DIY: Fun and cost-effective, or costly?

The do-it-yourself movement has been slowly on the rise for the past few years. This has families doing fun crafts, innovating with their interior design, and tackling projects they never thought they’d touch! But with increasing amateurs posting ideas online, how can you know when to do it yourself, and when to hire a professional? Here’s what to know before you tackle that project alone.

Knowledge, Experience and Skill

If you’re considering a crafty project that requires a low skill level, little to no experience may suffice. There are some parts of the house, however, that should not be touched without proper training. These include electrical wiring, plumbing, and anything relating to the structure, or the home’s integrity. Tradesman spend years in apprenticeship and training for a good reason: The risks involved with these can be serious. Sometimes, such as with electrical, the risks can involve serious injury or death. Other times, such as when dealing with plumbing, you may not be at a great personal risk, however mistakes can lead to further damage such as flooding.

In addition to safety and damage risks, there is a knowledge level that is involved. Even when renovating your own home, you must adhere to building codes and regulations. Doing a project that changes or upsets the building’s structure in any way can lead to building violations. You may think you won’t get caught, but is it worth the risk?

Without proper training, certain projects should be left to a professional. The small amount of money you expect to save by doing the labor on your own is not always worth the risk of a project gone wrong.

Assess the costs

What about a low-risk project, such as installing new flooring? You may not be as concerned about your safety, but you should be concerned, at the very least, of having a job done well.

If your DIY project involves a trip to the fabric store for some decorative pieces, and you’re spending a relatively small sum, the cost may be worth it! Each project varies in cost. Before you begin, assess what you will spend in material and time. The amount you spend will be the amount you risk. If the project goes south, and the materials are not reusable, can you live with the amount you just lost?

If your project is an investment, take into consideration the amount you could lose if there’s an accident. For a flooring project, potentially hundreds or thousands of dollars could be on the line. Can it be done on your own? Maybe! Are you willing to sacrifice your initial investment if it doesn’t work out the way you hope?

For the do-it-yourselfer, design, crafts, and updates can be fun and exciting. Many make hobbies of it. You can protect your home and your family by knowing where to draw the line. If there are safety risks, damage risks, or large costs involved, save yourself the worry and risk, and hire a pro! Having a job done right is the number one priority. When you’re ready to make updates to your home, visit responsiblecontractors.com to find the right professional for the job!

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