DIY or Call in the Pros: When Doing Your Own Renovations or Repairs Isn’t Ideal
There are literally hundreds of do it yourself television shows on, not to mention the thousands of YouTube tutorials found online. It’s no wonder that the average homeowner believes that they can complete any renovation or repair on their own. Who wouldn’t want to save themselves some money while also improving their home?
However, what many homeowners fail to realize is that doing it yourself is not always the best way to save money. In fact…there are certain circumstances in which it could cost you a lot more than if you had hired a professional.
Signs You Shouldn’t Do it Yourself
Maybe you’ve done a few projects around the house before, or even studied a few tutorials and believe you can get the job done for a fraction of the cost of hiring a professional. Before you decide to get to work, it is beneficial for you to really consider your skill level and comprehension as it pertains to doing a certain project or repair.
Some signs that you should probably leave the job up to the professionals include:
- You’ve never done a project like it before
- You don’t have the necessary tools needed
- If the renovation or repair involves extensive tasks
- The renovation or repair is risky (such as working with the electrical system)
- If the renovation ore repair could cause you physical harm
Be honest with yourself when considering the above factors. Someone with minimal experience trying to complete a complex or otherwise dangerous repair or renovation on their own is really asking for trouble in more ways than one. So if this is the case then chances are you shouldn’t be doing the job on your own.
Why it Could Cost You Big
Maybe you’re still not convinced from the factors listed above, which is quite common. After all, with every repair or renovation there is a learning curve as well as the potential for danger or risks. However, if you consider the financial and legal aspect of things, you may be willing to reconsider and hire a professional. Below are some other factors you may want to consider before trying to carry out a project or repair on your own:
- You Could Damage Your Property – Let’s say you’re trying to open up the space between your dining room area and your kitchen and you need to knock down a wall. Well if you prematurely knock down a wall without checking to see if there are support beams in place, then you will end up damaging the wall and the structural integrity of the rest of your home. Now not only do you need to hire someone to finish opening up the space for you, but you’ll also have to pay for them to fix any structural damage to your ceiling.
- You Could Hurt Yourself – Working with systems that you’re not familiar with can really end up hurting you. Using the same example as above, in your efforts to knock out a wall, the debris could topple onto you causing serious injuries. This would then require a trip to the emergency room or to the doctor’s office. Depending on the severity of the injuries, you’ll be out of work, which again will cost you money.
- You Could Be in Trouble Legally – If damaging your property and/or yourself is not enough to convince you that you shouldn’t do your own renovations and repairs, maybe considering the legal issues you could have to deal with may work. Every state has their own set of building codes that all residential properties must comply with. When certain renovations are being completed, homeowners must obtain a permit to complete the work and ensure that it’s up to code. Should your local government discover that you did not have a permit for the renovations you’ve completed and they’re also not up to code, you could be in serious trouble that could result in fines as well as a need to hire a professional to bring everything up to code.
Hiring a Professional
Hopefully, this has given you an idea of why sometimes it doesn’t save you money to do extensive repairs or home renovations by yourself. Instead, it requires the skill and expertise of a certified professional. When looking to hire a contractor however, you want to be vigilant in your search to ensure that you’re hiring someone that knows what they’re doing. Below are a few factors you’ll need to consider:
- Certification and Licensing – again, each state has their own set of rules as it pertains to contractors licensing and certification. Such documents are required to ensure that the contractor has the adequate skills and abilities to handle the task at hand.
- Insurance – Never work with any contractor that does not have some form of contractor insurance. This insurance is necessary to protect you financially should something go wrong during the duration of the project. Whether the contractor damages your property, hurts himself, or doesn’t complete the task at hand, business insurance is necessary so that you don’t end up having to pay the bill yourself.
- Quality Customer Service – You don’t want to work with someone who is unprofessional. After all, you have to trust them to be in your home for a specified amount of time. With that being said, you want to check out customer reviews or ask the contractor for references to see if they are trustworthy individuals.
Not everyone can be the next Bob Villa when it comes to making repairs and renovations. As much as it might hurt your ego (or your wallet) to admit it, sometimes you’re better off allowing the professionals to handle the task at hand. If you’re inexperienced, don’t have the necessary tools, or think there is a risk of being hurt while completing the task, simply allow the professionals to go to work for you. In the end, it will be well worth the investment.
This is a post by Sara Stringer