Should I DIY or hire someone?

Should I DIY or hire someone?

We’re all guilty of thinking “Why pay someone when I can do it myself?” Yes, there are some projects that can be done over a few weekends at home. Of course, there are many more that can turn into a huge hassle pretty quickly. There are a few things to consider before starting any projects on your own.

Am I skilled enough to tackle this project?

What is your skill level? A great way to asses this is to try and tackle a few small projects around the house. This will help you gauge if the undertaking of a big project by yourself is feasible. It is important to understand all the necessary steps and what tools are needed from start to finish. There are big risks that come with some projects, so understanding exactly what you’re getting into is very important; especially considering the fact that most professionals will charge extra to redo existing work or even refuse to touch it at all.

How much time will I need?

How much time can you realistically dedicate to this project? An easy way to calculate how much time it would take is to just double or triple the expected project time frame for doing it yourself. To assess more accurately, you estimate how long the project should take (let’s say about two days) to complete. Then determine how much time you can dedicate a week (say eight hours) to working. Finally, divide the total project time by how long you are to be working on it per week. Therefore, your project should take about six weeks (48 hrs/8 hrs=6 wks) to complete on your own.

A big thing to consider is how good you are at staying motivated. It may seem fun and exciting at the start of your kitchen remodel, but six weeks later with no end in sight, the novelty will start to wear off. You should seriously consider your quality of life and your family’s best interest when planning any type of remodeling.

What projects should I not do on my own?

Keep in mind, there are some projects that are usually better left to the professionals. Electrical lines, gas lines, and plumbing missteps can be disastrous. These potentially dangerous projects are always best done by someone fully qualified. In addition, there are often local building codes and regulations that must be followed. In the event of a code issue later on, big problems may come up with the sale of your home. For these reasons, electrical, gas, and plumbing are much safer in trained hands.  

How to save the most money

Saving money can be a big factor when considering tackling a project yourself, though it is not a guarantee that you will save the most in the end. Contractors and professionals are often able to purchase materials for a fraction of the retail price seen by everyday homeowners. Contractors also have access to a much wider variety of tools. Renting tools can become a huge unexpected expense, especially when you end up needing them longer than you originally thought. To help keep costs low, ask your contractor if you can do some of the simpler tasks yourself. A great way to help you save on cost can be to do some of the demolition and cleanup yourself. Good luck!

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