When to DIY vs. Hire Out your Home Remodeling Project

Jake Thayer Bathroom remodel, Kitchen remodel, Tips, Uncategorized

Once you have decided you want to begin a remodeling project on your home you then have to decide who will do it. There are 3 options, you can do it all yourself (ie DIY), you can contract out the work or you can hire a remodeling company. Each comes with its own unique pros and cons. By the end of this article, you will be able to discern which method will be best for you so your home remodeling project goes smoothly. 

Doing It Yourself

For many people, part of the joy in owning a home is that they get to do their own work to it. Unlike a rental, when you own a home, you can do whatever you want—tear down walls, replace cabinetry, repaint everything—the world is your oyster. 

If this is you, then the DIY route may be the way to go for your remodeling project. Doing everything yourself will, unless you make mistakes, likely be cheaper and is rewarding—there’s something about stepping back and admiring something you put together with your own two hands. That said, DIYing a large project has some unique disadvantages, too.

The main disadvantage is how much time it takes. Be honest with yourself about how much free time you have and how much of that free time you are willing to commit to the project per week. Will the timeline of the project be acceptable to you given the progress possible working alone? If the project is going to take 80 labor hours and you can commit 16 hours a week, the project—which would have taken a skilled team of professionals only a few days—will stretch out over 5 weeks. Depending on the room you are refinishing, this may be unacceptable.

Another disadvantage of doing a home remodeling project yourself are the hidden costs. One hidden cost is in the tools required to complete the project. Unless you already own the tools, these costs can add up quickly. Another hidden cost is in the additional material you will use learning how to do things properly. This could be miniscule, like a couple extra pieces of drywall with holes cut in the incorrect spots, or massive, like a cracked granite countertop. You will have to assess the risk and determine, based on your skill level, if doing your project yourself is the best option or not. 

Finally, doing things yourself may not make sense if there is a possibility for injury. Tinkering with garage door springs, electrical boxes, load bearing walls and the like is, unless you know what you’re doing, best left to the pros. 

Contracting Out the Work

low maintenance countertop materials for your kitchen renovation

Contracting out your project is another option to consider. This can be a great option for those who have some DIY skills but don’t have the time to commit to completing the project by themselves. Contracting out the work allows you to negotiate rates, manage timelines, get your hands dirty, and have the project completed in a timely manner. This option makes a lot of sense for those who are savvy in home repair but simply don’t have the time to complete the project themselves.

That said, there are some pitfalls to avoid when contracting out your project. The first is that the project management falls on you. Gathering required materials, sequencing tasks and assigning tasks falls to you. If you drop the ball, you won’t just be wasting your time but the time of your hired contractors—an expense that can balloon rapidly. 

Another pitfall is that you don’t know what you don’t know. If a hired contractor tries to pull the wool over your eyes, will you know? If you need to get permits from the city, will you know when to do so and how to do it? If your answer is yes, then acting as the GC on your project may make sense. If not, consider hiring a remodeling company. 

Hiring a Remodeling Company

Hiring a remodeling company is the safest and most efficient way to complete your home remodeling project. 

A professional team will have the experience, expertise, and insight to keep your project on-budget and on-time. While they may have a higher upfront price tag, the cost, when factoring in the potential issues that can occur when doing a project yourself or when contracting out the work, can easily pay for itself. 

In addition to reducing risk, you can be sure that the project will be done right with the project manager keeping you filled in with how things are going along the way. If you are unsure of your remodeling abilities or are unable to commit the time to a remodeling project, hiring a company to do it is the best option. 

Looking at hiring a remodeling company but not sure how to choose? Check out our article “5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Home Remodeling Company.”

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