Owning your own home is a dream come true for most people. It’s also a big responsibility. Many people take great pride in being able to take care of their home and save money by doing the work themselves.
Not everything should be done by a homeowner, though.
If you’re ever faced with the decision of whether you should do it yourself or hire a professional, consider the following.
CONSIDER YOUR SKILLS
Do you have the knowledge and training to re-wire your house, move a wall, or redirect your plumbing? If not, these aren’t the tasks for you. However, if you’re able to understand basic instructions, use Google, or watch YouTube videos, other projects may be okay. You’ll also want to consider what tools you have and if you have the right tools for the job. Some people like to use a new project to justify a trip to the tool store, but make sure you get the correct tools when you go.
CONSIDER THE COST
Cost isn’t just measured in dollars but also in time. If a home project saves you a few dollars but costs several weekends of your time, you have to decide if it’s worth it. Hiring a pro will almost always cost more money, and when you have the skills to do a job, you may want to DIY it. Otherwise, create a budget and get estimates from multiple companies before hiring someone to do the job for you.
CONSIDER THE DAMAGE
Think of what could go wrong. If hanging a light incorrectly means it doesn’t work, that’s minor. Compare that to what could go wrong if you re-wire your home and cross a wire or two. A fire is a very real possibility. Even something as “small” as hanging a ceiling fan incorrectly can have repercussions you need to consider – a fan that falls while it’s spinning is a very dangerous thing and a major liability. The last thing you want to do is file a claim with your homeowners insurance because of a DIY fail.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to do things around your home, just make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. Otherwise, you may spend more time on the phone with your insurance agent than you would a contractor.