will cost before the technician goes in. Technicians then provide an accurate quote before the work starts for a completely transparent process.

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