Whether you’ve just moved into a home that’s in desperate need of a little TLC, or you want to make the most of your existing property by remodeling or renovating one or more rooms, you’ll need to decide whether to do the work yourself or call in a professional contractor. The following tips will help you choose the best possible option.
Be honest about your skill level
Many jobs that look simple to accomplish when performed by professionals may actually require years of practice or, at the very least, a great deal of patience to be completed to the same standards. If you like the idea of a challenge and you’re prepared to learn as you go, you may finding find it a hugely rewarding experience. If, however, you have other commitments and little experience of anything other than the most basic DIY jobs, you might be better calling in a renovation expert.
You should also be cautious when it comes to specialist work such as plumbing or electrics. Some states will require work to be conducted by someone with set qualifications. Failing to carry out such work to the proper standard could be dangerous and will almost certainly make it extremely difficult for you to sell your property in the future.
Factor in additional costs
Whether you hire a contractor or do the work yourself, the cost of the raw materials is likely to be much the same. They key difference is the cost of labor which will add roughly 40 per cent to the amount you will have to pay out if you tackle the job alone.
One chief advantage of hiring in outside help is that professional will have access to the best possible equipment for each job, allowing them to do the work far more efficiently so the disruption to your home is kept to a minimum. From earth movers and high-powered masonry drills to contractor pumps and industrial pressure washers, you will not only be able to avoid the hire cost of bringing in this sort of equipment but also the time and trouble you would need to learn how to use it.
Many contractors guarantee work and offer a warranty for additional peace of mind. If you are looking for a contractor, check with friends and family members to see if they know anyone who might be suitable as personal recommendation is usually a strong guarantee of quality. If you choose to find a company online, be sure to carry out searches with the company name along with “scam”, “complaint” or “rip-off” to check their reputation is sound. Some, though not all, states require their contractors to be licensed so check to see if this applies in your area and make a call to your local building department to ensure the company you wish to hire is fully covered.
Mix and match
If you want to enjoy the best of both worlds, you could also consider going down the hybrid route where you do some of the work yourself and then leave the complicated and more specialist tasks to the contractor. For example, if you want to remodel your bathroom it’s likely that you can easily handle basic tasks such as replacing the medicine cabinet, painting the walls and baseboards or fitting accessories such as a toilet roll holder.
If you have more DIY experience, you might also consider changing the faucets or even fitting new tiles. The less work you give the contractor to do, the less they will have to charge you.