Erin Phillips | Broker | Office: 613.270.8200
Home Improvements – Do It Yourself Or Hire A Professional?
Completing a DIY project can be tremendously fulfilling and financially rewarding. But, bite off more than you can chew, and you might be looking at some major expenses to fix the damage or, even worse, a catastrophic incident. Before grabbing your toolbox, accomplish a quick risk-reward analysis. Then, determine if you have the skills and tools for the project. Finally, decide if you have the available time and are inclined to invest it in the task. These guidelines will help you decide whether to swing a hammer or write a cheque.
Reno Risks And Rewards
First weight the expected benefits and savings against the costs and potential risks. Rule out certain types of projects right away: those that have the potential to seriously injure you or severely damage your home. These include anything involving main electrical lines or natural gas pipes. You don’t want to burn your house down or cause an explosion. Hire pros when the consequences of messing up are severe (e.g. non-obvious plumbing issues) or when the cost of your time would be too high, like a kitchen remodel. And don’t forget that contractors can often purchase materials at a discounted rate, which helps offset their fees.
Expertise and Experience
A successful project requires more than a can-do, will-do attitude. Make certain you’re at the proper skill level (or can learn quickly enough) to bring the project to a swift conclusion while delivering the quality you want. For example, online tutorials about grouting or laying a subfloor along with products like easy-to-use snap-and-click floorboards and peel-and-stick tiles have made tile and flooring projects accessible to even a novice. But, the experience and efficiency of a professional will reduce labour time and improve quality when you are replacing large amounts of flooring or uneven flooring, navigating tricky corners, working with a difficult-to-use type of stone or creating special accent features.
Time To Spare?
Even if you have the time to invest in the project, it’s important to gauge how much you want to take on yourself before doing it. If you work full-time, you’ll only be able to work on the reno during evenings and weekends. Depending on the size of the job, it could take weeks (if not months) to complete while a pro could do it much more quickly. Always double the time estimated for a DIY project, unless you are highly skilled and familiar with that particular project. One final question to answer before accepting the handyman challenge: what are your contingency plans if the project turns into a DIY disaster? Many contractors charge more to fix botched jobs and some will not even bid on the job.
Your home is a big investment. Whether you are renovating for resale or for your own enjoyment, keeping your home in good working order and making sure home projects are done properly is key. Even if you aren’t thinking of selling in the near future, should you have any questions about which renovations earn the best return on investment please contact us. Helping you is what we do!
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