DIY or Hire a Pro: What to Consider

"There's this innate American sense that we should fix things up ourselves," says Gregg Hicks, director of business development for ReliableRemodeler.com.

"Some things are just not as easy as you might think," he says. Simply removing a wall to add extra bathroom space could entail working on your home's plumbing, or rerouting electrical wires - tasks that can be expensive mistakes if you're not a specialist.

So how do you know when to tackle a DIY or hire a pro?

"There's this innate American sense that we should fix things up ourselves."

DIY or Hire a Pro: What to Consider

Key things to consider that will help you decide to DIY or Hire a Pro:

  • Skill Assessment: Write down each step in the process. As you learn what's involved in the project, keep in mind that some things are better left to professionals (i.e. projects involving electrical lines, natural gas pipes, and plumbing can get pretty complex). One wrong move can lead to a water damage, or cause a slow leak that can go unnoticed. When opening up a wall or removing flooring, it's possible that you could even discover mold growth. Also, repairing or maintaining your home's air ducts or removing mold are services best left to certified specialists.

Projects involving electrical lines, natural gas pipes, and plumbing can get pretty complex.

  • Remember: Local building codes and regulations could come into play. Failure to meet the terms could result in fines and complications when you later try to sell your home.

  • Do your research. Knowing what's involved can help you make the best decision. If you have any questions, a helpful tool on ReliableRemodeler.com allows you to ask a contractor about specifics involved in a project.
  • Consider all of the costs: The perks of DIY reduce labor costs, which can represent 25%-50% overall savings. Keep in mind that contractors can purchase materials at much lower costs than homeowners, and they already own the necessary tools. Tool-rental shops are ideal for single projects that require special equipment, such as a sander for flooring projects, or scaffolding. If you do decide to hire a contractor on any service project, get multiple quotes - most experts suggest gathering three.

Keep in mind that contractors can purchase materials at much lower costs than homeowners, and they already own the necessary tools.

  • Keep your Options Open: Doing your research, shopping for tools and materials, as well as performing the physical labor required, can really add to the time it will take to accomplish your project if you DIY. Hiring a contractor or a specialist can dedicate all day, or can have preferred partners to subcontract certain specialized services. Keep-in-mind the time it's going to take to complete the project before you DIY - hiring a specialist can mean a considerably faster project completion!

More Info? Check out these great ways to implement wallpaper as a chic focal point with this guide to Prevent Mold Growth Behind Wallpaper!

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