• Jessica Vantiegham

When D.I.Y. is a D.O.N.'T.

We’ve all been there before: After binge watching HGTV, you’re fully convinced that your 1980’s kitchen can be transformed into a stunning masterpiece simply by painting the cabinets and replacing the light fixtures…all at a fraction of the price of hiring a professional.

For those homeowners that are meticulous, skilled or willing to log a lot of youtube hours prior to starting the project…KUDOS to you! However, as a person whose job description is to literally tour homes of all sizes, shapes and conditions I can tell you this one truth: not all folks who DIY, should. I also speak from firsthand experience. My husband and I are home improvement junkies but, after several botched projects, we are also realists. Plumbing, painting and drywall work? Just tell me who to make the check out to and we all will live to see another day.

If done well, DIY/sweat equity will allow you to build value in your property while not breaking the bank. If done haphazardly or according to a very specific taste…you will most likely spend double the money to redo all that hard work when it comes time to sell your home. Primarily because of its appearance, but also because once a buyer spots a less than professional DIY project, they are left wondering what other DIY surprises they’ll find once they own the home.

Here are a few head’s up as to when you should bite the bullet and hire a professional…

1) The project is too large. If you’re thinking of taking on projects that will require a ton of time and you are already working 60+ hours a week…contract it out. Not only will it get done in a reasonable time frame, but it will also be done by professionals that are licensed and insured should anything happen.

2) You need tools…and a lot of them. My husband is the king of this. A project that would cost us $1,000 to hire out will end up costing us double that money by the time all the necessary tools are purchased at the local Home Depot. Calculate the real costs of the material and tools needed vs a quote from a pro. You may learn it is just as cost effective to hire a pro that already has the tools.

3) It’s out of your wheelhouse and / or supersedes your skill level. Thanks to Youtube we can all pretty much learn how to perform open heart surgery but, does that mean we should? Same thing for projects that require a specific licensed skillset. Examples…plumbing, electrical, etc. There is a reason why these professionals get paid decently to do these jobs…it takes time to develop the techniques and skills to do it well.

4) It requires a building permit. If you’re about to take on a project that requires city/county/state codes to be met…it’s a good sign to call in the professionals.

Need a quote but don’t have a reliable source? I can help with that. Contractors, painters, plumbers, electricians…tradesmen who do their job well, show up on time and for a reasonable price.

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