DIY vs Hiring Making Smart Home Improvement Choices
4 minute read
November 29, 2017


The idea of doing things yourself is tempting. After all, you can save money by taking matters into your own hands. But is it always worth it to do it yourself? Are there times that trying to manage the situation on your own could end up making things worse?

Before you DIY — even if you think you can make it work by learning from a YouTube video — here are some things to consider:

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The Project Requires Specialized Training

Does your project require specialized training? It’s one thing to switch out a toilet. It’s quite another thing to redo the plumbing. There are some jobs that you just might not be qualified to do. In those cases, a mistake could end up causing more damage. Trying to fix that extra damage could cost more than hiring a professional in the first place.

Carefully think about your skills and strengths, and be realistic about what you can learn from a tutorial. If something requires special training or a certification, think twice about doing it yourself and instead hire a professional to do it right the first time.

You Need Special Equipment

Next, consider whether or not you need special equipment for your project. In some cases, you can pay to rent the equipment, do the work yourself, and save money. However, there are times when the equipment rental might be too expensive. Or perhaps you don’t have the expertise to use the equipment and finish promptly. Renting the equipment for more than a day could start to add up.

A professional should have the equipment needed to complete the task and do so in a timely fashion. Carefully think about how much it would cost to rent the equipment, and factor in the time it would take to learn to use the equipment and become proficient enough to complete your project. If it looks like it might cost too much or take too much time, consider hiring a professional to complete the project.

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You’ve Already Messed Up Once

Maybe you’ve already tried to DIY, and things didn’t go as planned. If you’ve already made a mistake, it can make sense to hire a professional to fix it. You don’t want to make things worse by trying to fix your mistake and then messing things up further. Even if you can pinpoint where you went wrong, you might not be able to set things right. Rather than potentially compounding the mistake — and the expense — consider hiring a professional to take care of the situation.

You Have Better Uses for Your Time

Often, DIY comes with a time commitment. You save money, but you end up spending time. Everything has its value. One of the issues with spending time, though, is that you can’t get that time back. In some cases, if you could spend the time on something more profitable, it makes sense to hire someone else to take care of your project. DIY doesn’t make sense if you could work and make $60 an hour, but instead, you are doing something yourself to save paying a professional $40 an hour.

Even if you really could save money when you DIY, it’s important to consider what else you could be doing. Are you doing it yourself at the expense of spending time with your family? You can’t get those hours back, so it’s important to be careful of how you use your time. If you can afford to hire a professional to complete a project, and you want to use the time to make memories, that can be valuable in the long run. Sometimes it’s not just about the money.

Deciding whether or not to hire a professional instead of DIY takes some consideration. Be realistic about what you can accomplish, and weigh your options.  Sometimes it just makes sense to hire a professional.

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Our advise is based on experience in the mortgage industry and we are dedicated to helping you achieve your goal of owning a home. We may receive compensation from partner banks when you view mortgage rates listed on our website.

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