Home Improvement: DIY or Hire a Pro?

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Some people thrive on the idea of doing improvement projects themselves. They can spend hours at a home improvement store (they might even call it therapeutic) and won’t think twice before buying an expensive-yet-necessary tool. They can, and they will get the job done, all while enjoying the process.

Others are more comfortable with hiring someone else to do the work. Maybe they’re not handy enough to tackle specific projects, or they just don’t want to mess up their hardwood floors. Perhaps their busy schedule is also keeping them from completing some tasks. Whatever the case, they don’t hesitate to hire a pro, even for simple projects like painting a room.

So, when should you leave it to the hands of a pro, and when should you attempt to do it yourself? Here’s a simple reference that should clarify things for you.

Table of Contents

When to DIY

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You’re patient enough to keep trying until things get better.

Even the most basic home project requires patience. For example, you might need to make extra trips to buy wood if you didn’t correctly measure how much you needed. Or perhaps you don’t enjoy how the paint looks when it has dried, so you need to start over from scratch.

The bottom line is, don’t expect perfection from your DIY project on the first attempt. You’ll need to be able to adapt to small mistakes. Think you’re up to the task?

You see home repair as something fun rather than as work.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, the average American spends about $1,500 per year on home improvement projects. And many people consider it a fun way to spend their free time.

People like this enjoy larger projects such as building decks and adding garages. If you are one of them, you probably have no problem tackling small jobs such as fixing leaky faucets or replacing light bulbs.

You don’t need perfection.

Ok, so maybe some of your bathroom tiles are uneven. Or, your paint job could use a minor touch-up. The bottom line is that your work it’s not bad, but it’s not perfect either. That’s fine! You’re willing to accept the fact that this isn’t going to look like it did in the magazine ad.

When It’s Best to Hire a Pro

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The home renovation requires permits.

Permits may be necessary for projects that require structural or electrical alterations. For example, if you plan to add a garage, you’ll need to apply for a permit from the city. You’ll need to contact your local building department to determine the required licenses.

If it’s too much hassle, you can always hire a contractor specializing in home improvements.

Your time’s better spent on other priorities.

When you have three children under five years old, you can devote only so much time to home improvement projects. So it’s essential to prioritize your extra time wisely. Hiring a pro to handle advanced projects allows you to focus on the bigger picture.

You plan to sell your house.

When you get ready to sell a house, you want to make sure it makes a good impression on potential buyers. A less-than-professional DIY renovation can make prospective buyers think twice about buying your house.

A professional painting crew might spend hours priming and prepping the walls and trim for a beautiful finish. But if you did it yourself, you’d likely slap down some primer and roll up your sleeves.

Don’t risk potential buyers getting turned off by a bad DIY job. This isn’t exactly the way to give a buyer confidence in the quality of your workmanship. So, consider investing in hiring a pro when you intend to sell your house.

Tips for Beginners

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DIY home projects can be fun and rewarding. If you think you are ready to start working on your home improvement project, here are some tips to help you along the way:

Start with a budget

Before you dive into any big-ticket home improvement project, it helps to set aside a specific amount of money for the project. This will prevent you from going over budget if you come up with ideas that cost more than you planned.

Get the right tools

It’s easy to buy all sorts of tools at the hardware store, but you should try to stick to items that are specifically designed for the type of project you are planning. For example, you won’t need a circular saw while building a desk. Instead, you’ll want to invest in an angle grinder.

Know your limitations

If you aren’t handy around the house, it’s wise to seek a friend or family member who can lend a hand. They can provide guidance as well as offer moral support.

Learn from others’ mistakes

If you decide to tackle a home improvement project by yourself, consider how other people have done similar jobs before you. Some DIY bloggers have no problem sharing their mistakes; you can note the significant ones and apply what you learn to your projects.

Beginner DIY Project Anyone Can Tackle

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Excited? Good! You don’t need to jump into the more complicated stuff like bathroom remodeling projects. Instead, try these basic projects anyone can do themselves:

  • Repairing a leaking faucet
  • Painting a room or a door
  • Fixing a cracked window pane
  • Adding a garage door opener
  • Installing vinyl flooring
  • Building a shelf
  • Building a small garden
  • Laminating counter replacement

To DIY or Not to DIY?

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In conclusion, if you want to improve your home without breaking the bank, consider doing most of the work yourself. But when it comes to big projects like remodeling or building a new house, hiring a professional contractor makes sense.

However, let’s look at it another way. If you have never worked on a home improvement project before, then why not start now?

Start watching home improvement videos online and get inspired. See it as a challenge to think creatively and spend your time wisely. Plus, you’ll save money. You may surprise yourself with what you are capable of.

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Author: DIYTalk

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