When I was in high school, I had a bathroom to myself but I did have to help build it, well, not really. It took months of showering with the rest of the fam (let me tell you that bathroom was gross) and that's real sweat equity when you're a pre-adult. What I ended up with was a 6'-0" elevated plastic 28" x 28" shower where the sink was and a new 18" wide sink. Great right? Tell that to my poor elbows. No plan. This was just around the time HGTV was kicking off into high gear. HGTV recently launched their "award winning" DIY Network and I am so thankful that I don't have it because it would probably just end up pissing me off and I would become a Prince Charles and write letters every day to turn it off... I am beginning to feel like the ladies in the Wendy's commercial but instead I'm yelling out "Where's the Permit!" It's not that I don't want TV because it's really good for news, Seinfeld reruns, and the Yule log on channel 2; but there is a big problem with home improvement television which is that it's not really how things work and it's a really poor demonstration of reality. You can not install a Tubular Skylight in 7 minutes and 20 seconds and the very best of shower-pan pours take YEARS to perfect, not a day and $100-200.
Now there are some good reality DIY TV shows out there, don't get me wrong, but what's with the back-to-back terrible shows that make a remodel look instant and doable within an hour? Where are the planning guidelines and codes? They don't tell you that because the DIY home renovation industry is a huge ploy to take your dollars. Have I mentioned that they create unnecessary waste and improper disposal of refuse into our landfills?
The truth is that some projects take several weeks to do, let alone several months, and without proper contract documents you could be hooped and fined by the city. Projects that are cool to do on your own include painting and decorating, but when you get into moving walls, kitchens, and bathrooms you should be advised to hire a professional designer.
You don't want to go to your mechanic for a heart problem (unless their a doctor) and vice versa so if you're thinking about doing a home renovation project, I encourage you to take advantage of the plethora of free professional design advise that is out there - heck, even I'll give you some basics in an hour or two. What you want to avoid is a project that doesn't have an end date, that is costing you too much money, that you need to tear-out because it doesn't work right, looks bad, and most of all kills your relationships.