Home Renovations: When To DIY Vs. When To Hire A Professional


With summer in swing, people all over the country are getting the itch to start giving their homes a facelift. About 43 million Americans move every year and take on home remodeling projects in their new house. Whether it’s painting a wall or knocking it down, you’re likely looking for a way to save money and get the project done quickly. When it comes to home renovation projects one of the first questions you’ll ask yourself is, “can I do this myself or should I hire professional home renovators to get the job done?” Here is what you need to know and consider when making this decision.

Home Renovation Considerations

The top three areas you’ll need to consider when deciding between doing a project yourself or hiring professional home renovators are:

  1. Time
  2. Cost
  3. Quality

When preparing for a home renovation project, consider how much time the project will take. If you’re planning to do it yourself, do you have the free time to commit to it? Take the time to think of your daily schedule and whether you’d be able to fit the renovation project into that schedule. If not, you may want to consider hiring a team of professional home renovators. But you’ll also need to remember, your home is likely not the only project they’re working on. So working with home renovators may also draw out the timeline of the project.

Cost is generally the number one concern for homeowners when they are starting a new renovation project. You need to consider everything from materials to labor. When hiring a team of professional home renovators, they’ll generally give a quote before the project even begins of how much they estimate the total costs to be. This includes materials, travel, time and labor, and any other business costs related to the project. If you’re trying to decide whether doing a project yourself or hiring a team would be cheaper, reach out to a company and get a quote before you make a decision.

Quality is an important thing to consider when it comes to home renovation projects, especially if it’s a larger project. Something small like changing your garage door tracks may not be a huge issue as the tracks are not visible and may not take a lot of work to replace. But a larger project like replacing a window or knocking down a wall requires the right knowledge and skill to not only do it right but also make sure everything is done up to safety requirements. Take a look at the project you would like to get done and consider whether it’s okay if it’s just done well or need to have a professional eye and skills.

When it comes down to it, there are pros and cons with each option. The decision between which is better depends on your specific project. Here are the pros and cons of each option to help better inform you for your decision.

DIY Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Cheaper: DIY projects a generally cheaper than having them professionally done. If you do it yourself, you don’t have to worry about paying for time and labor. If you already have the tools and materials necessary to complete the project, you can see huge savings on doing it yourself.
  • Timeline: Doing a project yourself means you can decide exactly when it gets done. If you have the free time to spend large amounts of your day working on it, you’ll be able to complete the project much faster.
  • New Skills: Another pro of completing a DIY home renovation project on your own is the new skills you’ll learn. While your skill for a certain project may be nonexistent at the start. However, taking the time to research, plan, and carry out the project will give you new knowledge on the subject and could even help you in future projects in your own home or the home of friends or family.

Cons

  • Lack of Skills: Often people take on a project thinking it will be much easier than it actually is. But when it comes to it, if you don’t have the right skills or training for a specific project, there’s a much larger space for error which could lead to more problems in the long run.
  • Danger: Depending on the type of project, doing it yourself without the proper tools or training could put you or anyone that lives in your house in danger. Would you ever attempt to edit the fire sprinkler design on your home as a novice? Of course not, because it could lead to issues that would put your family in danger in case of a fire.
  • Potential For Higher Cost: While a cheaper total bill is one of the pros of doing a project yourself, on the flip side, a DIY project can also be more expensive. If you make a mistake that requires more materials or starting the project over, your bill will be much higher than anticipated. For example, if you are trying to install new kitchen equipment yourself, like a stove, and clip a wire, you may end up having to replace the entire unit.

Professional Home Renovators Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Quality: One of the most obvious pros of hiring a team of professional home renovators is that the work comes with skill and high quality. Professional home renovators have the training and skills necessary to complete any home improvement project with high quality, so having them take over your project will result in great results. For example, trying to install a heating and cooling system as a novice will likely result in issues and could even be dangerous. Having a professional do the work will leave you with the peace of mind that it was done correctly and safely.
  • Faster Permit Process: If you’re doing a major home renovation, you made need permits from the city to complete it. Working with a company that has experience with the permit process and knows exactly what steps need to be taken will help you to get your permit approved faster and ultimately your project done sooner.

Cons

  • More Expensive: Hiring a team of professional home renovators will inevitably be more expensive than doing a project yourself. Not only do you have to pay for the materials to get the project done, but you also have to pay the workers for their labor and skills. Hiring a team rather than doing the work yourself can cause you to have a much larger bill in the end.
  • Potential For Rearranging Your Schedule: Along with the bill being potentially higher, working with a team of professional home renovators can mean you’ll have to seriously rearrange your schedule and possibly even leave your house during the renovation process. Projects that make a major part of your house unusable, like working on plumbing pipes or installing septic tanks, could mean you have to stay out of your home for a week or longer while the work is being done.
  • Potential For Disagreement: A con of working with other people on a project is the possibility of disagreeing over certain elements. You may have a perfect idea of how you want the project to turn out, but if the builders don’t agree, it can lead to issues. If you stand up to them, there could be tension there, if you don’t stand up, you may not like the final result you get.

Making The Decision

Now that you’ve learned the main differences between a DIY home renovation project and working with a team of professional home renovators, it’s time to make the decision. To DIY or to hire out. Here are a few examples of types of projects that are great to DIY and projects that require professional skills and talent.

When To DIY?

If your home renovation projects are cosmetic or only require minor changes to your home, then doing it yourself may be a good option.

For example, if you want to install a shed in your backyard, this is a project that won’t affect the structure or really any part of your home. Even if you make a mistake in the process, you’ll be able to take it down and restart without having home damage. You can even buy a premade shed and install it yourself. This kind of DIY home renovation project will save you money, time, and is safe to do on your own.

Another example of a home renovation project that is acceptable to do yourself is replacing the door buzzer system in your home. Whether it’s replacing your doorbell batteries, or installing a new system, there are quite a few options that are high tech and quite user friendly in the installation process. One option would be a video doorbell like the Ring security cam. While you have to pay for the product itself, you’ll save money and time installing it yourself.

When it comes to choosing DIY for a home renovation project, don’t forget to spend some time informing yourself of the best tips and tricks for that specific project. While you may not need to hire a professional, it couldn’t hurt to seek out some professional guidance. Sites like youtube and other builder forums will give you great insight into how you can best complete your project on your own.

When To Hire Professional Home Renovators

If your home renovation project requires large scale, serious changes to your home, you will want to leave it in the hands of professionals. Projects that require dealing with the structure of a home can go bad really fast, so it’s better to leave them up to professionals who are trained in what they need to do and look for throughout the process.

One example is installing new windows. This is a project that could appear to be fairly simple and not too difficult. However, there are quite a few intensive steps that if not done well, could ultimately lead to damage to your home. Installing a new window requires removing the pre-existing one which could damage the walls and insulation of your home if done incorrectly. Even if problems don’t arise there, not correctly sealing the new window could lead to water damage or openings for bugs or other pests to get into your walls. This type of project is better left to professionals.

Another example of a project that is better left to professionals is roofing a home. Whether you’re entirely overhauling the current roof or make repairs, this is a project that can be dangerous for you and disastrous for your home if not done well. An incorrectly installed roof can cause leaking that can rot wood, bring in pests, damage installation, and cause electrical problems that can be a fire hazard. Unless you have specific training for fixing or installing a roof, this is a project better left to professional home renovators.

In Conclusion

With summer being the most popular season for home renovations, you’re likely to find yourself wanting to get a project or two done this season. As you make the decision between doing it yourself or hiring a professional team, use this information to help make the best choice for your specific project. Happy renovating!


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