Jobs Around the House: DIY or Hire a Professional?

When you start renovating your home, you’ll probably want to cut costs wherever you feel it’s possible. So, sometimes you’ll want to do some of the home improvements yourself. When it comes to putting up curtain rails or adding a fresh lick of paint to a wall, you’ll be able to do so with no issues at all. However, what about when it gets more complex? Do you still persevere and try to do it yourself, or do you hire a professional contractor? It’s a tough choice. Hiring a contractor can be expensive, and you can’t guarantee a good job unless you’ve used them before. However, if you choose to do it on your own, you could end up making huge mistakes, and possibly getting hurt in the process.

You’ll probably have a gut feeling about what you’re confident to tackle yourself and where you need extra help. So, here’s an article to help you make the right decision, whatever the job is.

Do you know what tools you need? Do you have them?

Firstly, you need to think about whether you’re equipped to do the job at hand. If you need power tools or industrial strength pieces of kit, and you don’t have them, that’s probably a clue that you should get a professional in. Likewise, if you’d only need to buy new tools for this one job, it won’t be worth it. If you aren’t sure where to start or what you need, trying to do it yourself would be a recipe for disaster. However, if you’re adamant that you’ll use the tools again, consider investing – but only if you know how to use them safely.

Have you done it before?

If you’ve done this job before, then by all means go ahead and do it yourself. You’ll know what to do, what to be careful of, and how the final effect should look. However, if you’ve done it before and it didn’t go well, then you should seriously consider whether it’s worth doing it again by yourself. If you’ve learnt where you went wrong and feel confident that you can do better, then that’s a risk you need to decide if you’ll take. If you don’t think you could pinpoint your mistakes, then hire a contractor.

Could you get seriously hurt doing it?

If there’s a chance of getting hurt doing a job, whether that’s through electric shocks or working at height, then don’t risk it. Even if you think you know how to do it and what safety precautions to take, it’s just not worth it. A professional contractor will be fully trained to carry out these more dangerous jobs: from having the skills and qualifications to do it safely, to the insurance protection if it goes wrong. For example, when it comes to electrical work, like moving plug sockets, you should seriously consider getting professionals in.

Does it require certain skills?

Sometimes, no matter how many YouTube tutorials you watch and articles you read, you just won’t be able to master the skills you need to carry out certain jobs. Contractors have trained for their entire careers to do the job and to do it well – so if you don’t have the skillset, ask for professional help. If you’re confident that you’d be able to learn these skills, then practice first – and practice a lot. Don’t try it out for the first time on your home, just in case you go wrong. Likewise, if you’ve got the time, why not take professional classes? You can learn anything from beginner electrics to woodwork in evening classes.

Do you need any permits or licenses?

If you need any permits or licenses, it’s often not worth your time or money to do it yourself. For example, if you need to remove a pest infestation – from raccoons to ants – you often need to have certain permits to do so. Getting in touch with a professional company, like Go-Forth Pest Control of Lexington NC, means you can have the job done in a short time, without any of the hassle.

Have you added up the costs?

Everyone always thinks it’s going to be cheaper to do it yourself, but once you add the costs up, it might not be. You need to think about the money you’re spending on tools and resources; the amount of time you’re spending on it; the cost of rectifying any mistakes; and how much it could decrease the value of your home. Often, the cost of hiring a professional to come and do the job for you is much lower. If you speak to local businesses, you can often agree on a price that suits both parties too. There are ways to make a professional job cheaper too, like doing all the cleaning up yourself.

Do you have the time?

Time is probably one of the most influential factors when it comes to deciding whether to hire a contractor or do it yourself. If you’ve got the time to do the preparation, carry out the job and then be ready to fix any mistakes, you should consider doing it yourself. However, if you know it’ll be a rushed job, or one that puts you off your time frame, then look at getting a contractor in. It’s less hassle, and means that you can focus on other, easier tasks, while getting big, skilled jobs out of your hair.

What would happen if you got it wrong?

Making mistakes is all part of the learning process. If you want to do more home renovations, then learning is vital, and so getting things wrong will happen a lot. If you’re willing to accept this risk, and deal with any consequences, then do the job yourself. However, if you’re just trying to get a job done, then you won’t want to be dealing with any self-inflicted errors. You also need to consider the worst-case scenario. If it could seriously damage the value of your home, or hurt you in any way, then it’s not worth taking the risk. However, if all that can go wrong is needing to take it apart and start again, then try it yourself.

Thanks to Carol Trehearn

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