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How to Remodel: Hiring a Professional vs. DIY

How to Remodel: Hiring a Professional vs. DIY

Whether you’ve grown tired of living with an outdated space, or need to change its functionality for your lifestyle, you’re faced with the reality of needing a home remodel. Many homeowners may opt to DIY, as it may be the better financial option, and/or they possess the necessary skill-set for the project; others may prefer to simply leave it in the hands of a professional. But, what happens when you’re unsure whether to DIY or hire a pro—how do you remodel? While some homeowners may prefer to roll up their sleeves and strap on a tool belt, some renovation efforts can impact a home’s value. Here’s how to know when you should hire a professional vs. DIY your home remodel.

Is it DIY-able:
When deciding on whether to hire a professional or DIY, first start by deciphering if the project is DIY-able. Some of the best DIY-ers still need to enlist the help of a professional, so, establish what’s required of the project. Common DIY projects include painting/staining, sanding, simple hardware installations (i.e. faucet, drawer pulls, holders, rods, etc.), shelving, and décor. If the project only entails a few basic (and we mean basic) upgrades, then you may elect to DIY the renovations, but be cautious as even some of the most rudimentary tasks can require a professional, especially electrical work!

Skills Assessment:
Some home remodeling projects are easy to DIY, and others simply are not, as alluded to previously. While you may be capable of doing certain aspects of the project at hand, you may not be able to do all of it. Therefore, you should make an honest assessment of your DIY skills, or lack thereof. For most people, their home is their largest financial asset; that being said, if you do not have the required skills, talent, or training for the project, then it’s not worth tackling the potential financial risk. (You wouldn’t do your own oil change if you owned a Bentley unless you were, in fact, a licensed mechanic!) Aside from potentially not having the necessary skills, DIY-ing your home remodel could actually cause you to waste more time and money than originally intended, as you may need to hire a professional to undo work that’s already be done.

Additionally, be sure to also consider your available time, or again, lack thereof! Depending on the size & scope of the home improvements needed, it may be in your fiscal interest to hire a professional, as they can dedicate more time to the project, whereas your responsibilities may not allow you to do so (i.e. job, kids, after-school activities, etc.)

If you are confident in certain areas of the project but not all, (for example painting) you may want to consider discussing these options with a professional, as they may be willing to deduct certain cost areas of a contract to better suit your budget. There’s no harm in asking these types of questions when meeting with a potential contractor, as most are willing to work with you.

Establishing Budget:
DIY projects are often thought of as the more affordable option when it comes to home remodeling, and consequently can be more appealing for homeowners. For those with limited finances, a DIY project can help you stay within the confines of your budget. However, before you take your hammer to nail, be sure to price out the entire project from start to finish, including tools & materials needed. By establishing a budget for your DIY, you may find that you’re able to save a lot money, which may be helpful for those who live in a fixer-upper. You may also find that a DIY will cost you more than you originally planned and that hiring a professional will be the better financial choice. BONUS: Be sure to consult with your financial institution, as you may be able to use a home equity line of credit or take out a renovation loan.

Safety Measures:
When it comes to hiring a professional or DIY-ing your project, it’s important to consider your safety and any potential risk factors. As mentioned, some projects may be easier than others. For example, painting the walls of a common bath *probably* won’t cost you a hospital visit, whereas painting the walls in a living room with cathedral ceilings (which may require ladders and scaffolding) may be a different story. As you would with budget, consider every aspect of your home remodel; is there anything related to electrical or plumbing? Does the project relate to heights (i.e. roofing, exterior work) or, could there be the potential for any hazardous materials, such as asbestos, lead paint, or mold? Considering all these factors will help keep you safe and can furthermore help save you money, as these risks can be costly.

A home remodel can be very exciting, but always err on the side of caution when choosing to DIY, as its implications can affect your home’s value if not done correctly or professionally. Be sure to thoroughly evaluate what the project entails, including your skill level, budget, & any potential risk factors. If still unsure, research a professional who may be able to consult with you on your project, including your local realtor, as they may help advise you and make necessary recommendations that will help you and your home!

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How to Remodel: Hiring a Professional vs. DIY

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