Should I DIY or Hire?

27 April 2022

There can be a number of reasons why your current home could use some remodeling or sprucing up. There are some valid reasons to try to keep up with the Joneses. If 80% of the homes in your neighborhood have decks, but you only have a small poured slab of a patio, you may want to consider adding the deck. This will keep your resale value on a par with the rest of the homes around you. It is the same with keeping your interior modern and functional.

YouTube videos make everything seem so very easy but before you take on a challenge, be sure you thoroughly understand what is involved. Sometimes it is just better to hire a professional. The problem is knowing when you can do it alone or when to call in a pro.


Start by looking at the scope of the project. If it is something that you have never done before but is relatively easy to learn without a lot of steps, then you should try it. As an example, painting a room. You would need to move furniture, use painter’s tape, make sure the walls are clean, choose the color, etc. However, re-wiring is neither easy nor simple.

Another criteria is whether you currently have all the tools necessary. If not, how much will they cost and will you have use for them at a later date? It may be less expensive to hire someone than to spend the money on items you won’t use again.

Can you accept that the finished product may not be perfect? In fact, can you deal with delays and setbacks patiently? If you and your housemates are flexible enough to accept your workmanship, then great!

If you actually enjoy the type of project, enjoy getting messy or dirty, then you should give it a try. Some people just don’t like the manual labor usually involved in a home improvement project, others relish it. If it seems more like a hobby than a chore, go for it.


Hire the Pro

If a mistake in your work would make your home unsafe like electrical work or plumbing that would cause a flood, you should consider outsourcing. If expertise is required, don’t take on the project yourself. Using a reputable contractor or specialty company means they have all the insurance to protect you as a homeowner and they should offer warranties on their labor and the materials should carry manufacturers’ warranties. There are lots of local companies that will be happy to consult with you and offer estimates.

If the scope of the project is so large that you will need a permit, it may be better to hire the work done. Along with the permit will come inspections and compliance with all the local, state, and industry regulations and codes. If you are not fully versed, the inspector can have you completely tear down the project and start over.

If you have other things that you should or want to do, investigate the cost of a professional. That includes spending time with your family or hobbies. You should weigh the amount of time it will take to complete your project with how you can best utilize your free time.

Many people find home improvement projects rewarding and enjoyable, but not everyone does. You need to evaluate the trade offs. If you work on a project while you are angry, upset, or uninspired, it is likely the result will be poor. So, if you are considering a fixer-upper or just giving your current home a little more personality, consider all your options.

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