A homeowner’s ingenuity can truly be both an asset and a hinderance to a home, as well as those who live in it. To be self-reliant in one’s own home is a source of pride, and as we all know, the learning process never stops. On top of that, it’s never fun to have haughty plumbers, electricians, or handymen jack up their labor prices because of your lack of expertise.
For both big and small jobs, labor costs have escalated in recent years. Those high costs are a tremendous burden for homeowners, especially new homeowners who are just getting their feet under them. Most comprehensive guides explain how choosing the right projects, doing your own cleanup, and dealing with the right contractor can be pivotal in saving big during your next job on your home.
However, do it yourself (DIY) can also occasionally be a viable option for you, given the right circumstances. If you are questioning whether to do a job yourself or hand it over to a professional, continue reading.
Do It Yourself?
Before deciding whether to do a job yourself, consider the following:
- Do you have the necessary skills? More importantly, does the job involve skills that require a permit (these will absolutely need the attention of a professional)? Try talking to others who have tried the project before. Extra opinions will be valuable to you.
- Ask what the costs will be for a professional to complete it. When considering a contractor’s costs, think about the portions of the jobs you can do. Then, compare the contractor’s cost with the cost for the DIY project.
- Evaluate both pricing options and the skills necessary to complete the job.
Obviously, a job completed yourself will result in far less money spent. Still, you should always consider the amount of skill needed. Some high-skill jobs, like electrical work, involve processes that require permits. In other cases, big jobs not done correctly can ruin your home. For instance, many major plumbing jobs can easily spring water leaks which can collapse a home over time.
Aside from actual work on a given job, most of what makes contracting labor so expensive is the extracurricular jobs involved with it. According to GoErie, you can save close to $200 per day by volunteering to remove any extra material left over from contracting jobs. However, always be sure of what the material is and whether it needs special care.
There are many smaller household tasks that can qualify as DIY, especially jobs that revolve around cleaning. These include seasonal cleaning of gutters atop the home and the scrubbing of moderate amounts of mold. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to have gutters and downspouts cleaned in Dallas is $124-$206 and takes five hours to complete. With the right tools and a little research, performing cleaning and maintenance tasks such as this helps you save on costs.
Should you as a homeowner decide to undergo a DIY project, the biggest concern about the job should be your own safety. You may be attempting to save a bundle on labor costs, but all that can become meaningless with enormous medical bills following an accident. Live wires, glass-filled insulation, and falling ladders are all potential obstacles.
Almost all DIY jobs involve some act that could put you in danger, so it’s important to consider how you might encounter injury during the job. In some cases, issues with safety may remove the DIY option entirely.
DIY is a great way to save money on otherwise costly home projects. Before deciding whether to perform the job yourself or hire a professional, make sure to consider if you have the skills to complete the job and how much money you’ll actually save, and always take your personal safety into account.