Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years thanks to Martha Stewart Living, HGTV, and other popular home improvement shows and publications. And, for certain small projects, a DIY project can be rewarding and fun — if you are prepared and have the proper skills.
But before you start a major project, such as a basement finish, a deck, or outdoor room, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you familiar with local and national building codes?
- Do you have the time to complete this project (be realistic!)?
- Have you ever undertaken a project like this before?
- Will you sacrifice quality and satisfaction to save cost?
- Do you have the specialized tools for the job?
- Do you have the necessary skills for this project?
- What will you give up to make time for this project?
- Do you understand all the safety issues associated with this project?
- Are you familiar with the architecture and structural makeup of your home (i.e., how knocking down one wall will affect the rest of the structure or how to add on a new structure to an existing structure)?
- Have you considered the hidden costs associated with doing it yourself — time, tools and the possibility that you may actually decrease the value of your house if the result isn’t up to professional standards?
- Will you end up paying, possibly a higher rate, for a professional to come in and finish up or fix your work later on?
It is easy to look at the cost of hiring a professional and think only of labor and materials. But remember, that a professional offers you an important service…years of experience, the right tools, a network of suppliers and subcontractors, and an in-depth understanding of legal regulations, cost estimating, scheduling, warranty, and overall ease of mind.