Should You Hire a Pro Or DIY?

Posted by Justin Havre on Thursday, December 14th, 2017 at 9:03am

Should You Hire a Pro Or DIY?Owning your own property is one of the strongest symbols of independence which is why it doesn't seem like much of a stretch to handle the improvements to that property too. But some DIY projects really aren't advisable for the average handyman (and even sometimes for the advanced one.) It's time to look at the big picture of home repairs before jumping into a project that could eat up far more time and money than a homeowner ever could have anticipated.

Physical Safety

Before tallying up how much supplies will cost at the hardware store, homeowners first need to list out the safety hazards in their minds. All jobs are going to come with some degree of risk, but the odds rise and fall depending on the outcome the homeowner wants. From faulty wiring to unsecured beams in the attic, no home is immune from these kinds of dangerous surprises. One thing that even the most seasoned DIY'ers won't do is work with garage door springs. The tension they're under can spell big trouble for an unsuspecting tinkerer.

Neighbourhood Pushback

Tackling a huge project without the help of a professional is going to be exceptionally fulfilling (and maybe even really fun!). But local officials may not be as excited to find out about your plans. This is because what a homeowner does or doesn't do can have far-reaching consequences. Let's say a homeowner works on patching up a pipe one day, but they make a mistake and cause their neighbor's bathroom to flood.

Or they cause a tiny water leak in the home that goes undiscovered for years, causing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of water damage. Each neighbourhood has their own policies, so homeowners need to check first if they need a permit before moving forward with any improvements or repairs. Some neighbourhoods even require the homeowner to hire a professional first before getting started.

Practical Concerns

Sometimes a DIY job just costs the homeowner more resources than if they were to hire a professional. Supplies and permits aren't exactly cheap, and many homes are far more complicated once the homeowner gets knee-deep into the project. So no matter how easy that online video makes the process look, each home presents its own unique challenges that some homeowners aren't prepared to handle.

Because this is more complex than painting your home, the best thing to do is to call around to different contractors. Most will give their rates without charging anything. They may come to the house for free, and give a homeowner (hopefully) honest advice about why they should or shouldn't do it on their own. Estimate how much time and money it will take to complete the job, and see what the hourly wage stacks up to against the cost of a pro.

Best of Both Worlds

Certain jobs won't require any Cougar Ridge homeowner to make a choice between DIY and hiring a professional. There are plenty of things a capable homeowner can do around the home with absolutely no assistance whatsoever, so cut down on labor costs by doing the prep work. Priming, demolition, and clean-up are just a few ways that you can put skills to good use before a pro takes on the more complicated tasks. This is one of the best ways to save money because labor rates are the same regardless of whether or not a professional is doing skilled or unskilled labor.

Justin Havre is the top producing REALTOR® with RE/MAX First, Canada's very first RE/MAX brokerage. Calgary real estate is his passion; Justin specializes in Southwest & Northwest Calgary homes for sale. He can be reached at 403.217.0003 or contacted through this site.

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