DIY or PRO?
Should I hire a professional? Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years on the heels of Martha Stewart Living, HGTV and other popular home improvement shows and publications. And, for certain small projects, a DIY project can be rewarding and fun - if you are prepared and have the proper skills.
Before you start knocking down walls and taking out wiring, ask yourself the following questions:
- Do you have a clear idea of what you want your project to look like?
- Do you have the time to complete this project (be realistic!)?
- Have you ever undertaken a project like this before?
- Do you know everything you will need (materials, tools, etc.) to complete the project?
- Are you familiar with the applicable building codes and permits?
- Do you enjoy physical labor?
- Do you have all the tools you will need?
- Do you have the necessary skills for this project? If not, do you have the time and resources to learn these skills?
- Where will you obtain the necessary materials?
- If you cannot complete the project according to your original schedule, are you (and your family) prepared to handle the resulting inconvenience?
- Will you need assistance with this project? If so, who will assist you? Do they have the time and skills required for this project?
- Do you understand all the safety issues associated with this project?
- Are you familiar with the architecture and structural makeup of your home (i.e., how knocking down one wall will affect the rest of the structure)?
- Have you considered the hidden costs associated with doing it yourself - time, tools and the possibility that you may actually decrease the value of your house if the result isn't up to professional standards?
It is easy to look at the cost of hiring a professional remodeler and think only of labor and materials. But remember that a professional remodeler offers you an important service - years of experience, the right tools, a network of suppliers and subcontractors and an in-depth understanding of legal regulations, cost estimating, scheduling and the latest construction techniques.