Do Not DIY Projects - Call a Contractor

Should you do it yourself or hire a contractor? Here's what we've learned about how to decide to tackle a home improvement job ourself and when to call a contractor.

Do Not DIY Projects - Call a Contractor

Should you do it yourself or hire a contractor? Here's what we've learned about how to decide to tackle a home improvement job ourself and when to call a contractor.

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Do Not DIY Projects - Call a Contractor

Just because you can do it yourself doesn't mean you always should. From our experience hiring a contractor is a better way to go for some improvement projects. But it's not always easy to make the call. We've learned it's best to do your homework and analyze the project before deciding. That includes finding out how complex and difficult the job is and what skills and tools are needed. And what about how much time it will take to complete the job? If time is money, consider what you have more of. Once you have a handle on the full scope of a job you're in better shape to decide to tackle a job or call in a pro.

Here are jobs we definitely hire a pro to do. Beginning with the safety issue roofing tops the list. Admittedly you can save almost half of what a roofer charges to repair or install a new roof, but it's dangerous and strenuous work for only very rugged individuals. Just hauling shingles up a ladder is a tough job, not to mention walking and working on the precarious and unfamiliar roof of a house.

If you want to work outdoors, tackle yard projects like weeding, edging and pruning. Or apply caulk around doors and windows and paint; these are doable jobs that any handy homeowner can complete and pocket a nice saving.

If an improvement requires the approval of a building inspector such as plumbing and electrical work, definitely hire a licensed professional. The pro knows the local building codes and what they require so the upgrade or installation will meet the approval of an inspector. And a pro has the experience, skill and specialty tools to complete the job more quickly and correctly than a homeowner who doesn’t.

Replacing existing light fixtures and faucets are jobs you can do because you’re swapping an old unit for a new one. Walk down the aisles of a home center and you’ll see manufacturers continue to make products DIY friendly, designed for a homeowner to install. But if a new electrical service or a plumbing line is needed it’s best to call a pro. Check with your local building department to learn exactly what requires a licensed pro and what you can do yourself.

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