While many home-related projects can be tackled successfully by homeowners, others are more challenging and should be left to a professional or face potential disasters or even dangers.
While a project may look simple at first, you never know what you’ll uncover along the way. While your goal may be to save money, you could end up paying more in the long run if you botch a project and have to call a contractor to bail you out.
A national Angie’s List survey found:
- 63 percent of poll respondents say they do some or most of the home improvements themselves.
- 86 percent say they tackle DIY projects because they want to save money.
- 54 percent say they tackle DIY projects because they enjoy working on their homes.
3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Tackling Any DIY Project:
- What experience (if any) do I have? Just because you’re not afraid to take on a project – doesn’t mean you should. Be realistic about your skills. Not having the expertise could lead to additional costs and work. Also, you might find it difficult to find a contractor who will fix your snafu.
- Do I have the time? Many home improvement projects take weeks rather than days. Measure the inconvenience against the cost of hiring a professional.
- Do I have the right tools? If you have to go out and buy a power saw, but don’t plan to use it again in the future, it’s probably not a good investment.
Angie’s List Tips for Making Hiring Decisions:
- Call at least 3 contractors for estimates and check references, credit history and business standing
- Ask about licensing. Make sure the contractor is properly licensed for the job they will perform
- If your home was built before 1978, confirm that they are meet the EPA’s new lead paint certification requirements
- Get estimates in writing. Documentation is often the best ammunition you have if things go wrong.
- Beware contractors who give you only a PO Box or answering service as contact.
- Clearly communicate the updates/repairs you want done. A rough idea on paper is better than nothing.