Should You Do This Remodel Yourself or Hire a Pro?

Home repairs can be tricky to do yourself
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You could literally spend months pondering whether to save money by doing a certain home remodel project yourself or breaking into the piggy bank to hire a pro. 

In fact, it is this paralyzing indecision that trips up so many homeowners.  Inside of doing either, they do neither. 

Instead of handing you the easy answer, this article is all about examining the core reasons for going DIY vs. hiring a pro:  the psychology of it, obstacles, benefits, and the like.  If you are contemplating any kind of sizable project, you should devote a few minutes to pondering these questions.

1.  Can I Sustain My Motivation For a Long Period of Time?

Have an uncontrollable desire to knock down interior walls? To renovate an entire kitchen? Or do you find that painting the baby's room one Sunday is quite enough to scratch that renovating itch?

It is important to gauge the longevity of your motivation before you pick up that paint brush or swing that sledge hammer.

Sometimes in the morning, the coffee motivates you to take on a bigger project than your "afternoon self" really wants.  

Recommendation: Take on some small projects first to make sure you really want to "do it yourself" before tackling larger projects.

2.  Do I Hate Having Strangers in My House?

They are in your house to help you, but in the process they turn your house upside-down. And managing work crews in your house is a taxing proposition.

Do not underestimate the imposition of four workmen hanging drywall in your house for a solid week.

Recommendation: Decide how much lack of control in your house you can tolerate before inviting workers in.

3.  What Is My Skill Level--Honestly?

You have the power to take on any renovation project. A person who barely knows how to plug in a blender is capable of learning how to re-wire the entire kitchen.

However, remember that your kitchen is your classroom. While you learn to distinguish ground wires from neutral, the kitchen is a disaster and you are washing sinks with a garden hose on the lawn.

Recommendation: Make certain you are at the proper skill level (or can learn quickly enough) to bring the project to a conclusion.

4.  Do I Have the Time?

Tiling the bathroom is one thing. Tiling the bathroom at 9:30pm after a full day of conference calls is another thing. And remember, you also have a life to lead.

Recommendation: Know in advance how much time you want to put into a project--before starting it.

5.  Do I Hate Dirt?

Sometimes it seems like 90% of home remodeling is demolition.  You spend three days ripping up the old kitchen floor and one day installing the new one. 

Other tasks that do not involve demolition can still be messy, such as painting your house exterior with a paint sprayer.

Recommendation:  If you cannot stand being dirty, this is reason enough to hire a pro for a project.

6.  How Does My Funding Look?

Money, or lack of it, motivates the do-it-yourselfer.

While there is a certain satisfaction in replacing your front door by yourself or laying a new kitchen floor, most DIYers would hire out if they had enough money to do so.

Recommendation: If you have the money, and the project looks infinitely nasty, consider hiring a pro.