One of the major reasons why people undertake a DIY project by themselves is because of the rising costs. Hiring professionals can easily break the bank; they have to also spend a lot on materials, labor, and business permits if applicable. Also, the outcome might not be what they want in the first place. Once this happens, the owner might need to make a few changes themselves or hire another contractor to fix it.
On the other side of this concern, doing a project by yourself might prove to be a costly mistake as well. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you might end up doing more damage than good, resulting in a contractor doing more work than what was originally intended. In addition, contractors also know a few tricks of the trade, enabling them to get good prices or finish a work with good craftsmanship. If you’re still on the fence about doing a DIY project, you should know the advantages and disadvantages first.
Advantages of a DIY Project
One of the main reasons people do a DIY project is savings. They are able to save on labor and professional fees, allowing them to buy better materials or simply save the money. Hiring a contractor can take a lot of work and time, especially if you’re not sure about the construction process. You may even end up spending more than what you want and end up with loads of useless construction materials in your house.
Halfway through the project, if you don’t like where it is going or the shape it’s taking, then you can easily change it without any hassles or consultations. After all, you’re the only person doing the project so everything is up to your whims. If you want, you can even go for an entirely different route than your original plan.
Working with a contractor means following their schedule down to the letter. If you don’t like the construction process or if you want to change something, you need to have a meeting with the construction heads and work things out. The process can extend the project, resulting with you wasting money every day.
For minor repairs, you can easily do it yourself since there are a lot of information sources out there. You can attend workshops conducted in DIY shops, surf the internet, or buy a book related to your project. In addition, after you have completed a DIY project, your skill regarding repairs will also have improved, so you can be more confident the next time something similar needs repairing or you might even offer to fix a friend’s house problems.
Connect with Others
Once you start doing DIY projects by yourself, you’ll also stumble upon and meet people who also think the same way and undertake similar projects. You’ll find that they are willing to share their expertise or simply guide the newcomers to the DIY world about what to do and how to prepare for DIY projects. By simply reading up on their websites, visiting their forums, or chatting with fellow DIYers, you’ll gain valuable insight which may apply to your situation.
If you’ve ever struggled with a DIY project, then you know the time and effort it takes to build simple objects like a kitchen cupboard or shelf. After struggling with one project, you’ll develop a deeper understanding and appreciation about quality craftsmanship and the things you’ll buy or own in the future. After each DIY project, you become more attentive to detail on how it was made and also how other products are made, if their quality is worth it or not.
Disadvantages of a DIY Projects
One reason why contractors are in the business is that they know what they are doing through years of experience and training. Though there are a lot of manuals or how-to videos out there, it doesn’t give you equal footing with them. If you undertake a project which may be simple at first, you might find yourself in trouble.
For example, it might be easy just contemplating about changing your kitchen drawers, but once you start building them, you find out that the measurements are off and you need to constantly change them. Not only will this waste your time, but the repeated repairs also mean that you have to spend a lot on materials. In the worst case scenario, you might even do more damage to your furniture, worsening their state than when you began.
Since contractors have been in the business for quite some time, they have established connections regarding materials, manpower, and other construction-related costs. Even if your project involves big renovations like overhauling the ceiling or electrical insulation, you’ll be able to save on materials compared to when you buy them yourself.
Another concern regarding the purchase of construction materials in DIY projects is the quality of materials. If you buy yourself, you might not get the best deal in price, and the materials you buy might be sub-par. In the case of contractors, they can use their contacts and their experience to select the best kind of materials for the job. You’ll avoid future repair costs since it will last for a long time and won’t give you additional headaches after.
If you’re doing a DIY project yourself, you have to take responsibility when something goes awry in the future. Once something goes wrong, no matter how minor it is, you have to go back to the repair store and buy additional materials for a second job. This means spending more money and more time on that botched project.
For contractors, they are able to provide you with a warranty many months or years after completion of the project. If something goes wrong, even if it’s a minor or big issue, you can call them up and they’ll fix it for you for no charge. Contractors live off their reputation so you know that they’ll do the job well the first time, and they’ll provide you with a good warranty to boot.
For DIY projects like moving walls, changing water pipes, or installing new roofing, these can take a long time. Although it may still be possible to do these projects yourself, it will consume your time for other responsibilities as well like your job, taking care of children, and other more pressing responsibilities. Contractors take this load off your hands, allowing you to spend time on other matters. In addition, they will be following a strict timeline so they’ll finish the job in no time.
Before you undertake any DIY project, you should think deeply and assess your skills honestly. It might seem like an easy task at first, but the question is if you have the patience and the resources to sustain this project if it takes a longer time. Weighing the advantages and disadvantages of a DIY project should be your first step. Remember it’s not unmanly to hire a contractor to do house repairs or modifications. It might even be a smarter move for all you know.