When to DIY,

We’ve all got them: repairs around the house that need tackling, small fixes that seem easy to do. A little wall paint here, a small tile replacement there. It’s manageable and easy to handle. Not to mention you can save money. A win-win situation, right?

But a recent study conducted by Porch.com notes that 32% of Americans have been delaying at least one home improvement job for a year or longer. What’s more, the study concludes that one in nine Americans has nine repair jobs that desperately need attention. While this could be happening for a variety of reasons, it’s also possible that it’s a job outside the do-it-yourself (DIY) scope. Some tasks make calling the professionals worthwhile.

No matter what the perceived savings, when is it time to throw in the towel and let the experts handle jobs around the house?

Deciding the best course of action involves weighing the pros and cons. Generally, the first consideration is cost. Most people believe it’s cheaper to fix it yourself and save on labor costs. But if you factor in paying for supplies and tools, are you really saving?

Painting your own room seems cheaper until you have to buy the drop cloths, brushes, rollers, ladders and of course paint. It all adds up. A cost analysis is a good idea to make sure it makes money sense to do it yourself. Also, do you have the time to do the job?

If it’s not a task you do every day, it can take longer for you to complete it. Are you taking time from something more valuable that you need to do? You may have a general idea of how to do the task at hand, but do you really know how to resolve the issue?

Is it a job that needs to be completed right away? For example, household leaks often require immediate attention. It wouldn’t hurt to check out a few YouTube videos to be sure you understand all that is involved in making the fix.

So, you’ve counted the cost, know what it takes, but still aren’t sure if it’s a job you should tackle. Less complex projects and “honey-do” list items often make good do-it-yourself projects. These can be simple jobs that require minimal specialty equipment and supplies and don’t take a lot of intricate know-how. Caulking around a bathtub is one such task. Replacing a problematic doorknob is another. According to DIYNetwork.com, repairing a cracked windowpane, replacing peeling wallpaper, cleaning overflowing gutters, and fixing a leaky faucet are a few of the DIY jobs that most people can tackle.

Larger, more complicated jobs, however, are cause to consider calling in the big guns. These require more time and effort and a higher skill level. While looking at a video can help, it may neglect information that only proper training and experience provides.

Plumbing, for example, usually requires a pro. Putting the right widget in the wrong place can be more expensive in the long run than hiring an expert.

Also, all jobs are not created equal. Some tasks are more dangerous than others. Dealing with electrical wiring, for instance, is risky. Electrocution can be lethal and is a sure possibility for someone who doesn’t know what they’re doing. Problems with gas lines should also be left to the professionals if you don’t have the training. Other jobs that DIYnetwork.com notes are better left to the pros include repairing termite damage and any roof repair work. Having a professional do it right the first time is much better than having to call someone later to fix the mess you’ve made.

If you’ve got a good grasp on the situation and know you need a professional, the cost is still a factor. Look for ways to reduce the expense of your project. Can you do any of the prep work yourself? Perhaps cabinets need to be reinstalled. Something as simple as clearing them or even removing the doors from the hinges can save on your labor costs.

Home maintenance can be expensive. You may spend time doing the work, or you may spend time researching the appropriate craftsman for the job. You can save yourself a lot of headache, and hassle, by knowing when it’s best to let the professionals take care of it.

March 29, 2019
March 29, 2019

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