Should You DIY the Necessary Improvements?
The current DIY trend is far from new. The early 2000s witnessed several toy commercials geared towards products that encouraged children to bedazzle their clothes, knit their hats, and generally be crafty and productive. These toys and their respective commercials were nothing new for the time either. For as long as there have been projects and products, people are ready to attempt for themselves challenging activities or home improvements.
However, the global pandemic of 2020 gave rise to an increased wave of DIY enthusiasts and endeavors as people were encouraged to stay home and socially distance themselves from others. Whether it was out of necessity or boredom, many people began to learn how to fix their plumbing, hang their sheetrock, and improve their dwellings.
But is DIY all that it is really cracked up to be? At the top of the list of DIY benefits is that it is seemingly cost-efficient to undertake certain home improvements or projects rather than pay a professional who will charge for labor, materials, and expertise. Another is that you do not have to wait for the professionals to come to you; you can get that sink fixed immediately if you simply do it yourself (after carefully researching how to do so and that you get it right).
But is DIY as affordable and doable as social media influencers and articles make it out to be? Should home improvement projects be left to the pros? Some would argue, “Probably.”
The Cost of DIY
When you DIY, you cut the cost of hiring a professional who, as discussed earlier, will charge you not just for labor but for materials, generally at a higher cost, and their expertise. If you choose to do it yourself, you can go out and buy materials at a cost that fits your budget, and you don’t have to pay yourself for labor. Choosing to fix it yourself can cut the cost of whatever home improvement you desire to accomplish.
However, there are some home improvement projects that you should think twice about before undertaking. Structural issues, such as a deteriorating roof, and internal problems, like electrical failings, are best left to the professionals who have both the know-how and the experience to diagnose the exact problem and do it right the first time. If you decide to DIY projects such as these, you risk identifying the necessary repair incorrectly and causing further damage. Or, if you do identify the correct repair, you may do it incorrectly and still need a professional to come in and undo your work, then properly repair the issue.
In both of these scenarios, you could wind up paying even more money than you would have if you had just initially hired a professional.
And then there is the cost that you don’t even realize you are paying when you decide to DIY: a decreased resale value on your home. If you decide to sell your home, inspectors look for every DIY project that could cause the new owners potential costs, damage, or harm. By hiring a professional to fix those structural and internal issues, you can ensure that your home’s value either increases or stays the same after the repair.
The Cost of a Contractor
While contractors do cost more money upfront, they are typically worth it for certain projects. Whether you hire a general contractor to oversee an addition to your house or a specialty contractor, such as a truck rental company to help you haul trees off your property, you can have peace of mind knowing that qualified professionals are on the job.
Even if the project goes awry, most professionals require a contract to be signed for projects, meaning that if they do not hold up their end of the bargain or produce subpar work, you will be entitled to legal benefits. By hiring a professional (and carefully reading over the contract), you can protect yourself, your money, and your home improvements from poorly executed work.
You can easily DIY home improvement projects such as painting your living room with little to no experience. However, when you find yourself facing serious home repairs, it would be in your best interest to leave behind this DIY fad and go with the pros. It will save you a lot of money, time, and pain in the long run.