DIY : When to Call in a Professional – Joshua McAlees – Medium

With a growing number of instructional videos and user-friendly products on the market, the decision of whether to tackle a home improvement project yourself or whether to hire a contractor to do it is becoming increasingly complicated. On the other hand, DIY projects gone wrong can be prohibitively expensive to fix. Before deciding to tackle a project yourself rather than calling in a professional, here are five questions to ask yourself.

Do you need a permit?
If you do work yourself that requires a permit, you may have to pay to have the work undone before you can sell the house. Unless you are a seasoned and experienced DIY’er, you may want to leave any upgrades requiring a permit to the pros.

Do you have the right experience?
If you’ve never tackled a simple project like tiling a backsplash or a table top, you may want to think twice before re-tiling a shower. While the pros may make it look easy, tile work can be far more complicated than it seems.

How easy will it be for a pro to fix if it goes wrong?
Again, if you end up installing a light fixture slightly crooked, it’s probably not going to affect the resale value of the house much. If you end up with a giant dent in the shower tiles, however, it may cost you far more to bring in a pro to fix it than it would have just to let a pro do it in the first place.

Will it be cheaper?
While expense is not the only consideration when deciding whether to hire or DIY, it is certainly a major one. It is true that labor costs are higher when you hire someone, but sometimes those labor costs can be offset by how much cheaper a contractor can purchase materials for. Sometimes, it may not be any more expensive to hire someone than to do it yourself.

Is it worth the time?
A contractor’s day job is construction whereas you may have to fit your home rehab in around another day job. If a project takes you ten days to complete that a contractor can do in 2, it might be worth the savings of time, energy and hassle to just let a contractor do it.


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