The appeal of doing something yourself is undoubtedly huge. In an ideal world, you’ll get a great sense of accomplishment, bragging rights to all your friends and family, and you’ll save a ton. Unfortunately, that does not always happen. Failed DIY projects are both demoralizing and can create problems that are much more expensive than the original fix. Here are some tips so you know what projects to take on and which you should probably hire out.
Know Your Skills: You have to be honest with yourself here. Do you really know how to do the job? If you are inexperienced or lack the required skills to take on the project, it can only cause problems. Firstly, many jobs, especially anything electrical, can be quite dangerous and if you are unsure of how to do it, you’ll possibly hurt yourself. Even if you are able to finish the job unscathed and feel like it was successful, you never really are sure of the quality of your work. If you seal something improperly or don’t reinforce something enough, you could have leaks or structural issues in the long term that are much more costly than hiring a professional for your small job. As a rule of thumb, if you have to follow along and mimic a YouTube video in order to do the project, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.
Avoid Most Big Jobs: Unless you have done extensive research and have training in the area, conquering a large project is not in your best interest. Even if these jobs seem easy, they most likely are not. There is a reason renovating a bathroom, for example, is much more expensive than you, as a DIYer, think it should be. While on the surface, pulling out a toilet and bathtub may seem simple. You will quickly find it requires more tools and time than you ever imagined. Big jobs like this can look easy, but you can be quickly overwhelmed and easily make mistake that a professional would not.
Permits: Jobs that require any kind of permit are probably not worth your while. Professionals have spent years working with the necessary powers and can likely get these permits with a lot less stress and time that you can. If you are thinking about doing the work on your own without a permit, think again. Unpermitted improvements make it very hard to sell your home and could lead to a lawsuit if something were to go wrong with the repair post-sale.
Enjoy It: If you look at the project and are dreading it from day one, hire it out. When you are unhappy in your work, you are much more likely to rush through it and do a poor job that could hurt you down the line. Further, projects often take a lot of time and if you hire it out, that is time that could be spent doing something you truthfully enjoy as opposed to slaving over a home fix.
DIY work is fantastic if done well, but too many times quick fixes and other improper work cause a lot of trouble in the future. Do a lot of research and planning before you start any DIY project to be sure it is something you are fully ready to handle.