When working around the home and planning to make improvements, every homeowner has probably asked themselves, "Should I hire someone for this or do it myself?" Sometimes the answer is simple, and sometimes it isn't. Here are some useful guidelines to help any homeowner decide if they should take on that big high-dollar project on their own.
The Case for DIY
Some homeowners love getting their hands dirty and working on their own home. If this is the case, DIY is probably the far more appealing choice, but is it really the best choice?
If the homeowner is a person who has never done any big home projects before but wants to learn how to DIY, this is an excellent reason to DIY a project. However, some projects are more fitting for beginners than others. Interior painting can be a great place to start because it doesn't require any previous experience, can be done by only one person, and has a large impact on how a room looks. A project like installing hardwood floors, however, is a project best left to someone with more experience.
Homeowners who have friends experienced with DIY projects and willing to provide a helping hand are also in luck for projects. There truly is power in numbers, and having someone experienced nearby who's willing to go through the steps of how to complete projects can be an invaluable asset to learning how to do things alone in the future.
DIY projects can be especially appealing to homeowners who love working with their hands, and it can be a deeply fulfilling experience for some people to be able to fix and change parts of their home to suit their tastes. Hiring a professional doesn't quite give the same feeling as going the DIY route, and for some people, that can be a deal breaker.
The Case for Professionals
As much as some homeowners would love to do all the work in their home themselves, sometimes it just isn't a good idea. There will be times when a professional is the better choice, and here are some examples of when that is.
It's alright to go into some projects with little to no DIY experience. As mentioned earlier, painting is the perfect entry point for beginners. When the homeowner is deciding whether a job is within their ability, they should also take into account how large a risk there is to damage the home. While spilled paint can easily be prevented with well-placed tarps, something like poorly-installed windows can cause harm by letting drafts and moisture into the home, which can take away from the overall value of the home. Even hot communities like Palmer may have DIY home renovations.
Homeowners should also take into consideration how much harm they can cause to themselves. While damage to a home can be repaired with time and resources, bodily harm may be permanent depending on how severe it is. There are some tasks, such as working with power saws and other heavy machinery, that should be left to professionals who have years of experience.
While it's always good to be concerned about personal safety and the home's condition, homeowners should remember the cost of the project as well. If a renovation requires power tools the owner doesn't already have, they're bound to rack up quite a bill that could be made less expensive by just hiring a professional.
The Danger of Unpermitted Work in the Home
Permits enable building code officials to check and double check that a home construction project is performed properly. If an electrician messes up wiring, or a plumber incorrectly installs plumbing, the building code official can catch the errors before the wiring becomes a fire hazard and the plumbing becomes a long-term leak.
Clearly, if left unchecked these hazards can spell disaster for homeowners. An electrical fire can cause death, while a plumbing leak may lead to mold and mildew in the home. Even if no one is injured because of unpermitted work, many homeowners must still pay to make repairs when unpermitted work causes damage.
The other danger of unpermitted work has to do with insurance. A home with extensive unpermitted work may be uninsurable, if the insurance agency discovers the unpermitted work in the course of an inspection. Insurance companies may also reject claims that occur because of damage from unpermitted work. For this reason, a homeowner with a property with unpermitted construction could be in financial and physical danger.
The choice of whether to DIY or hire a professional is ultimately up to the homeowner to decide, but hopefully this article helped shed some light on important aspects to consider before making that final decision.