DIY Versus Hiring Professionals: Tips for What to Do Yourself and What to Outsource

Professionals

When you’re working on home repairs, it’s common to search for ways to save money and stay on budget. Renovation work can quickly churn through savings so if you’re like most people you’ll want to have a go at doing at least some of the work yourself.

However, keep in mind that there are numerous tasks you simply won’t have the skills, experience, licenses, or other qualifications to handle. This is when you need to outsource the work to a professional. Here are some tips on when you can go DIY and when you should hire an expert to do the job for you.

Tasks You Can DIY

There are plenty of jobs you can handle yourself without having much experience or trades-based qualifications or licenses. For example, purchase your own materials and related goods for renovation work. Rather than have a professional spend time sourcing items such as materials, equipment, and appliances and then charging you for it, do it yourself and save cash.

To make things go smoothly, check with your contractor, architect, designer, or other relevant party about quantities and sizings so you order enough of an item and get the dimensions right. By taking the time to check out antique stores, flea markets, op shops, auction houses, garage sales, and other venues, you might not only get fabulous second-hand goods but also fit out your home with more interesting, unique pieces and help the environment, too.

Painting is another straightforward DIY job. If you’ve never done this task before you’ll probably have a learning curve at the start, particularly when it comes to cutting in around windows, architraves, cornices, and other finicky work, but once you get the hang of it you can save considerable money by doing it yourself. Increase the likelihood you’ll be pleased with your work by doing adequate preparation before you start applying paint. For instance, wash walls, fill holes, tape up areas, and lay drop sheets.

Plastering is another job homeowners often handle themselves. You’ll find many major plaster brands publish how-tos on their websites to help novices, plus YouTube is a fountain of tutorials. Furthermore, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try your hand at some light demolition work in your home. Stay away from chainsaws, sledgehammers, and the like, but you can remove things in your home to make way for tradespeople to come and do their jobs. For instance, as long as you’re careful and sensible, you should be able to safely remove unwanted floorboards, carpet, cabinets, fixtures, moldings, tile work, appliances, and the like.

Tasks to Leave to the Professionals

On the other hand, one of the most important tasks to leave to a professional is the removal of asbestos. Never knock down walls if you don’t know what’s behind them (or on top of them, as they could be load bearing). Asbestos occurs in older homes and must be tested for and removed by a professional who uses specialized equipment and who’s trained in the substance’s safe extraction.

Similarly, a contractor must always complete structural work. Builders, carpenters, and some other licensed workers,such as these qualified Atlanta handyman services, will know how to safely knock out internal walls in a way that won’t cause the roof, or floor above, to collapse. Keep in mind, too, that often larger structures such as patio roofing, timber decks, pergolas, and carports must be handled by qualified tradespeople.

Diy

Don’t touch any electrical work yourself, either. Handling live wires and doing other jobs that involve electrical sockets, switchboards, and related equipment and fittings is a big no-no as you could electrocute yourself or others. Beyond changing lightbulbs, don’t attempt work on any of your home’s electrical systems, even if the task seems straightforward. Avoid repairing appliances, installing new powerpoints, replacing light switches, or replacing lead plugs.

Other tasks best left for professionals include heating and cooling installation, repairs, and maintenance; plus plumbing, waterproofing, floor laying (although you may be able to handle small tiling jobs), refrigeration, extensive landscape design, roofing, bricklaying, glazier jobs, and gas-related tasks. It might be tempting to have a go at as many projects around your house as possible when you’re completing an extensive renovation but remember that safety is the most important thing. You’ll find plenty of great contractors to outsource the work to, and can concentrate on other elements of getting your house in order, likedeciding on the interior design and decluttering.

This entry was posted in Advice.

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