D.I.Y. or P.A.Y.? When to Hire a Professional

Home improvement is a big deal for many homeowners – there are always things around the house that can get done or things that become something you hate over time.  From painting to updating furniture, to even adding on to your home, the idea of home improvement has many faces, and sometimes it is hard to tell what you should do yourself, and what you should hire a professional for.  Check out a few of our ideas below!

D.I.Y. Projects

There is a lot around the home that is easy to get done yourself – especially if you just want to give things a little face-lift.  Even doing a pretty big bathroom update can be relatively easy if you learn the way to do everything right!  Today’s information age has made DIY even more feasible than ever before – you can pop online and watch endless videos on how to do something (or how not to do something, if you want a laugh as well as a lesson), and be able to become a pseudo pro in no time.

Painting is probably the number one thing that you can do for yourself.  Taking the time to do it right and a little bit of skill is really all you need to get it done.  With paint and supplies relatively cheap, it’s a no-brainer to do this easy one yourself for less than $100 for most rooms.  As with all DIY projects, make sure you take your safety and the safety of others into account.  When using a ladder to paint, make sure you get the right height for the wall or project and make sure you keep your hips within the rails of the ladder for best balance.  Place the ladder about one foot from the wall for every three feet of ladder height, for example, if you need to reach 15 feet up, you’ll want to place the ladder five feet from the wall.

Consider the Pro Option

When approaching a potential home improvement project, there are a lot of things to consider, not least of which is if you can do the project yourself for less money.  The first thing to consider for any potential DIY is your skill set; do you actually have the knowledge and capacity to do what you are going to try to do?  Make sure you are confident in your ability to learn the skills needed, and perform them at a level that is not going to get you and your home in trouble down the line.  There are plenty of building codes and regulations that DIY’ers might not be aware of.

Secondly, you will want to ask yourself if you have the time and the stamina for a project of the nature you’re thinking of. Bathroom remodels can leave people doing it without contractors out of a lot of evenings and weekends – especially if they work full time during the week. It can be easy for the workload to get overwhelming and quickly fall to the back-burner for those who are not ready for the depth of the task. 

If both answers are no, you have the easy answer in front of you!  If you answered yes, however, you have another thing entirely to consider.  A good calculation for seeing if a contractor is worth your time is to get the job professionally priced, and then add up the DIY cost for the same things. Estimate the amount of time you think it will take you to get it done – and don’t short yourself on time, especially if it is your first time doing this kind of work. Then take the DIY cost and your time estimate and calculate your “hourly wage” for the project. If you’re willing to work for that much and take that much time out of your life, go for the DIY. Otherwise, a contractor might be the best option.

Choose the Best Contractor

Take your time deciding which is best for your situation – the worst thing you can do is jump into a DIY and make it harder for the contractor you eventually hire. 

Author: Danny Knight. Learn more about Danny on fixitdads.com

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