DIY Or Hire A Professional For Your Next Home Improvement Project
There are many reasons why you might choose to DIY a home improvement project. Maybe you're trying to save money, or you're confident in your abilities and enjoy doing things yourself. However, there are also times when it's best to call in the professionals and it's incredibly important to know when to do so. This is particularly important when homebuyers are touring properties--especially if they're looking for a fixer-upper--and discussing renovation budgets with their real estate agent.
This article will go over what you should know before taking on your next home improvement project and how to find a home that fits your budgetary and lifestyle needs!
Hire A Contractor If….
It Could Destroy Your Home
When it comes to DIY, you have to be especially careful about what you're doing so that no harm can come to your home. Some examples include electrical work, plumbing, and structural renovations. If the job is too big or if there are too many risks involved, hiring a contractor will help to ensure that every detail is completed properly and safely. If you're unsure if you can handle it, ask yourself, "can I easily explain all the steps and safety precautions involved in this project?"
You Need Permits
In order to begin a project, you often need specific permits depending on where you live. When it comes to larger projects like new construction homes, the pros are familiar with each and every step and know exactly what kind of permit they'll need for each project.
You may ask yourself, "are permits really that important?" Long answer short: absolutely! When it comes to permits, hiring a professional will ensure that everything goes smoothly and no time is wasted getting the necessary paperwork!
You Want Someone To Supervise The Entire Project
What does the contractor cover? Well, when you're hiring a contractor, they will often supervise the entire project from start to finish. This means that if something breaks or is wrong with your home, the builder will know how to fix it and who to talk to about kitchen cabinets, bathroom renovations, etc.
You’ve Never Taken On A Home Improvement Project
The best advice when it comes to home improvement projects is to start small. If you're dead set on DIY projects, there are plenty of beginner level projects you can start with such as:
- Installing Light Fixtures
- Putting Up Shelving
- Refinishing Decks and Patios
If you're not confident in your skillset, it's best to call a professional. It may be worth learning some of the basics first before starting on something big that might be outside your comfort zone.
You Could Seriously Hurt Yourself
Some DIY projects can't be taken on unless you know exactly what you're doing and have the experience to do it. This includes:
- Heavy Landscaping
- Electrical Work
If it's too much for you, or if there are high risks involved, it might be best to leave the job to the pros. Hiring a contractor will help to ensure that you don't put yourself at risk while working on your home!
Do The Work Yourself If…
You’re Licensed And Experienced
If you have the experience and the proper license, then a lot of your risks are taken away. This means that you're comfortable with what you're doing and know exactly how to do it correctly. This will benefit both yourself and your home as everything should be completed properly! However, you're more likely to injure yourself if you don't have any experience. It's always better to be safe than sorry!
Which jobs require a license?
- Electrical work
- Carpentry and Framing
Environmental Sciences ie. asbestos abatement, drug lab clean up
You Want A Project
DIY projects can be a great way to spend some time tinkering with something that you enjoy. Whether it's gardening, woodworking, or even cooking, a DIY project can help you get out of your comfort zone and try something new!
What are some examples of easy DIY projects you can try?
- Building your own deck
- Refinishing cabinets and furniture
- Landscaping and planting trees
- Painting a room or the exterior of your home
- Assembling IKEA furniture
You Have A Limited Budget
DIY projects can be a great way to save money, especially if you're only doing the work yourself. There's no need for hiring anyone else to do it and you'll be able to enjoy your finished product for years to come! Just keep in mind that DIY projects require supplies so be sure not to go overboard with your budget.
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Tips For Saving When Hiring A Contractor
Choose High Return Projects
High return projects are any renos or upgrades that will add value to your home in the long run. High return home projects include:
- Trimming out an outdated fireplace
- Aesthetic renovations such as kitchen cabinets or bathroom fixtures
- Landscaping to increase curb appeal and market value
- Building a patio, deck, sunroom, or screened porch for entertaining
- Install new flooring in your home's high traffic areas like the foyer or hallway
Choose The Right Contractor
Finding the right contractor can be a daunting task. If you're not sure where to start, you can always ask your real estate agent if they have any connections or recommendations!
When choosing the right contractor, be sure to ask yourself these questions:
- Do they have a lot of positive feedback? This will show that their previous customers were pleased with their work.
- Do they have references you can contact? If yes, this is great! Call their past clients to get an idea of how things went for them and what to expect when working with the contractor.
- Are they properly licensed and insured? This is one of the most important questions you can ask -- insurance protects both you and your home in case something goes wrong so it's best to avoid any contractors who don't have proper coverage.
Do Your Own Demo And Cleanup
Take your time when tackling a DIY project and make sure to have all the proper equipment. If you're removing cabinets, counters, or fixtures in order to replace them later on, be sure that they're properly labeled so that they go back into the right place. This will also show how experienced you are with DIY projects! Just remember that a lot can go wrong if you're not careful. Take your time and you'll be sure to have a great experience!
Tips For Saving On DIY
Build Your Skills
You don't need to be a professional in order to get the full experience of a DIY project. Get creative and build your skills by taking on a project that will allow you to learn something new! Start small and work your way up to the bigger projects over time. Begin with simple projects such as assembling purchased furniture and maybe one day you'll end up building your own furniture!
If you're working with a limited budget, it can sometimes be hard to choose which project to get started on first. If the roof of your home is leaking and could potentially lead to another issue down the line, consider starting there. A new roof may not be considered an aesthetic improvement but it will definitely help keep you safe inside your home!
Save On Materials
Feel free to shop around. If you're following a DIY blog and they recommend a certain brand of materials, keep in mind that they may earn commissions on those brands. If you don't want to spend a fortune on materials, search around for the best deals, keeping an eye on the reviews so you don't sacrifice on quality, and find what will work best for your budget!
Whether you choose the DIY route or opt for the pros, buyers and sellers have countless options when it comes to improving their home! There's always something to be done around the home and hopefully this article has been an excellent guide for you when the time comes for your next home improvement project!