Home Renovation: To Hire or DIY?

home renovation concept

Owning a house is a lifetime commitment. Apart from paying your mortgages, you have to deal with recurring expenses such as home insurance, utilities, repairs, and property tax. Annual home repairs typically eat up 1 to 2 percent of the overall home price, according to Wells Fargo.

As a matter of fact, the estimate does not even cover major home remodeling projects. If you are planning on taking on some projects, it means shelling out more money.

Considering this, you have to think long and hard before undergoing any home remodeling project. In some instances, doing it by yourself might be a pretty good idea; but it is best to leave the job to contractors at other times.

Thus, here are some pointers to help you decide whether to undertake a home renovation project all by yourself or hire a professional contractor to do the job.

When to Hire a Contractor

1. Project Supervision

If you need or want someone to supervise the whole renovation project for you, then perhaps hiring a licensed contractor would be the right call. A home repair expert could oversee everything, from procuring permits to scheduling inspections.

You can rest assured that things will be handled properly since they are experts in their field.

2. Never Done a Renovation Project Before

Be honest with yourself. Are you the type of person who enjoys getting your hands dirty and has the necessary tools for a home renovation? If your answer is no, then it is probably best not to tackle the work yourself.

Though you can learn stuff through blogs and tutorial videos, it will take time and money. Do not bite off more than you can chew. Best leave it to the experts.

3. Multiple Projects Involved

If you are planning to tackle a project that involves structural changes or multiple-room renovation, it is best to hire a general contractor to oversee the work. While a single project like landscaping or kitchen remodeling can be easily supervised, you cannot handle both.

You also have other stuff to attend to, like work. So, for large-scale projects, leave it to professionals who have the required knowledge and experience juggling all the tasks.

4. You Have a Budget

If you have enough cash to pay for the whole renovation project and contractor, why not hire one to do the job instead? A general contractor’s rate typically ranges between 10 to 20 percent of the project’s total cost. Included in the rate are the tools, permit costs, materials, and subcontractors.

Obtain multiple quotes from different contractors before finally settling with one. Be sure to communicate your to-do list of items.

Though general contractors can give you a rough estimate of how much the whole project would cost, it is best to have some surplus funds if an unexpected expense pops up.

5. Permit Required

If your planned household improvement meant getting a permit from the city or town, then you might want to leave it all to a general contractor. Since a general contractor already has established networks, it is easier for them to acquire the necessary permit.

Usually, home renovation projects that involve changing the structural component such as plumbing and electricity would require a permit.

couple choosing a color for their walls

When to Do It Yourself

1. You Have Experience & License

If you have a contractor license yourself, then there is no reason for you to hire someone to do the work. You are perfectly capable of tackling the job yourself. All you have to make sure is you have all the materials and right tools to get started.

2. You Want a Project

If you have the necessary experience and want to immerse yourself in a home renovation project, then by all means, go ahead. After all, every one of us needs some distraction to get through this whole pandemic.

Be realistic, though. Think of your other responsibilities and carefully weigh if you can handle everything. Sometimes, it is better to hire a contractor than to give yourself unnecessary stress.

3. You Have a Limited Budget

Contractors are not cheap. If you are working with a tight budget, it is best to tackle the work yourself. Keep in mind that apart from the contractor’s rate, you still have to think about the unexpected expenses you might meet along the way.

But if you really want a contractor to handle the job, perhaps saving up for the project is the best place to start. Do not rush it.

Ultimately, the decision to either hire a contractor or tackle the job yourself rests on you. Hopefully, this article sheds some light to help you make the right choice.

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