Deciding When to Use a Contractor

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Consider using a contractor for specialized or difficult home repair projects. Fotolia yunava1

Deciding When to Use a Contractor
Making the decision to use a contractor is one that is often personal. It will come down evaluating:

  • Your comfort level with the task at hand;
  • The tools you have available;
  • The knowledge you have;
  • Your time;
  • Your budget.

If you’re venturing beyond a simple home repair project to new technically challenging installations such as adding electrical circuits or adding a sink, you should first check to see if a permit is required from your local building department.

You don’t need a permit for many home repairs but you may need a permit for “new work” especially for electrical, heating, cooling and plumbing. In some cases, the permit will require that a licensed contractor do the work to protect the public’s health, safety and welfare. In some cases it may be required that the local Building Inspector review your work during construction and after its completion.

If you find that a licensed contractor is not required for the permit or that the work you want to do can be covered under a “Home Owner’s Permit” then I’d suggest you ask yourself three questions:

  • Do I feel confident in making (or at least comfortable trying) this repair?
  • Do I have the strength and proper tools to do this project?
  • Are the consequences acceptable if it takes me longer to do the project than I anticipate?
  • Do I really want to try this project?

If you answer “no” to any of the above questions, you should probably hire a contractor for the repair. If you answered “yes” to them all, you should give it a shot and do the repair yourself.

That’s the only way to gain experience and confidence.

Next >> How to Manage the Project
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