Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor or Doing It Yourself

The decision as to whether to hire a contractor for some, or all, of your remodeling project is dependent on several factors. Early in the planning process you need to think about each stage of your project and take into consideration the following factors and how they will affect your decision as to who will do the work.

Time Factors Do you have time to complete the project? If you can only work on it a few hours a week, do you have the patience to live with it for months?

What is your time worth? It may take you twice or three times as long as a skilled professional to complete a job. Would it be easier, and possible, for you to spend your extra time earning the extra money and just pay a contractor? Or do you want the satisfaction of learning a new skill and completing the job yourself? These are all valid considerations.

Are there weather considerations where you will need to get the project closed in before bad weather sets in?

Technical Factors Although there are many remodeling skills that can be learned quickly, some require skilled craftsmanship that is acquired over several years.

Complicated plumbing, heating or electrical installations may require at least the guidance of a trained technician.

Some jobs can be completed in a tenth of the time or less with the right tools or equipment. Some jobs can’t be accomplished at all without the right tool. You may be able to rent or borrow or buy used tools to do the job. In some cases it may actually cost less to hire someone who has the tools to just do the job for you.

Risk Factors Are you able to do the job right the first time or are you going to have to spend extra on materials to get it right?

Do you have the physical stamina to do the work? If you are not in good shape you may have difficulty working more than a few hours a day. If I haven’t been doing a lot of the physical work for a period of time it takes me about three weeks to work back up to being able to handle a full day’s remodeling work.

Do you have good health insurance? This may sound like a funny question but although I seldom get sick or see a doctor I have taken a few trips to the emergency room for things such as getting an inch long sliver in my hand, or having a stack of drywall fall on me or trying to cut my thumb off with a table saw. Although I can look back and laugh at myself now, working with power tools and heavy materials is no laughing matter. Your health and safety should always be a major consideration in deciding how to take on a remodeling project.