How To Tell If You Should DIY Or Hire A Contractor


By using DIY methods, you can save significant amounts of money and in many cases even end up with a better result. However, doing it yourself is unequivocally not always the right answer. The following is a guide for how to determine whether you should DIY or hire a contractor. 

Is The Job Extensive Or Complex?

The scope and nature of the project is the first important aspect to take into consideration. A large, extensive home remodel is going to be less practical to try and do yourself than a smaller project. A smaller, less complex project you can learn quickly, like painting kitchen cabinets, is usually just fine to do yourself. You will also need to consider whether you can or want to spend the amount of time the project will take to complete. Buying and renting expensive tools can sometimes cost more than hiring a professional. A professional uses the tools daily for business and gets their money’s worth. You may spend hundreds on tools that you won’t use again.

Know Your Own Skills

When making this decision, it is imperative that you take a realistic look at your skills to see if you can effectively complete the proposed project. For example, if you have no carpentry skills, you probably should not be trying to build a deck yourself. Start small and work your way up. If you still aren’t sure if a project is something you should tackle yourself, look at online guides in either video or written form to get a realistic idea of what the work will entail. 

Is It Legal?

Whether a permit is required to do the work should be a major sign the project is probably better left to the pros. In some areas, it may not even be legal for you to do a project yourself if you are not a licensed contractor with the proper permits. Know what licenses and permits you may need before committing to a project. If you don’t know, it’s probably a sign a professional should do it.

Jobs That Need A Professional

There are certain jobs that unless you have professional training you should not attempt to do yourself. Electrical work is one of them, because it can be highly dangerous and even fatal if done incorrectly. It’s better to hire an emergency electrician than to try and learn as you go via YouTube. Just like an ice skater can make their work look simple, it’s because of their training and experience. Certain jobs around the house look easy when you look at a video, but it’s because of a professional with training that they make it look easy.  Installing a bathtub or replacement windows are also generally not recommended projects for non-professionals. 

If you are patient, able to work through small mistakes and are okay with the project possibly not turning out perfectly, you can try doing it yourself. However, if the consequences are dangerous or serious and the work requires permits, you are probably better off hiring a professional. Consider hiring pros for more extensive work if you are planning to sell your home soon as well.