When to DIY and When to Call in the Professionals

June 17, 2019

To DIY or not to DIY… that is the question! One of the first things most homeowners probably ask themselves when they come across a project in their home is whether it can be tackled themselves, or do they need to hire a professional. Sure, there are countless projects in your home that could be done yourself, but there are some important factors to keep in mind when deciding whether you should go the DIY route.

Consider the Safety Issues

Safety is always going to be the number one priority, so first things first, evaluate the potential consequences of the project and whether safety would be compromised if something goes wrong. Many improvements around your home require the skills of a licensed professional who has the proper credentials and insurance, such as anything to do with a gas line, making major structural changes, and any major plumbing and electrical work. Also, consider whether you’d have a bigger problem on your hands if you make a mistake; messing up while painting a wall has way less disastrous consequences than a burst pipe in your home.

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Will You Need a Permit?

For some home improvements, a permit is required before work can begin. The type of job that requires a permit will vary based on your location, but typically a permit is required for any additions to the home, major structural changes, changing HVAC, plumbing, or electrical systems, adding a fireplace, etc. If your job requires a permit, it may be a sign that it’s time to hire a professional; they will often take care of this aspect for you and ensure that it is done properly and safely.

Be Honest with Yourself

This point speaks for itself. Think about your capabilities and be honest about whether this is a project that you can take on. Most cosmetic jobs can be handled independently, such as painting walls or re-doing trim, but be realistic about a project that is more complex. If you’ve never laid tile before, will you be able to DIY that intricate backsplash in the kitchen that you love? If you take on a job that realistically you can’t DIY well, it can cost you more money (and not to mention time!) to fix any mistakes that you may make along the way.

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Time Versus Money

In the end, a lot of decisions come down to the trade-off of time versus money. Before beginning any project, it’s important to set your budget. If you don’t have a lot of money to play with, it may be worth it for you to spend some time watching those DIY YouTube videos and taking the time to tackle the project yourself. If you decide to DIY, be mindful of not only the cost of the materials for your project but also the equipment that will be required as this can add up quickly – you may have found some great tile on sale but are you also going to need a tile saw?

Getting some quotes for the job to be done professionally and also pricing out the cost of any materials/equipment that would be needed to DIY is often a good place to start. Also, consider the time investment if you want to DIY. In some cases, a project may be something that you could do yourself, but you just don’t have the time to do it. Or maybe it’s something that you just couldn’t be bothered to do yourself, and that’s totally okay too!

In the end, if you decide it’s a project that’s best left to the pros, our home renovation experts at Robert Thompson Contracting will ensure that your home is left in the best hands.

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