Is it better to DIY or Hire a Contractor?

by Senior Editor on November 12, 2012

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So you’re thinking about remodeling the kitchen. You want to rewire it, put in an island, and install new kitchen cabinets. But before you start on your project you may want to ask yourself, would it be worth it to hire a remodeling contractor? Well, there are a few things you should consider before you decide to either be the master carpenter of your home or shuck out a few hundred to thousands of dollars to hire one.

#1. What Type of Project am I considering?

Before writing a check to a contractor or heading to Lowes for supplies, fully lay out exactly what your project entails. Using the example above, if you’re planning on remodeling the kitchen you have to take into consideration the time, energy, and difficulty of doing so. It’s not like painting the bedroom, you have an endless amount of supplies to buy and if you have no help whatsoever you will be in for the long haul with that scale of a project.

#2. Cost.

This one is a dozy. If you want to spend the least amount of money you may automatically assume to Do It Yourself. But this goes back to tip number one, it will depend on the type of project, its size, and your skill level. For example, if you run into unforeseen issues such as major mold or mildew damage, you can end up hiring a contractor anyways after spending your precious time and money trying to figure out how to do it yourself. On the other hand, if you prepare well and educate yourself, you can save money doing it yourself even when remodeling your kitchen. Contractors can be expensive and unreliable, so doing it yourself could be the better route depending on your situation.

#3. Ask Yourself Some Questions.

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry suggests asking yourself some serious questions before you decide to DIY. Questions such as, Do I enjoy physical work? Am I patient and persistent enough to follow through? Do I have the time to complete the project? Is this a job I can do completely on my own or will I need assistance? Answering yes or no to these questions can give you a better perspective on whether or not you can handle doing the project alone.

#4. What to Expect When Hiring a Contractor.

Contractors come in all shapes and sizes. Since the housing bubble burst back in 08 contractors are readily available for homeowners, but they can bring a whole new set of new troubles. It’s all about choosing the right person for the job. Most contractors have been around for quite some time so it’s a good idea to ask for plenty of referrals. If you decide a contractor will better fit the needs of your project don’t forget the cons to hiring one. That kitchen project can turn into a month long annoyance of having strange men in and out of your home on a daily basis, leaving you feel like a prisoner in your own home if you choose the wrong person. Don’t forget that with unexpected problems comes a higher price tag, so this too can be the negative side to hiring a contractor.

Whether you choose to DIY or hire a contractor you will no doubt be happy with the new improvements on your home, and don’t lose sight of that reason when times get tough! Happy DIYing!

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