Home improvements can be expensive. From buying materials to hiring help, they can take a sizable chunk out of a homeowner’s bank account. People who are relatively handy—and armed with a plethora of Pinterest and YouTube knowledge—may consider tackling a home project themselves in an effort to save money.
The DIY approach has become increasingly popular, thanks to the rise of home improvement TV shows. But is the DIY route necessarily the best option for you and the project you want to complete?
When wondering if you should hire a professional or do the job yourself, consider the following:
How complex is the project?
Giving your old cabinets a facelift or installing a kitchen backsplash? You can probably manage. Turning that laundry room into a half bath or rewiring your whole house? Don’t even think about it. Consider whether you have the time, skills, tools, help and legal knowledge of local regulations to get the job done.
Consider the resale
When weighing your DIY options, consider what’ll happen when it comes time to sell your home. You may not mind that wonky trim job or uneven concrete pour, but potential homebuyers might. If the quality of your work is less than professional, your home’s value could drop. It could also deter potential buyers altogether. So, unless you’re highly skilled or experienced, shy away from major home improvements that involve structural changes. Stick to building shelves, painting and other minor improvements instead.
Do the math
Although you have the potential to save a significant amount of money on a home project by doing the work yourself, be aware that if you botch the job or unforeseen problems arise, you could ultimately end up spending much more money and time to fix the issues or bring in a professional to make things right. Consider whether hiring a contractor up front is worth avoiding that risk and having peace of mind knowing that a project was completed correctly the first time.