DIY vs. Professional Work

man doing home repair

The summer heat is cooling off, storm season is all but gone, fall is setting in, and it’s time to take on those home renovations you started in the spring with a full head of steam. While you’re prioritizing your renovation checklist, some of your projects seem tedious. Do It Yourself or hire a professional? Save money and spend time or save time and spend money? Here’s a list of what to consider when choosing to hire a professional or take the DIY route.

Is it small, can you learn it quickly?

Always research the project before starting. Even if you’re a self-proclaimed pro, there are always new tips and pointers to be learned from the ocean of information that is the internet. Many experts even place their own, professional advice online. Watch tutorial videos and take in information from multiple professional sources. If the task seems to large, time-consuming or daunting, reach out to a professional.

How much will it cost?

While you can save money with a DIY project, most home renovation projects are expensive for a reason. If the project is going to cost more regardless of DIY or professional, skip buying the tools, spend a few extra dollars on professional work and avoid flopping on an expensive project.

Is it risky?

Hire a professional to do the work if the task can damage your home or injury any occupants. Not many people can afford to miss out on the lost income resulting from a DIY renovation injury. Professionals are trained and certified in their respective fields and will make sure the job is done safely and properly. In the meantime, you will not have to take off any work and can plan some enjoyment time with friend or family away from the house.

Additionally, your city or town likely has building codes for certain projects. These codes are meant to protect homeowners and the home itself from faulty repairs. If the project falls under a mandated building code, seek out a professional to avoid risky repairs and potential fines.

Are you planning to sell your home?

It’s almost always the better idea to choose professional work when renovating your home for sale purposes. Estimators, realtors, and potential buyers will be put at ease knowing that the home has been renovated professionally. Certified work may lead to an increase in property value as well.

How long will it take?

DIY repairs save money but always cost time and sweat. Factor in the amount of time a project will take before starting. You don’t want to take on a three-month project only to drag it out for a year due to exhaustion, frustration, and motivation drain.

What type of project is it?

If you can purchase the parts and tools yourself and are confident in your ability, then the DIY route is an okay route to take. Upgrading your kitchen on your own will take some time and will save money, but you’ll probably still need to hire a professional for things like electrical and plumbing.

If the project deals with the structure of your home, always hire a professional. A makeshift or faulty repair can lead to an extremely costly and potentially life-threatening catastrophe. All homes will eventually need structural repairs, and recent market trends regarding older structures almost always call for professional work.

There are many projects that are simple and inexpensive enough to justify DIY work. Painting, decorating, adding entertainment centers and accessories can be researched and completed over a weekend or two. In general, save the plumbing, electrical, installations, structural changes, and potentially hazardous projects for the professionals.