How to Decide to DIY or Hire a Contractor

Before you start planning a home remodeling project, you have one major decision to make – do you tackle the job yourself or do you hire a contractor? Of course, turning your remodel into a DIY project will save you some money, but it isn’t all about the cost. Both options have their pros and cons.

Do You Have the Skills?

DIY yellow or blue

First things first, consider whether you have the skills to do the job. Some remodeling jobs are relatively easy, like re-caulking a bathroom shower or installing a new faucet, while others are significantly more difficult, like installing a window or a skylight. Moreover, some projects can be accomplished by anyone with general DIY skills, while others require specialized skills or training. So, ask yourself, how does this particular job fit in with your specific level of expertise?

And, it’s not all about the skill-set, either. Some jobs are difficult to accomplish with general tools and may require more specialized tools. Do you have the right equipment and tools for the job? If you have to purchase a bunch of expensive tools, you’re probably better off letting a contractor, who already has those tools, do the work.

Do You Have the Time?

Time is money, as the old saying goes. It’s quite likely that a professional contractor with a talented crew can complete a project faster than you would on your own. After all, managing a complicated remodeling project is tough, especially when you don’t have a lot of free time. Therefore, it might be worth hiring a contractor who can work when you’re away from home and get the job done quicker.

Do You Have the Permits?

If you need a permit for a renovation or remodeling project, the job may require the services of a contractor. That said, completing a big remodel is more than just doing the work. One of the hidden costs, pertaining to both time and money, is that of obtaining all of the required permits and inspections. In some cases, you may not even know what you need. But, a professional contractor does. They can help take the guess work out of this important aspect of the project. And, if you do it yourself, you may eat up additional time waiting for these documents to come through.

Is it Too Dangerous?

If the job is too dangerous to do yourself, you’re probably better off hiring a contractor to take that risk. Unless you have the skills and experience, you are risking injury when working with electricity or gas lines, or outside on the roof. Even if you don’t harm yourself, you can still do serious damage to the house if you miss a step somewhere along the renovation process. Especially those projects involving plumbing.

Do You Have the Money?

Finally, know that any remodeling job is usually cheaper as a DIY project. So, if your budget is tight, DIY is the way to go. Just know that your costs can go up if you need to buy specialty tools or run into unforeseen problems. It’s always a good idea to budget an extra 10 percent or so, just for contingencies.

When you’re ready to hire a contractor, Friel Lumber can help! We’ll work with your contractor and provide the highest quality materials available. From lumber and building materials to countertops and much more, we’ve got the products you need. For more information, contact Friel Lumber.

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