Home Upgrades: Do It Yourself or Hire a Professional?

I recently picked out a few projects to improve my condo. I want to add tile near my front door, build in a wine rack, and do a few other small projects. I could probably do some of the smaller projects on my own, but I’m not sure how well they would turn out.

Do You Have the Skills?

Before you do any work on your house, you need to make sure you have the skills. If you are working on anything electrical, it is important you don’t injure yourself or burn your house down. If you don’t know how to do electrical, don’t do it.

Plumbing is another risky area. If you do plumbing work and everything is not perfect, you can cause serious water damage. I have done some basic stuff before in this area, but for a big project I bring in a professional.

For anything cosmetic, you won’t do any serious damage to your home if you do it yourself, but you don’t want it to be ugly. You and your guests will be looking at that for a long time, so only do it if you can do it the right way.

Can a Professional Do It Better?

While you might be able to handle your next project, you might not be the best person to do it. A professional has likely done your project many times before and can do a much better job than you.

I do know people who are very handy and have built finished basements, new bathrooms, and all sorts of projects around the house. We don’t all have that experience or skill.

If you are going to do a do-it-yourself project around the house, make sure you can do a great job. Get the right parts, the right instructions, and make sure you can do it great. If you have any doubt, it is probably best to hire a professional.

How Much More Does a Professional Cost?

The cost of hiring a professional to help you at home can vary greatly. I know local handymen that charge as low as $15 an hour all the way up to more than $50 per hour. Of course, you get what you pay for. The lower cost handymen have less experience and may not do as good of a job as the more experienced professional.

Sometimes a professional can save you money. If you botch a project, it might cost you a lot more to fix it than hiring a pro in from the start. Whether a small project for a handyman or a large project that requires a contractor, take the time to assess your needs and find the right person to do the job. Who knows, it might be you!

4 thoughts on “Home Upgrades: Do It Yourself or Hire a Professional?”

  1. some fixes like blub change, short circuit or flush malfunctioning etc I can do my self. The other day I did change the shower head learning the skill from youtube.

    1. Shower heads are another easy one to do yourself. It is important to get a good seal on the teflon tape, but other than that it is pretty straight forward.

  2. Certain things like running an electrical line to a new receptacle, or replacing pipes I wouldn’t ever think of doing. Small things like hanging a light fixture, replacing a faucet or fill valve/flapper, or installing shelves I would do myself. Like you said, the cost to fix a problem is likely more costly than paying someone to get it done right from the start.

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