Most homeowners love taking on tasks related to home improvement. After all, who doesn’t like the idea of living in more comfortable and pleasant conditions?
Still, such projects are rarely very easy and they often require professional help, either in terms of ideas or execution.
Of course, not all home improvement tasks are like that.
Some can actually be done by you, the homeowner, provided you have the right skills and tools. However, you have to be realistic about your knowledge and skills, since the last thing you want is to hurt yourself or jeopardise the lives of people around you. So, how to decide whether you need professional help?
Can you afford it?
While it’s true that every DIY project saves money, provided it’s executed properly, there are other things you need to consider before dismissing the idea of hiring a pro. To begin with, you need to ask yourself if you can afford the time. Most of us can’t really take a holiday to work on the house, so we rely on weekends or late nights, when we need to rest. That means that whatever we’re doing is bound to take much longer and sometimes, you just can’t afford that.
Do you have the right tools?
Another element you should think about is whether you have the right tools for the job. No matter how enthusiastic you might be about home improvement, you shouldn’t invest heavily in equipment you won’t need once the project is finished. On the other hand, you need to have the right tools for the job. For example, if you’re renovating your backyard and need to use a saw, you need a quality length stop to make sure you make the right cuts.
How much doe the materials cost?
Although you save money on labour by doing a project yourself, you also need to check the price of the material you need. Namely, pros often get discounts when purchasing the material and know exactly what kind they need, while you are unlikely to be offered the same conditions and you might run a risk of spending money on something that is not the best solution for your project. So, if you really have your heart set on doing something on your own, make sure you know exactly what you need and how much it’s going to cost you.
Estimate the risk
Every project which involves dealing with main electrical lines, gas and water pipes is potentially quite dangerous. You have to be realistic when it comes to your knowledge and skills, since you don’t want to burn the house down, cause a flood or an explosion. Some projects require to be performed by licensed professionals, so you need to know whether what you’re planning to do is actually legal. If there are no obstacles of that kind and you have the skills and tools to do it, go ahead and do it yourself.
Are you experienced?
Every professional and amateur has had to start with some project and work their way up. So, if you have little or no experience, but you are tempted to give it a go, it’s best that you start small. Choose a project that doesn’t require any special skills or investment in expensive equipment. For instance, if you’d like to build a deck one day, perhaps you should test your skills by making a raised garden bed first and see how you feel about it.
Can you do both?
Of course you can! Most large projects allow room for a bit of DIY work. Even a partial DIY will bring benefits to your budget, but it’ll also boost your confidence and you’ll surely learn something from the experience of working with a professional.
If you choose your projects carefully and you are realistic about your capability, DIY can offer great rewards. However, you need to make sure you can do what you’re planning to. Otherwise, it might cost you much more money and time to fix what you’ve done wrong.