Published April 10, 2023
Home Remodeling by Dana Laksman
Every year, well over ten million Americans begin a home renovation project. From improving comfort or utility to increasing a home’s resale value and desirability on the market, the reasons for doing so are as endless as the different types of houses out there. However, anyone beginning a home renovation project will face a choice between hiring a remodeling contractor or undertaking the major task of “doing it yourself”. While there are pros and cons to each, the vast majority of people will end up spending more money, time, and effort trying to DIY. Unknowns and risks abound when it comes to home renovation jobs, and the potential to cause significant damage is very real. Unless you have lots of experience and are very comfortable working with basic renovation tasks like installing wiring and plumbing or tearing out a wall and installing a new one, it’s probably best to leave it to the professionals. However, it’s worth it to examine both sides of the issue, so let’s look at the pros and cons of each option.
The biggest benefit of hiring a contractor is peace of mind. When you hire a contractor, you are guaranteed to have someone there that knows what they are doing, can work with a budget, understands risks and what can go wrong, and guarantees a job well done. They are good at problem solving and understand specialized areas that will need to be taken care of.
Besides the peace of mind that comes with hiring a contractor, you will save money by ensuring that the job is done right the first time. Nothing is worse than a home repair job that is done incorrectly, as that can cause serious issues, damage to your house, and confusion for anyone that you hire down the line. Unless you’re totally comfortable, have the right tools, and have experience doing this type of work, it’s always best to leave it to the professionals.
When attempting to DIY a home renovation job, especially a big one like redoing a kitchen or bathroom, it can be very difficult for the average person to budget correctly. Costs run up quickly, tools are incredibly pricey, materials cost a lot, and supply chain issues can cause overruns and delays. Hiring a contractor means that you will have an expert managing and controlling the budget.
When you attempt to DIY, there can be serious legal and financial liabilities that you are incurring. Contractors know exactly what type of permits they will need and how to make sure they go through. In addition, many home insurance policies require the holder to inform them of any renovations, which can raise your costs or even violate the policy, meaning you won’t be covered if something goes wrong. With a contractor, if something does go wrong you will be covered. Attempting to renovate your home yourself means that you, and you alone, are on the hook if something goes wrong. Hiring a licensed and insured contractor will mean that if there are any faults, you won't have to worry about them.
When it comes to the cons, they are all tempered by upsides as well. For example, a project might take slightly longer, as a contractor will likely have more than one job at a time and will occasionally have emergencies or delays. However, do you really want to rush through it yourself and potentially miss something critical, or would you rather just wait for the expert to do it in their time?
When hiring a contractor, workers will be in your house, which can cause a chaotic scene and make your house feel like a work zone. While this may inconvenience you slightly, your house will still be a work zone if you are doing it yourself. In a way, having workers arrive who know what they are doing is partly what brings you peace of mind. At the end of the day, for the vast majority of homeowners, hiring a contractor has benefits that far outweigh the cons. It’s easy to see that unless you have plenty of experience, all the right tools, and are very comfortable with diagnosing and repairing complex issues like wiring, plumbing, putting in drywall, and other construction tasks, it’s not even a close consideration. Don’t risk racking up huge liabilities, costs, and legal issues. Just like you wouldn’t work on your car if you’re not a mechanic, you generally shouldn’t work on your house unless you’re a contractor. If you’re considering home renovations, contact the experts today and get the process started!
Written by Dana Laksman
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