DIY vs Professionals — Home renovation can be just as exciting as it can be horrifying, if not tackled properly. To make sure your next project falls into the first category, you surely want to know whether you can take it on your own or not.
DIY vs Professionals: Which Projects to Take On and Which to Delegate
Since time, budget, and quality are the three main factors to consider when it comes to home renovation, we’ve come up with a list of various projects and tips that will help you decide how to handle the workload!
The decision whether you should DIY or hire a pro doesn’t have to be made overnight. In fact, it’s better to think about it several times before taking any further steps. During the decision-making process, ask yourself the following questions to determine which renovation method suits you best.
Is it safe? Certain projects, such as rerouting electrical wiring or plumbing, for example, come with electrical, fire, flooding, or instability hazards. They should only be tackled by licensed professionals.
Do I have the necessary skills and qualifications? Think objectively and be critical of yourself. Experience is the key to reaching the desired renovation results.
Do I have the time? DIY might be fun, but it’ll most likely take up a lot of your time. Know your time boundaries before taking on any major project.
Is my budget sufficient? Hiring contractors looks like an easy way out, but you’ll need to make sure you have the finances to do so.
Planning & Preparations: DIY / PRO
Each renovation project should start with a planning phase. Before starting with the actual work, it is crucial to determine the budget, time frame, materials needed, required workforce, and to break down the project into realistic milestones.
For smaller tasks, people usually choose to manage the workload on their own. For large-scale projects such as a full home renovation, on the other hand, hiring a professional is usually inevitable. It is they who can strategize the entire project and ensure it will run smoothly.
If you are unsure about how to proceed on your own, hire a contractor regardless of the size of your project. Minor mistakes at the beginning of the project can cost you dearly at its end.
Acquiring Materials: DIY
One of the best ways to save money during the renovation is to source the materials on your own. If you are an organized person and are willing to bargain, this is a project you simply can’t skip.
Make sure you always do your research and ask for quotes from several companies before signing a deal. Additionally, pay extra attention when it comes to choosing the right sizes, quantities, and types of materials.
Structural Repairs: PRO
How hard can it be to replace a few beams and joists? Very hard, in fact. While you might be able to do a reasonably decent job, an experienced person who has done it a thousand times will do it better. This is crucial when it comes to ensuring that your home operates flawlessly in the long run.
Rerouting electrical wiring is as easy as 1, 2, bzzz! All jokes aside, too many people believe they are capable of tackling major electrical projects, often leading to accidental home fires or serious injuries.
As the Health and Safety Executive warns, the primary hazards involved in working with electricity include:
- accidental fire from faulty installations,
- and electrical shock and burns.
If it comes down to changing the bathroom sink or replacing a shower head, don’t hesitate to give it a try as long as you feel comfortable with that kind of work.
Any major plumbing renovation such as pipe replacement, however, should be handled by professionals alone. To make sure your home is leak-proof and doesn’t come with a flooding hazard, avoid saving on costs by taking on the workload without prior experience.
Similarly as water and electricity, gas is not something you should play around with. If you’re about to use gas appliances, reach out to a licensed gasfitter who will take care of the installation for you.
Fortunately, many plumbers have also licensed gasfitter so you can usually tackle two problems with one single call.
Flooring: DIY / PRO
Certain flooring types such as laminate and vinyl are easy to install and relatively affordable. For that reason, many DIY lovers opt for this solution when renovating.
More demanding flooring, such as stone or solid hardwood flooring, on the other hand, calls for a delicate process that requires loads of experience to install.
Therefore, the final decision should depend on the material you intend to use. Check out online guides to determine what solution best fits your budget and skills.
Exterior Cladding: PRO
If you’re looking for a way to improve the looks of your home while cutting down on energy costs, consider having your exterior walls protected and insulated by cladding.
Unless you are an experienced carpenter yourself, hire a pro to do this job for you, as they are much faster and more reliable.
DIY home cosmetics are a great way to enhance your home and increase its value while spending nearly nothing but your time. So what do home renovation cosmetics include?
Everything from painting to light landscaping to refurnishing rightfully falls under this category. Fortunately, the internet is already filled with all the know-how you need to take on these projects yourself and save money.
You might be able to do minor roof fixes that will temporarily solve your issues. Any major repairs or roof replacements, however, can be extremely dangerous when tackled by an inexperienced individual.
Deciding whether to hire a pro or DIY can be a daunting task with no clear outcome on the horizon. Still, knowing how to tackle your projects is crucial to ensuring the success of the renovation process. While some projects are relatively easy to complete, others can be downright terrifying if you don’t have the necessary experience in the field. Think about one step at a time and find a solution that best fits you!
Kevin is a new homeowner who chooses tackle much of the work on his house himself. His tinkering has been overseen by his son, and today they are proud to live in a partly dream, partly nightmare home.