Home Improvements: Should You Fix It Yourself or Hire a Contractor?

fix it yourself

There’s something rewarding about finishing a DIY home improvement project. By taking on a home project on your own, you can put away cash and save money on the cost of labor and take pride in the fact that you learned how to fix it yourself.

But the truth is some home improvement projects are better to leave to licensed contractors than to repair yourself.

Licensed and insured contractors are experienced in handling complicated projects that are tedious, time-consuming, and perhaps dangerous to the novice homeowner.

Homeowners can sand and paint a deck or do other safe tasks. But when it comes to certain remodeling projects, you might need a pro.

You never know if a plumbing or electrical issue will cause major damage. These projects are better left to the pros.

This post will provide information to help you decide if you should “fix it yourself” or hire a licensed contractor. These tips will help you decide.

When to Fix It Yourself

When you enjoy a project like painting or sanding, it might seem more like a hobby than hard work. When you look at a DIY project this way, it can be rewarding taking on the task and more rewarding when it’s completed.

You’re likely to find the process enjoyable. You know that you’ve done similar projects before and completed them successfully without too many surprises.

On the other hand, if your roof needs replacing, it’s best not to fix it yourself. You need to hire an experienced roofing contractor like temaroofingservices.com.

1. The Home Improvement Project Won’t Take Long to Learn

It’s a smart idea to some research about your project before you begin. There are plenty of resources online such as videos and how-to tutorials to give you an idea of just how complicated the project can get.

You can always ask an experienced contractor that you know for some advice. They should help you understand the project better. A DIY project can seem doable when you’re willing to learn.

2. You Are Willing To Be Patient With Yourself If You Make a Mistake That Requires Extra Effort

Did you forget an important part like a hose that requires you to make another trip to the hardware store? If you’re okay with several trips to the store when you forget something, you have patience.

Say you didn’t measure the piece of wood exactly right and need to get another two-by-four. If this will test your patience and puts you in a bad mood, you might not want to take on the project.

Painting your garage walls and realize you bought the wrong sheen of the paint. You needed semi-gloss but you bought a flat paint?

Or you missed cracks in the ceiling that will require you to scrape them, apply spackle and sand before you repaint? Know that your DIY home improvement project might not be simple the first time around.

3. Your Project Doesn’t Like As Good As the Pros

Keep in mind your home improvement project’s results may turn out average. It may not look as good as an expert’s work.

There could be some streaks on the cabinets you just painted. Some bathroom tiles may be a little crooked. You may see little spots of ceiling paint on the perimeter of your wall because your edging work wasn’t perfect.

Can you live with the imperfection of not doing the job as well as a pro? Then it might be worth your time to take on the DIY project.

When to Hire a Licensed and Insured Contractor

There are times when it’s unsafe and unwise to do a home improvement project yourself. For these projects, you should hire a home improvement contractor who is licensed and insured.

1. Your Project Requires A Permit

Many home renovation projects require permits. These projects usually require structural, electrical, or plumbing work.

While you may not need a permit to change a simple faucet if you’re knocking down a wall that’s a structural issue. Especially if it’s a load-bearing wall that has electrical switches and wiring running through it.

Legally, you can’t do this job yourself. Your township or city will require you to apply for a permit before you do the work. On the application is a space reserved for the licensed and insured contractor’s license and insurance details.

If you live in a condo or co-op, you may be required to apply for a permit with the home owner’s association. Check with the HOA first or you could be heavily fined.

Projects that need permits require special skills and training. In these cases, it’s better to hire a pro.

2. An Error Could Lead to Severe Consequences

A project that can make your residence unsafe if you make a mistake is not worth taking on yourself. An example could be faulty electrical wiring that could cause a fire.

Taking a project on like this can put your family’s life in jeopardy. Another example is plumbing. When plumbing is done incorrectly it can cause a flood.

If it occurred when no one was home, it can be a costly mistake. Especially if your home insurance policy does not cover flooding that’s caused by busted pipes or plumbing accidents.

A good contractor will be more knowledgeable as to how to connect electrical and plumbing safely. To avoid an unsafe or expensive error, hire a contractor.

3. You’re Putting Your Home on the Market for Resale

When you’re ready to put your home on the market for resale, it’s best that your home looks in the greatest condition. A DIY project that looks far from perfect could turn off a potential buyer.

Hiring a professional contractor can help you get a better price for your home when negotiating with buyers. Show potential buyers receipts of the work performed by a professional contractor.

You can provide evidence of the extra money you put into your home. This can increase your bargaining power.

The Takeaway: When to Fix it Yourself and When to Hire A Licensed Contractor

When thinking about doing a home project, now you know when to fix it yourself and when to hire an expert contractor. A small project can be enjoyable to take on. But sometimes it’s a better choice to leave it to the pros.

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