DIY home improvement has become an increasingly popular way for homeowners to save money on the cost of owning a property. By learning basic maintenance tasks, property owners are able to cut out the middleman (contractors) which has the potential to save them thousands of dollars each year. With great intentions in mind, homeowners set out to complete projects. Some, are simple enough to repair and actually do save them money, while others leave them with a bigger mess than they started with.
So, how do you know when you can complete a home maintenance job by yourself and when you need to contact a professional? There are a few questions you can ask yourself before getting started to make a more informed decision.
Is There a Lot of Material to Rely on?
There are online videos, how-to guides, and a host of other resources that homeowners can turn to to learn how to complete basic home maintenance jobs. They serve as great tutors and reference guides as you go along. If you search the internet and can’t find relevant information on how to do the job, perhaps it’s because it’s something that can’t be taught in a few minutes. In which case, you should contact an expert.
Were You Successful in the Past?
Certain jobs, like pest control, will be required on a more frequent basis than others. The task seems simple enough. Thoroughly clean your house, seal up holes, spray, and place traps or bait strategically around. If you’ve done this and still manage to spot pests in your house, it may be to your advantage to hire an exterminator in San Diego or whichever city you’re closest to.
How Familiar Are You with the Problem?
Experience is important when fixing things around the house. How much experience is required for you to complete the home improvement job? Replacing a washer on your bathroom faucet is a bathroom DIY project that may require nothing more than your ability to use a wrench to unscrew the fixture. However, installing a new toilet is a bit more complex as you’d need to know how your home’s plumbing system works, where the water lines are, and how to appropriately install the toilet so that it doesn’t start leaking or cause other plumbing issues. This would seem to be best left to a plumber.
Do You Have the Right Tools?
No matter what maintenance job you need to complete at your place you’re going to need some tools and supplies. Some things, you may already have at home like a toolbox, but other things you’ll have to invest in. Buying a ladder to clean the gutters is one thing, but if it gets to the point where you need specialized and expensive parts to complete the job, you may save more money letting a contractor handle it. This is also true if you’re not comfortable or sure of how to use the tools. If improperly used, you could end up injured or cause more damage to your property.
How Long Will the Project Take?
Time is a commodity that not everyone has a lot of. If you’re on a tight schedule, trying to tackle a major maintenance task may not work. Painting the kitchen walls, for instance, could be a job you could handle on the weekend with no problem. However, remodeling a kitchen on your own could take weeks or even months without professional help. Not to mention, the longer it takes you to rectify the matter, the longer your family goes without. If you’re trying to update the kitchen, your family has to find another means for cooking meals.
DIY projects have been saving homeowners money for eons. It is a rewarding way to invest very little in your home but to get a great deal in return. Be that as it may, not all maintenance tasks are best left in your hands. If you lack experience, don’t have the right tools, don’t have the time to commit, or can’t find resources to guide you along the way, these are all red flags. If you’re not 100% sure you can get the job done right, calling a plumber, electrician, general contractor, or other specialized expert is the best way to save money and protect your property.