Weighing the related expenses and benefits
It’s time to make some changes in your home. Some are cosmetic, others are necessary. The first thing you need to do is determine what’s more cost effective – to do it yourself or hire a contractor. Obviously, there are some things that require a professional, but for everything else you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons of DIY. In the end, it all comes down to the size and complexity of the task. Of equal importance is your own skill level and amount of time you can devote to any project.
If you need a special permit for your plans, it’s probably best to hire a contractor who knows the ins and outs of what needs to be done as set by law and code. Compliance is of utmost importance. Repair projects often need special licenses as well. Such requirements depend on your region’s local laws. Always check with the local municipality before proceeding with any project on your own.
Although you may have some carpentry experience and perhaps you’ve dabbled in plumbing and electrical, certain projects demand the skill of a hired professional. For instance, replacing the bathtub is a tough endeavor. It may seem like something you could pull off on your own, but you will find it to be much more difficult than you may have believed. The cost balloons quickly, and potential mistakes only serve to make things worse. But for $2000 to $3500 a professional will take out the old tub, install a new one all the while resolving the potential plumbing-related (or any other) issues that arise. Frankly, in this case, hiring a pro is extremely cost effective.
You could say the same for hardwood floors. On the surface it may seem doable. Sure you feel confident that the YouTube tutorial you found is all youneed to pull it off successfully. Heck, its host even insists it is. But consider that hardwood costs between three to eight dollars per square foot for the material alone, so any mistakes that occur during installation can become a costly affair. It’s intricate and back breaking work – you need to get the planks to line up precisely with baseboards, corners and doorways. It requires serious skill. On the other hand, bring in a pro and he’ll do it for around five to twelve dollars per square foot. A bit more than your cost, yes. But in this case it’s certainly worth the investment.
So what of ceramic tile, is that an easy do it yourselfer? Especially if you have a much larger or more detailed room the necessity of bringing in a pro increases. Installing ceramic tiles in larger rooms is a much more complicated process (for the most part, smaller rooms lend themselves to DIY). If you consider that the average cost to tile a room that is 10×12 runs about $1,174, it’s a bargain when a contractor also deals with problems such as uneven subfloors, inconvenient corners, tricky room transitions and design issues.
You’ll also likely need a contractor when it comes to replacing windows. Problems arise when you discover your original windows are not of standard size. It’s necessary to do additional framing and insulation work. A pro will once again ensure that all such obstacles are overcome, and guarantee proper construction of everything.
You may be thinking that we’re out to promote the use of a professional for all of your home projects, but that just isn’t so. In fact there a number of things that we feel are ideal for the DIYer.
It’s generally cheaper to paint your home’s interior yourself. If you’ve got the skill (and a stepladder) you can save a lot of money by NOT hiring a pro. By doing it yourself, a 1,500 square foot home will only cost between $200 and $600. That includes the cost of all of the materials you’ll need. You could pay over two grand to have a contractor do it.
You would also do well to take care of installing vinyl or linoleum flooring yourself as a diy project. Including the cost of materials you could do a 10’ x 10’ room for a minimum of $200, $500 at the most. Hiring a contractor will increase the cost by as much as $400.
Also a reasonably easy self-install is a kitchen’s backsplash. With tile, grout, adhesive and a bit of patience you can put in a beautiful kitchen backsplash yourself and save up to a grand over hiring a pro. In fact, the cost for materials will only run around $100 to $500, whereas the cost for a contractor on a two day job like this will cost as much as $1900. That’s some savings!
Have you a bit of carpentry skill? You can install a wood deck, materials included, for $500 to $1000. The job only takes a few days. Not feeling confident? A professional job will increase your cost by at least $1500.
You know that you need to consider all of your options when it comes to taking on home remodeling projects. With a little research and planning you can serve to save yourself a bundle. Bring in a pro only when necessary and do everything within your means yourself. Be realistic, overconfidence can lead to costly mistakes. Always get an estimate before making a decision. Once you have all the necessary info you’ll be prepared to make the wisest decisions for your investment.