Hiring a Contractor VS DIY: The Pros and Cons

House remodeling and repairs can cost a lot. This is probably the main reason why lots of people prefer do-it-yourself construction projects instead of hiring professionals. If your house needs minor repairs but you don’t have the money to hire a contractor, a DIY project seems to be the best thing you can do.

There are a lot of advantages as well as disadvantages that you need to know before you start working it all out.

Advantages of a DIY Home Project

  • The main advantage of doing a DIY home project is that you can save lots of money. Imagine hiring a contractor, spending on materials you need, and going through all the paperwork because of the project. These things can cost a lot of money, especially if you don’t know how to hire a good contractor.
  • If you’re going to do the project yourself, it’s easier to make improvements especially if you tend to change your mind very often. When you work with a contractor, changing your mind means that you have to spend more money too.
  • Minor repairs are mostly done with a DIY project since they’ve become easier because of the educational materials you can get from the Internet and construction supply companies. When you single-handedly worked on a home project, you get the satisfaction that you won’t have if you hired someone to do everything for you.

The advantages of doing a DIY home project are great, but you might want to check out the disadvantages too. Living in an area with a history of flooding, like Portland, you must have experienced having major home repairs before. Unless you’re a professional construction worker who has the skills in carpentry, flooring, and roofing, DIY home projects won’t be very practical in this case.

Disadvantages of DIY projects for Major Remodeling or Repair

  • Major remodeling or repair requires professional skills. Doing it on your own, even if you’ve done your research about it, will not produce a decent outcome. In fact, this increases the risk of accidents and unnecessary costs in the long run.
  • Major repairs, especially if your house got damaged by flood or fire, take a lot of time. Doing a DIY project on these things on weekends will take months or years to be accomplished.
  • Certain tasks in the project require special tools that you may not have. If you’re going to buy or rent these tools, you won’t be able to save money either.
  • Lastly, projects that require electrical and technical tasks require work done by professionals. Since major remodeling projects will have to be approved first by city inspectors, you won’t be able to accomplish everything.

Hiring a Professional Contractor

Not all major home remodeling or repair projects need professional help. If the project does not involve tasks that will be inspected for building permits, you can definitely have it done through a DIY project. On the other hand, why did your neighbors across the street had their porch repaired by a professional contractor?

It all comes down to your availability and skills for the project. Even if the project requires basic skills, you won’t be able to accomplish it through a DIY home repair because you might not have the time, skills, and tools for it. Here are some of the reasons why people hire contractors.

  • Contractors have the time, skills, and the right tools for the project. If you have a busy schedule, working on a project that requires more than 50 hours to accomplish is possible, but it takes a long time. You won’t be able to rest on the weekends too. That might affect you and your family’s lifestyle.
  • Accidents happen anytime, anywhere. This happens a lot in construction projects. When you work with a contractor, you’ll be assured that your home and the workers for the project are protected through insurance policies. When you face accidents, you don’t have to worry about additional costs.
  • Will you be able to give warranties for yourself after finishing a DIY project? When you screw up the minor repair job, this means that you will have to return to the construction supply store and spend more money for new materials, and spend more time for the repair.

Before you start working on a DIY project, it’s very important to know when it’s best to do it, and the time that it’s more practical to hire a contractor. While there are still lots of people who make the biggest mistake of doing major renovations through a DIY project, It’s best to hire a contractor when faces with the following situations:

  • You don’t have the time to work on DIY projects, even on weekends.
  • You can’t follow simple instructions, especially on repair tasks.
  • You don’t have the tools for the DIY project.
  • The job requires professional skills that you don’t have.

Before You Sign the Deal

It’s advisable to perform DIY projects if they involve small or decorative tasks. Preparing a yard for gardening, for example, is quite an easy task that you can perform with your family or friends. These tasks also serve as bonding activities.

When you face major home repairs, asking for someone’s help is the best thing to do. Before you sign a deal with a Portland construction company, it’s very important to remember these things.

  • Check whether the contractor is licensed by a regulatory commission in your area. It’s also important that the contractor presents certificates and insurance policies.
  • Don’t hire someone without a local address in your area. Contractors outside your area are more expensive than local contractors.
  • Get estimates from different contractors, but it’s not always the case that the one with the cheapest estimate is the best one for you. Make sure that the price isn’t impossibly low or high in the estimates. Do your homework.
  • Get recommendations from your family or friends. If you need an architect or engineer for the project, it’s best to get someone who works with the contractor that you will hire.

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