DIY or Professional?
It’s pretty difficult to decide between the DIY route and the professional route when you’re changing your home decor or considering some home improvements, like installing hardwood floors. After all, when you do it yourself, you ideally won’t have to spend as much money, you have full creative control, and you get to enjoy the sense of accomplishment that comes with completing the task yourself. Then again, the professionals are pros for a reason — they know what they’re doing, they have more expertise, and they can easily tackle common home improvement problems as they arise. So how do you choose?
Consider What You’re Doing
The first thing you need to do after deciding how you want to improve your home is to really think about the scope and level of difficulty of the project you want to do. For instance, if you’ve undertaken similar projects before, or you’re comfortable following an online tutorial on YouTube or this site, then maybe DIY is the way to go. Some beginner-level jobs, for example, include restoring hardwood floors or installing tongue-and-groove flooring. However, if you’re interested in an enormous home improvement project such as a total redesign or green building, then a professional might be the way to go.
Consider the improvements you’re making and the materials you’re using. The tongue-and-groove pieces used in flooring are easy to install, for example, but if you want genuine wood flooring placed throughout your home, and you’re not comfortable with a nail-down installation, go with the professionals.
Think About Your DIY Knowledge
How much do know about home improvement? Be honest. This is not the time to decide you’re an expert in something when you’re really not. Have an honest discussion with yourself and your helpers about your capabilities. Knowing how to plunge a toilet like a pro doesn’t make you a plumber. Similarly, refinishing your floors doesn’t mean that you’re capable of pulling up your old carpet and installing hardwood throughout the house. Don’t try to save money at the expense of your own safety or the structural integrity of your home. You’ll end up hiring a professional anyway and probably spend more money.
Leave the Serious Fixes for the Pros
Are you dealing with electrical issues, plumbing problems, or flooring fixes? In that case, it might be best to look for professionals who can help you fulfill your home improvement dreams. These are areas best left to the pros, because they’re easy to mess up if you don’t know what you’re doing, they’re potentially dangerous to amateurs, and they require a skilled, knowledgeable touch.
By all means, if you know enough to change out your toilet or put down flooring, trust your instincts. But if you’ve never been taught or you’ve never done something before, don’t take the chance. A botched electrical fix can cause a great deal of damage. Plumbing snafus can lead to water damage, not to mention all sorts of nastiness flooding into your house.
Avoid Doing DIY Fixes Outside
The outside of your home or apartment is all about structural integrity. Fixing external issues is almost always better left to professionals who know what they’re doing. You can change your mailbox or your front door or put down some patio landscaping all by yourself — those are easy. Incorporating the latest home decor trends outside is also up your alley.
But if you want to build a porch or a back deck, fix the roof, or add outside lights, don’t rely solely on your own know-how. Look for builders, carpenters, and other professionals who know how to tackle exterior home improvements. You want your house to look lovely afterward. You also want everything to remain safe. Sometimes professionals are the only people who can guarantee those things.
When it comes to installing hardwood floors or doing other home improvements, knowing when to choose the DIY route or a professional typically comes down to trusting your gut. At the end of the day, you’re the only one who knows what you’re capable of doing and who knows which tasks are beyond your skill level. In your quest to save money and maintain your own vision, don’t sacrifice safety or the structural integrity of your home. It’s just not worth it.
Have you tried to DIY and regretted it? Share your horror story in the comments section below.