Home Improvement Projects: Do-It-Yourself or Hire a Contractor

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Your responsibility as a homeowner does not stop with paying your monthly mortgages. Owning a house means being tied up with on-going expenses including property tax, home insurance, utilities, and repairs. According to Wells Fargo, homeowners typically spend around 1 to 2 percent of the total home price on repairs each year.

The above-mentioned estimate only covers routine maintenance. And if you have a major home remodeling project in mind, the cost would be so much more. Because of this, a lot of homeowners would prefer to do the home repair or remodeling on their own. Nonetheless, there are complicated jobs involved when renovating.

To decide what jobs to DIY, here are some guidelines you should consider.

DIY or Professional Contractor: Points to Consider

Safety First

  • It Could Kill You

What is the worst possible thing that could happen in any DIY job? It could get you killed. This is the first question you should ask yourself in deciding whether to DIY or hire a professional. If it involves heavy lifting, contact a commercial crane rental to do the job.

  • It Could Destroy Your Home

Tinkering with plumbing and bathroom fixtures fit into this category. If you do not get the tubes and pipes properly installed and fitted, you could end up with water leaks. And if this goes unnoticed for years, it can weaken the structural foundation of your home.

  • It Needs a Permit

One indicator that the job is too difficult to DIY is that it requires a permit to start. Building permits guarantee that the construction job is done safely. Though in some areas it can be fairly easy to get a permit for DIY, the fact that you need to get one is a clear warning that you might need a professional to handle the job.

Experience and Skills

Of course, you cannot tackle a home remodeling job unless you know how it is done. Though it is not a deal-breaker to have no experience, thanks to Youtube tutorials and DIY blogs, there are plenty of projects that are highly specialized and require years of training.

Here are three reasons for choosing an expert to do the job:

  • It Is Dangerous

To name a few, electrical works and plumbing require technical know-how which most homeowners are not equipped with. The risks you will face in doing these dangerous jobs are far greater than the amount of money you will save if you DIY the project.

  • Mistakes Can Be Costly

Even if there are no safety issues involved in the remodeling job you have in mind, you are ensured that the project is in good hands if you hire a professional to tackle it for you. If you are unsure of what you are doing, you are definitely setting yourself to spend more than you intended.

  • It Could Decrease the Value of Your Home

If you are planning on reselling your property in the future, then you might want to hold off on DIY-ing your renovation project and hire a professional instead. No matter how good your location is, our prospective buyers will be turned off by the poorly laid tiles or the tacky wallpaper.

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Time Spent

The number one reason most homeowners opt to DIY a home remodeling project is the cost. Taking the job all by yourself can help you save more money. But what we need to realize is that the more a job costs to be done professionally, the more time it takes to finish it.

To figure out if it is worth it to tackle the job on your own, consider the time and cost involved.

  • Rate of the Professional Job

The first thing you must do is figure out how much it costs to have the job done by a professional. To have a more accurate estimate, ask for quote estimates from contractors. Canvass from at least three contractors to have a fair idea about the pricing. You can also get a quick estimate from HomeAdvisor.

  • Figure Out the DIY Cost

Next, you have to find out how much it would cost you to have the job done by yourself. Include on your estimate the permit, prices for materials, and the tools and equipment you need. Add all these expenses, and compare the total amount to the rate of hiring a professional.

  • Time Estimate

Make an estimate of the time required to do the renovation project. Although it is a lot harder to estimate the duration of work since it largely depends on your skills and experience, DIY books and tutorials often give estimates of how long it takes for a novice, an intermediate, and an expert to do the job.

Want to know what home remodeling jobs you can do on your own?

Home Renovations You Can DIY

  • Repaint Front Door
  • Apply Removable Wallpaper
  • Apply New Backsplash
  • Revamp Your Bathroom
  • Hang Wall Art
  • Laminate Flooring

The guidelines mentioned above should give you a better idea of which way to go for your next home renovation project. Regardless of which route you take, however, make sure you have a budget and time frame in place, so you can easily assess how well a project is going.


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