Home Improvement Projects: When Should You DIY, and When Should You Call a Professional?
Posted by Lauren Schneider on Monday, June 15th, 2020 at 8:07am.
Performing improvement projects is a necessity if you own a home. If you don't keep up with home maintenance, your home could sustain damage over time. Some home improvement projects are more complicated than others. While some projects are safe to complete on your own, others should be handled by a professional. Knowing which home upgrades are best handled by a contractor and which are safe to DIY can help you maintain the value of your house. Here's what you need to know.
When to DIY and When to Hire a Contractor
A homeowner who is trying to decide whether to hire a contractor or complete a home improvement project on their own should start by asking themselves a series of questions.
Do I Know How to Do This?
Some home improvement projects can be very complicated. A homeowner who is trying to decide if they're going to do that project must find out how many steps are involved and if they feel comfortable with those steps.
Are Any Permits Required?
If a permit must be pulled for a home improvement project to be completed, then this means the project requires a level of oversight that could make it difficult to complete the project properly. Homeowners should think long and hard before deciding to do work that requires a permit.
Do I Have the Right Tools?
Sometimes, buying the right tools can be just as expensive as hiring a contractor. A homeowner on a budget should find out how much tools will cost before deciding whether to hire a contractor or do the work themselves.
What Are the Risks Involved?
Home improvement projects can involve many risks. Some projects (like roof work) can involve safety risks. Other projects can come with the risk of damage to the house if the work is done incorrectly. Knowing these risks can help the homeowner decide if they should do the work or if someone with training should do the work instead.
How Expensive Is This Project?
Expensive projects are tempting to DIY because they can be difficult to afford. However, the more a home improvement project costs, the more the homeowner stands to lose if they try to do the project on their own. Homeowners who invest in expensive materials and tools may have to pay that same amount all over again if they mess up the project and are forced to hire a contractor.
Best DIY Projects
The best DIY projects are those that are relatively simple and require no specialized tools. Common examples of good DIY projects are:
- Toilet tank repair
- Drain cleaning
- Hanging blinds or curtains
These projects come with minimal risk, can easily be fixed if they're done incorrectly, and involve little financial investment on the part of the homeowner.
Best Projects for Contractors
The best home improvement projects for contractors are projects that are multi-step, require specialized knowledge or training, come with considerable risk, and could require an expensive repair if done incorrectly. Common examples of good projects for contractors include:
- Roof repair
- Foundation repair
- Mid-range to high-end kitchen or bathroom remodel
- Deck building
These projects can be complicated and challenging. It's important to complete these projects right the first time.
Selling Your Home? Work With a Reputable Real Estate Professional
If you're a homeowner who would like to sell your home soon, talk to a reputable real estate professional. Your real estate agent can help you decide which home improvement projects are most valuable, and whether they're best done by you or a contractor.