I watch HGTV… a lot! I have visions of painting walls, ripping out cabinets, and laying tile. But in reality, I'm not if I would actually be able to get started on a large project like that. They make it look easy on TV, but is it? The below guest posts gives us some ideas on whether or not we should do it ourselves, or hire a professional.
DIYers love a good challenge. As an avid DIYer myself, I understand the temptation to take a task head on, naysayers be damned. After all, the Internet is littered with thousands of DIY success stories, and I’m more than confident in my abilities.
But home renovation or remodeling is a slightly bigger challenge than most that we usually take up. It’s also ridiculously complicated because of the number of variables involved. The chances of error are therefore high, and errors can sometimes have a domino effect.
Because the stakes are so high, it’s more than worth your time weighing your options in this regard. If you have been on the fence about a home remodeling project yourself, this post might get you closer to the answers you seek. Here are the most important factors to keep in mind when deciding whether to hire a professional or to do it yourself.
Remodeling Professionals Are Experienced, DIYers Are Not
The biggest advantage of hiring a professional is that you get greater access to experience and expertise. If you get the right person, you will have access to a treasure trove of experience and some enviable expertise.
It being their profession, interior designers and home remodeling professionals are used to all kinds of situations and spaces in remodeling assignments. If you can think of 5 ways to redo a cramped space in your apartment, a professional would be able to suggest five times that many. He or she would also know which ones would be wiser investments knowing full well how to best execute them, as well as the consequences of choosing one style over another.
That usually prepares you for what is to follow than to get rude shocks if your DIY remodeling backfires in a room.
This is not to say the professionals don’t ever goof up. Of course, they do. But banking on a remodeler would give you access to many more ideas and a vast pool of knowledge than would going it alone with little to none prior experience of the matter.
Blogs and magazines are great ways of gathering expertise on your own. Yet, every trade has its secrets which only the professionals are privy to.
Remodeling Professionals are Expensive, DIY Is Not
All that experience and expertise comes at a rather steep cost.
Rates vary from state to state and city to city. But suffice it to say that you are looking at a bill running into thousands of dollars if you hire professionals for extensive remodeling of your home.
That is quite an investment for anyone.
Doing it yourself, on the other hand, may deprive you of professional knowledge and expertise, but it will also save you tens of thousands in the process, money that you could use in multiple other projects.
A DIY Job is Stressful and Unguided
Simply organizing an evening party comes with its share of stress. Multiply that by a 100 and you start to get an idea of how demanding a DIY home remodeling project would be.
Every little decision and its consequences would rest on you.
DIYers May Overestimate Their Ability
DIY is great, but home remodeling can be a very extensive undertaking. It’s therefore extremely important for you to be sure of what you can and cannot do on your own.
DIYers exhibit different levels of expertise. Some can feel confident changing the wallpaper or painting their walls. Others can be confident of installing kitchen cabinets and building a back door. And yet others may even be up for changing the flooring.
You need to be very honest about the extent of your capabilities, and whether you are confident of achieving the desired result if you were to do this on your own.
We would suggest not taking up anything that requires you to make physical/structural changes to your property. That should strictly be left to professionals.
To Sum It Up
Whether you should go for a professional or a DIY job depends on a) your budget, and b) the scale of the remodeling to be undertaken.
There is no harm in having a go at it yourself if it’s only one small space or a room to be remodeled. It’s a much doable project for a first-time DIYer.
However, the greater the stakes, the lesser chances you should take. If extensive home remodeling is on your mind, and you don’t have the time or the resources to do it yourself, don’t think about saving money. Either postpone the project until you have the money for it, or fix a budget and look for a professional with a proven track record that suits your requirements. As per a study published late last year, 73% of respondents planned on hiring a contractor for their remodeling work. That does not mean that DIY as a trend is out, only that people are realizing the magnitude of the challenge and making a decision that may be costly but also the one that is likely to give them better results, minus the stress and possible damage control.
If, however, hiring a contractor or an architect is completely out of question for you, break down your remodeling project into several smaller projects, and handle them one by one. You can also consult a professional on an ongoing basis if you need expert help. This is different than hiring one, where you’d have to pay a lot.
Sophia Mann writes on paintings and DIY. Her interest in the visual arts developed early when she attempted to duplicate a drawing her brother had brought home as a school assignment. She has been fascinated with this medium of artistic expression ever since. She also paints in her spare time.