This is the year you will install new gutters, replace the old vanity in the bathroom and tackle those other DIY projects you’ve been meaning to get around to. But how do you know when you should hire someone or do it yourself and save money? Here are some guidelines to help you decide when to hire a professional or to DIY.
DIY Skills Assessment
While the appeal of a fresh DIY project is the opportunity to increase your skills set and experience, you don’t want to take on a challenge that leaves you struggling. Objectively assess your DIY skills. You need to be confident in your ability to use a variety of tools; do the appropriate calculations; handle materials; and employ the right techniques.
It’s not just about what you can and cannot do. Don’t forget to consider your personality – you may be able to manage the setbacks of a “simple” kitchen rewiring project, but the repetitive motions of painting walls or setting tile has you reaching for the remote.
Before taking a project on, check to see if you need a permit. If you do need one, what kind do you need to apply for? Depending on applicable zoning laws, leasing agreements and safety regulations, the condition of the permit might require a licensed contractor.
Size and Scope
It might seem uncomplicated to replace two old downspouts with new ones. But were they in the right places to begin with? And if they do need re-positioning, do you know how to do that? When deciding if you will DIY or hire a pro, focus on how much work is actually involved to complete the project from start to finish.
Time: Is the project worth your time? If you have to use paid vacation, or dedicate weekends and certain evenings, or go to bed later so you can put in a few extra hours, it might be money well-spent to hire a contractor.
Accomplishment: Completing a DIY project gives you a sense of accomplishment and pride; something you’d miss if you hired a pro.
End result: When you DIY, you can control how the finished project will look. No matter how well you explain what you want to someone else, it probably won’t turn out exactly how you envisioned it.