5 Things to Consider Before Taking on a DIY Home Improvement Project

Do you have an upcoming home improvement project but you’re not sure whether or not you should hire a home improvement professional or if you can handle the project on your own? We’ve come up with 5 things to consider to help you decide.

TIME AND INCONVENIENCE

Sure, tackling a DIY project instead of hiring a professional can save you money, but you have to consider how much time each project will take and how inconvenient it will be for you to take on this project.

Consider you are going to remodel your kitchen.  Make sure you consider how much time you have, if you have a full-time job, you may only have the weekends to work on this project.  Keep in mind that it will be inconvenient to have chaos in your kitchen and make sure you are okay with it.

COST

The other thing to consider is how much it will cost to DIY vs hiring a contractor.  Be sure to do your homework and know exactly what the cost is for you to complete the project.  Sometimes, the cost of doing it yourself is not much different than hiring a professional (depending on the project and materials) considering pros usually get better pricing on materials.

Get estimates from more than one professional to get the cost and compare with your DIY project budget.  Be sure the bids you compare are both equal in regards to materials, sometimes contractors will use cheaper materials to save money, make sure to ask if you’re unsure what an item means.

Once you’ve done doing the research, you can make a decision about whether or not it’s worth the price difference to take on the DIY home improvement project yourself.

KNOW THE RISK

Some projects are a bit risky, especially when it comes to electrical or plumbing projects. A small mistake can be hazardous to you, your family and your home.

It’s important to know your limitations and in situations where you are unsure about a DIY home improvement project, it’s better to hire an expert.

Other projects you may want a professional to handle include: asbestos removal, roofing repairs and gas appliance repairs.

If you are not sure if you know enough about the project you’re taking on, make sure to do a lot of research and if you still don’t feel comfortable, don’t move forward, it is not worth the risk.

As a rule of thumb, a sign that a project may be too risky and you may need to hire an expert is if your town has a building code for it, mandated for safety purposes.  You may also be required to get a permit for certain home improvement projects, so that may force you to hire a professional.  Be sure you know all permit requirements prior to starting a DIY home improvement project.

DO YOU HAVE THE SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE AND EQUIPMENT?

If you watch DIY home improvement television shows or follow DIY projects on Instagram or other social networks, they simplify some DIY projects to make them look easy.  In reality, home improvement projects can be more involved and require a high level of skill and special equipment.

One thing to consider before starting the DIY home improvement project is whether you know what you’re doing and if you have the necessary equipment to execute the project properly.

Even if you don’t have the equipment, you can either borrow or rent the equipment. If you’re renting, add that to the cost of materials to make sure you consider all costs before taking on the project.

Sometimes under-calculating how much time a project will take and underestimating how difficult or time-consuming a project is, can get homeowners in trouble.  Be sure to have a realistic timeline, budget and project plan before you get started.

DO YOU NEED HELP?

Some projects cannot be handled alone, especially if certain equipment or materials are heavy.  Knowing when you need to ask for help is important. Whether you ask a friend or hire a day labor worker to help you, be sure to keep in mind that you need someone who will have the proper skills to help you without any major mistakes, because mistakes can be costly when it comes to DIY home improvement projects.  Keep in mind; however, that if the consequences of making a mistake are too severe or costly, it might be a good idea to hire a professional.

It’s easy to get caught up in the DIY world.  DIY home improvement projects are a huge trend currently, probably due to the home improvement shows that make home improvement projects look so easy!  But, make sure you remember that television shows don’t really show you the day to day of DIY home improvement projects, it’s all edited into a nice 30-minute or hour show.  Be careful not to take on a project that’s over your head and remember to research and ask experts whenever possible.  Taking on more than you can handle can not only be costly, but it can sometimes be dangerous.