Thank you, Pinterest, for inspiring us to take on new projects! Now before you roll up your sleeves to take on a home improvement project, you might want to stop and think about this very carefully. Look at this for “inspiration”
Maybe you’re good at handyman stuff…
DIY projects can go smoothly if you are good at handyman stuff. By all means, go ahead and do your own roofing or painting if you can do this with complete confidence because you have real experience in that field.
But there is one big problem with the DIY mindset…
Home remodeling contractors do it better.
Whether it’s adding a new addition, remodeling a bathroom, or building a deck… it’s an expensive project. When you do it yourself, you might think you are saving some money. However, that might not necessarily be true either.
When you hire a home improvement contractor you are investing in an expert to get the job done properly. You are paying for insurance, so if there are any mistakes… they will be taken care of. (You lose that peace of mind the moment you pick up the hammer yourself.)
In the long run, a professional contractor is worth the extra cost because they are an expert. However, the cost might not be as high as you might think.
Home improvement companies work with a number of wholesale suppliers, which allows them to offer supplies at a much lower cost than you would pay yourself. Because of that little perk, you could be spending less with a contractor or paying the same amount for better quality supplies.
Following a natural disaster, such as the tornadoes in Oklahoma, many homeowners are suddenly in need of home improvement or remodeling that you just may not be qualified to do on your own. Check with your homeowners insurance before doing anything, because you may have some help covering the cost of professional home repair after a natural disaster.
Do your research first.
The best way to find out if you’ll actually be saving money is to price the supplies at a home improvement store, and factor in how long the project will take you. Will you be missing any work to complete the job in a timely manner?
Once you have a clear idea of what the cost will be should you do-it-yourself, then you can call around and ask for a free estimate from local home improvement contractors. Compare quotes, without letting the company know that you are “shopping around”. When you look at the estimate, consider the cost as well as the amount of time it will take to complete the job… because a contracting company will probably work much more efficiently than if you were to do it yourself. That’s just another benefit, of course.
If you do choose to work with a contractor, the cheapest is probably not the best.
Probably is the key word in that statement, but it’s usually true. You’ll spend more on a large home improvement company with several employees, and you’ll spend less on a smaller team. In the age of information, a simple Google search will help you find the best contractor to work with based on customer reviews.
Saving some money now will end up costing you more money in the long run, especially when a contractor cuts corners. So always read the fine print and be sure you know that you are dealing with a credible professional. In other words, cheap isn’t skilled and skills aren’t cheap.
If you enjoy DIY projects, ask to get involved.
Sometimes, DIY home improvement is more about the involvement than the cost. So if you want to roll your sleeves up and help out, ask potential contractors about letting you get involved. As long as there are no company policies forbidding it, some may even help teach you how to do the job properly which is great if you want to plan for another project down the road.