LOVELAND – There’s definitely something satisfying and rewarding about completing your own home improvement project. Not only do you feel a sense of accomplishment, but you can also take pride in showcasing your talent to all of your family and friends. And with all of the DIY shows available to watch and instruct you, it seems even easier to tackle these days. But is it the right choice for you? Here are a few things you might want to consider when deciding whether to DIY or hire contractors:
How much time and effort will this involve?
The first question you need to ask – is it really worth the time and energy to take on this project – or will a professional be able to complete the job faster, easier, and with less disruption to your home life? Consider the timeframe… what may take you 6+ weeks to achieve, a contractor could be in and out in less than 2 weeks. And how much of an impact on daily living can you tolerate? For example, if you are planning on redoing your kitchen or bathroom, are you prepared to be without appliances or perhaps the use of a shower for weeks at a time?
Is expertise required?
This is the big question – do you have the knowledge and skills to attempt this project on your own? Especially when it comes to structural, electrical, or plumbing work! With many of these types of projects, you’re not only facing dangerous safety issues but also potential concerns regarding code violations, permits, and licensing issues. And you certainly don’t want to risk the structural integrity of your home! The last thing you want to do is to screw up a major job due to lack of expertise that will inevitably require further repairs and cost you more money in the end – or worse -cause harm to you or your home! Keep in mind that professionals have all the necessary tools, experience, and know-how to get the job done quickly and properly.
Is there danger involved?
Safety should be your first priority. Some repairs (like the aforementioned structural, electrical, and plumbing jobs) have inherent risks and may be too dangerous to deal with on your own. Sometimes it’s better to leave these projects to a professional who has been there and done that. You might want to consider saving yourself the risk of injury and preventing any damage to your home by hiring a pro.
As you can see, there are many things to consider when tackling a do-it-yourself home improvement. What you see on TV may not be as easy, safe, or efficient as portrayed. Before you decide whether to DIY or hire a contractor, make sure to keep these questions in mind and evaluate what is the best course of action for you for your timeframe, skill set, budget, and safety.
By Suzanne Plewes, RE/MAX Alliance.