Over the last several years ‘Do It Yourself’ has become a popular theme for TV programs as well as marketing for building product suppliers. As a builder, one of my pet peeves is the DIY shows and marketing. There are even whole TV channels dedicated to this. My problem with it is, that in 30-60 minutes’ whole rooms are transformed. This can be misleading, not to mention down right impossible. Don’t get me wrong, the satisfaction that comes from doing a repair, changing a light switch or faucet, installing a window, building a deck or even remodeling a complete room can be extremely rewarding. The thing is, you better know what you are getting into before you start.
Reasons for hiring a professional – You need to consider what your skill level is and what the parameters of the project are before tearing into it. Depending on the specific project there is a lot to be aware of. Even something simple like painting a wall can be more complicated than many people realize. Once you start getting into things that are structural, for example, cutting an opening in a wall or building a deck. You sure need to understand what is involved. Not knowing how to do something like this can lead to big problems or maybe somebody getting hurt. It can be hard for those of us that are micro managers to give up the control.
It comes down to priorities. Of all of the things I can choose to spend my time and money on what’s going to be the most important? With over 35 years of construction experience I have determined that getting the right help is a good plan. I just can’t do everything myself…as much as I would like to.
Benefits of hiring that professional – Time is a precious commodity. If you are like me, I can’t ever seem to be able to get everything done that I want to. So when I find someone that I can trust, who I have determined has the desire and skills to do the thing that I need done, doesn’t it make sense to pay them to do it? This allows me to be able to do something else that I am better suited for or maybe would just prefer doing.
Then there is the whole ability thing. Having grown up on a farm I learned how to do a lot of different things. I learned how to be pretty self-sufficient. I am proud of this heritage and I think this is a good quality. The thing is, I was taught this from an early age, over several years and through trial and error. I didn’t just watch a 30-minute TV program or go online to learn it. I am sure that I could make a car given enough time and money, but doesn’t it make more sense to buy one made by professionals.
Reasons for not hiring a professional – The key here is defining ‘professional’. If you’re considering hiring someone then you need to do some research and make sure that you get the right person. There are a lot of people out there that seem to be qualified and aren’t. If you hire someone that isn’t then the outcome might not be much better than if you did it yourself.
Maybe you have the time and desire to learn something new. This is a great reason for doing the project yourself. Just be careful to not get in too far over your head. Be clear on what it’s going to take to do this.
You could save money by not paying somebody else. Just be aware that there most likely will be more time spent in researching, planning, buying, exchanging, returning, redoing and cleaning than actually constructing.
Doing physical work is good exercise. Some people go to the gym or have equipment at home. Some people walk, ride bikes or run. Depending on what your normal routine is doing a home project can be a great way to exercise.
A third option – If you really want to do your own home project, but need some help with knowing how, what, when and where. You might consider finding an experienced professional to guide you through the process. Finding the right person for this can be as tricky as anything. Just realize the value of knowledge and the benefit that it can have.
Once you have determined that you have the ability (knowledge, time, money and physical strength) to do your project, then by all means go for it. There is nothing much more rewarding than stepping back and being able to see something that you have built.