Dollars From Sense

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Home Upkeep Needed: When To Choose DIY And When Not To

DIY skills are very important to the modern homeowner. If you’ve got a tool kit in the shed and you know how to use it, you’re not going to run into many repair problems over the next 20 years. Plus, you’re going to save yourself a lot of money on hiring someone to come round and fix the sink for you! 

We’re all about saving money on home matters as these tend to be some of the most expensive purchases you have to deal with in life. Say you want to give your living room a new lease of life – paying someone to lay a new carpet can cost upwards of $2000, and that’s not something most families can afford offhand! 

However, there will come a time when DIY just won’t be suitable. You’ll need to fix or put up something in or around the house and your own skills could make the job more dangerous. It’s important to be able to identify tasks like these before you dive in, get hurt, and make the issue much worse than it needed to be. We all do it, but we all can avoid it too! 

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What Materials Do You Want to Use?

This is a good point to keep in mind for smaller projects, such as making your own chair set or fitting a deck in the backyard. 

If you want to use cheaper stuff you can buy at any home depot store, it might be worth it to just buy the piece of furniture you’re after – you won’t have to spend upwards of an hour putting it all together then. But if you want to use darker, richer woods and spend plenty of time varnishing and upholstering, it’s worth it to look into material costs separately and go from there. 

When you’re working for yourself you can’t quite put a price on the time you spend on a project, but if you’ve ordered in the good stuff, you know you’re going to turn out something sturdy and beautiful. 

What’s Your Budget?

Following on from the point about materials, the more budget you have, the more likely you are to be able to DIY something. Sure, DIYing in general is meant to save you money, but if you make a mistake when trying to fix up your house, it’s better to have budget there in the end. 

Of course, a good budget also means you can hire someone to do it for you. From just one handyman to a whole team of contractors, the bigger the budget the easier a maintenance or renovation task is going to be. 

Either way, if you want to do something cheap, try DIY. If you want to do something cheap but properly, hire someone. Just make sure you shop around for that someone first! And if you want to do something yourself and it’s OK if things go wrong, it’s up to you. 

How Much Time Do You Have?

The spare time you have right now is going to factor into whether or not you should DIY a certain project. For those of us with full time jobs and little time to relax on the weekends, finding time to brush up on DIY skills becomes very hard to balance! 

Say you want to redecorate your place, to a high standard, but you’ve only got a spare couple of days across the next month or two. Will you really be able to clean and sand down the walls, buy the right paint or wallpaper, get a painting or pasting station set up, and then go room to room? 

Probably not! And if you don’t have time to repaint the whole house inside and out, it’d be better to call in some professional painters to get it done for you. You get peace of mind, the job gets done, and you’ll be much happier in your home.

How Much Do You Believe in Your Skills?

If you asked the average homeowner how good they are at DIY, they’re probably going to overestimate their skills. Sure, they know how to use a hammer and put up some shelves, but jobs involving the water tank or the central heating might be lost on them. If you fall into this bracket, don’t let hubris run in front of your financial health! 

It’s a good idea to practise your skills on smaller tasks, then move onto something a bit harder to handle, and only then start thinking about the real challenges. Laying a new roof, for example, or trying to insulate the attic with your own fibre wall material. These tasks require a bit more knowhow and hours on the job, as it were, than the average homeowner is likely to have. 

You can give things a go, but make sure you’re aware of what could go wrong before it does. 

Would You Be in Danger?

This is the final question to ask yourself before bringing out your toolbox. And really, it’s the one that matters. If the job in question would put you in a dangerous position, don’t try it. Rewiring lights, trying to take out the old furnace, removing a wall that could be loadbaring but you’re not too sure – these all count as dangerous scenarios. 

If you’re going to be in danger, ask someone who’s qualified to handle the present danger to fix things for you. It’s no mark against you, and it won’t make you a worse homeowner if you need to. In fact, you could be saving time, money, your home’s structural integrity, and even your life whilst doing so! 

DIY is a great option for the modern homeowner. However, it’s not always possible to do it yourself! Sometimes it would be too dangerous to try, sometimes it wouldn’t be financially beneficial, and sometimes you just don’t have the time or energy. No matter the reasoning, if you feel it’d be better to call someone in, don’t be afraid to do so.