Do-it-yourself projects have become extremely popular in the last few years. There’s nothing like the feeling of accomplishment you experience after completing a project with your own two hands. There are many things that you can do around the house to customize your space, and each project can vary in complexity. Even with the best instructions, though, a home renovation project started by an amateur can quickly become a disaster. While a DIY project may sound easier and at first more affordable than hiring a professional, oftentimes it’s better in the long run to consult a professional rather than pursue the project on your own. To decide whether you should start your next project by picking up a hammer or a phone, read our guidelines below and gain a better sense of what you can and can’t handle.

Before embarking on a new project, you should first determine the scope of work. Whether you would like to refinish the cabinets in your kitchen or install a new tile floor in your bathroom, it’s important to outline the details of the project. Ask yourself:

  • How long will the project take?
  • How much will the project cost if you do it yourself or call a professional?
  • Do you have good instructions to complete the project?
  • Do you have the skills and tools to complete the task?
  • Do you have the patience to finish the task?
  • Will you be able to obtain the materials you need?

When calculating your budget, factor in tools, materials, and any additional funds you may need in case a mistake occurs. Once you have an estimate of how much the project may cost, obtain a few estimates from contractors to determine which method would be more cost effective. Also, remember that time is money—while a project may be cheaper price-wise to do on your own, that same project could cost you significantly more time to complete than a professional.

If you decide to take on a more complex project, here are some additional questions you should ask:

  • Will the project interfere with your daily routine? Will it inconvenience your family?
  • Does the project have a deadline? If so, is it a tight or relaxed deadline?
  • Do you have the time needed to complete the task?

After answering these questions, you will have a better idea of what it will take to accomplish the project and whether you want to take the next steps to complete the project yourself. But despite your desire to tackle a DIY project, there are times when a professional should be called.

When to call a professional:

  • If your project needs to be completed by someone with a high level of skill
  • If you don’t have all the information needed to complete the project
  • If you need a crew in order to complete the job properly
  • If you are unfamiliar with building codes or permit requirements
  • If you don’t have enough time to finish the project by its deadline
  • If you could be injured during the project, such as with roofing or electrical work

Many factors will affect your decision to either handle a project on your own or contract the work out to a professional. Out of everything to consider, first decide if you have the ability and time to complete the project. If you choose to proceed on your own, do your research and make sure that you have a carefully constructed plan for the entirety of your project. If you hire a professional, make sure to work with a company that has been vetted and recommended by EBSCO Research. For more advice on hiring a professional to help with your project, check out our blog How to Choose a Contractor.

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Sources: National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

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