DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

Do-It-Yourself home projects can definitely be rewarding in that you can save a ton of money and that sense of accomplishment you’re certain to feel once you’re living in your very own dream home.  But what if you choose the wrong project to do yourself?  You risk losing lots of time and a whole lot of cash and all that hard effort goes out the window.  And, not to mention, some projects are just too dangerous to handle and require a qualified professional.  So, before you secure your tool belt to your waist, let’s take a look at when to hire a pro or when to do it yourself.

Doing projects yourself certainly can save money, but cost you time and sweat.  Prior to starting your project, be sure to consider how much sweat equity you’ll be putting in versus how much you would pay to hire a pro.  Is it worth it to you?  Weigh your pros and cons carefully.  Ask yourself if you can realistically handle it.  What if it goes awry?  Is this something you can do within your budget?  Do you have enough time to get it done in a certain time frame? Do you have the necessary tools or have access to them?  Do you have the right skill set to handle the job?  Do you know all the steps to complete your job?

For example, if you want to paint your kitchen cabinets and replace the backsplash and counters but only have the weekday evenings to work on it, make sure you’re comfortable having your kitchen an unusable mess for many weeks.  Or, sanding and refinishing your hardwood floors can be a great DIY project, but not only does it suck a lot of time out of your free time, it’s difficult and so messy!  Sand and dust everywhere and not just the room where you sanded, it gets everywhere on every surface.  However, there are some quick and painless projects that can be completed in a weekend or that can be spread out without being bothersome, such as repainting, finishing your basement, or working on your outdoor space.

There are certain types of home reno projects that certainly should be done by a professional.  Any project that has the potential to seriously injure you or others or cause damage to your home should be handled by a pro.  Of course you don’t want to electrocute yourself, start a fire or cause an explosion.  So, steer clear of working with electrical lines and outlets, working on natural gas lines, or working with any tools you’re unfamiliar with.  It’s definitely not worth the risk, especially in the long run.  Trusted professionals work to code and will ensure the job is done safely, well, and shouldn’t cause problems down the road.

If you are considering a DIY project, start small.  Start with small projects like trading out hardware on your cupboards or installing a different light fixture in your bathroom.  Work your way up to build your skills and your confidence. Be wise and choose your projects carefully by knowing what could go wrong and knowing what you’re capable of.  If you’re unsure, it’s probably best to leave it to the pros.


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