Most homeowners have a list of things they’d like to change in their homes. Throw in a few episodes of HGTV, and the list continues to grow! The most common reason homeowners don’t act upon their wish list of renovations is the cost of a professional contractor. Professional contractors can be pricey, which leads to the most common reason homeowners tackle renovation projects on their own. DIY seems less expensive, but is it really though?
Deciding whether you should attempt a DIY or hire a pro is as simple as running through a checklist of questions. Factors like expertise, safety, affordability, and time will help you quickly determine if it makes sense to do it yourself.
Do You Have the Skillset?
Building a fence, refinishing a table, or tearing down a wall are small home improvement projects that one can know a little about and figure out along the way. However, some projects don’t lend themselves well to the “learn as you go” approach. You should always hire a licensed professional to do anything involving electricity, gas, or water. For that matter, tearing down an interior wall in the downstairs of a 2-story home could have catastrophic consequences if you don’t know enough about carpentry. The point is – If your house will fall down, or if you might die in the process of a home improvement project – do NOT do it yourself!! If you are 100% confident that you are capable of the renovation, the next step is to make sure it’s safe.
Is It Safe?
Think not just of yourself but of others around you.
- Do you have a safe place to store tools and hazardous materials away from children and pets?
- How much of your home will be a construction zone, and for how long?
- Do you live in an HOA that requires approval to proceed?
- Will your renovation require permits from the city?
Can You Afford It?
Doing a substantial renovation yourself might not be that much cheaper than hiring a professional. In fact, you could end up spending more if you don’t price it out and set a budget before you start. You may have to buy new tools for a specific job. Good tools are not cheap, and cheap tools are not good! Once you’ve priced the cost of supplies and materials, round up a couple of hundred dollars to account for mistakes and return trips to the hardware store. Next, call a few contractors and get their quotes. If your DIY estimate is considerably less than the contractor’s quote, great! If not, schedule the contractor.
Do You Have Time?
Home renovation projects can take several weeks or months to complete if you’re splitting your time between the project and the job that’s paying for the project.
- Will your schedule allow you to take on a long-term commitment?
- How time-sensitive are the mechanics of a project?
- Will you need to allow something to dry for a few days before continuing?
- Can you stop and start, or does the job require several hours of intensive labor?
If you go through this DIY or hire a pro checklist and still feel confident in your decision – have at it! If you have any doubts, however, do your home and yourself a favor and hire a professional!
Do you need a professional to help you sell your home or find a new one? I’d love to help! Contact me at email@example.com or (830) 305-5248, and we’ll schedule a time to meet.