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Ready to Tackle a Home Remodeling or Improvement Project? First Determine Whether You Should DIY or Hire a Pro

December 7th, 2017

Tackling a project can be a time-consuming process, and one of the first steps can take you months. No, we’re not talking about demolition or design. The simple task of deciding whether to DIY or hire a professional can be a paralyzing decision for many homeowners. Because there are pros and cons to both, for most projects, it really depends on a variety of factors, including your skills, available time, and more. If you’re contemplating whether you should DIY or hire a pro for your project, follow some of the tips below.

First, consider how much motivation you have and if you can sustain it long enough to complete the project. Remodeling a kitchen and painting a bathroom have very different commitments. Sometimes, you get an itch and feel more motivation than you really have, so take the time to figure out what the project fully entails. You don’t want to start knocking out kitchen cabinets on Monday and be tired of the project by Tuesday. Taking on smaller projects first to gauge your enjoyment of DIY projects is advisable.

Even if you have the motivation to complete a project, you still have to determine your skill level. While you certainly can teach yourself to cut tile for the shower, understand that it takes time to learn. Each skill you have to master will prolong the length of the project. Additionally, you must consider that a professional is devoting all of their time to your project. If you have a full-time job and decide to DIY a project on the side, you’ll be squeezing in hours after work on weekdays and devoting short weekends, which means the project will take longer to complete.

Extended time to complete a project means living in the mess for a longer period of time. Demolition can often be the longest part of a project, so ask yourself how long you’re willing to live in a mess, especially for larger projects. Also, determine how much time you want to put into a project and when you need to have the project completed. While an extended timeline for a guest room isn’t a huge deal, living without your kitchen space may not be feasible. According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to remodel a kitchen in Houston is between $12,159 and $28,093 and takes around five to six weeks to complete. If you DIY, it’s probably going to take you a lot longer to complete the project, but may cost a lot less.

The idea that choosing to DIY saves money motivates many people to give it a shot. While some projects are less expensive to DIY, sometimes it pays to hire a professional. Not only should the cost of your time be considered, but you should also consider the cost of being injured or damaging your home. Professionals are licensed and insured, so they’re on the hook if something happens, but that’s not the case if you DIY, and you can end up paying even more if you start a project and have to pay someone to correct your mistakes.

You should also determine if you have the tools necessary to complete the project, or if you can rent them and learn to use them properly and safely. Sometimes the tools alone make the project worthy of a professional. Safety is an even bigger reason to hire a professional. Some projects should always be left to the pros. Any projects involving a gas line can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning or an explosion if mishandled, so just call a pro. Likewise, electrical wiring should also be left to professionals, as mishandling it or incorrectly installing it can result in serious injuries or fires.

If you decide to hire a professional, get several bids and choose one with one with good reviews and referrals. Choosing to DIY can be fun and fulfilling, as you learn something new and admire your hard work. Both options have pros and cons, and the decision will really depend on your personal circumstances and the project. Before choosing, be sure to look at all aspects of each option, and you’ll feel confident that you made the best decision for your unique situation.

*Article was written by our guest blogger, Paul Denikin, of

Photo Credit: Skitterphoto, Pixabay

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Disclaimer : The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Houston Association of REALTORS®

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