When to DIY - and When to Call the Experts

How do you decide whether you should complete a home project yourself or call in the experts? A lot of people only use one metric to decide, but this isn’t the smart approach. Here are several things you need to consider!

The size of the taskThe size of the task in front of you is probably going to be the first thing you think about when it comes to assessing your suitability for that task. But this isn’t actually always that smart a way of looking at things. If the task is so big that it will take several days or even weeks to complete, then you may assume that you should get the experts in so that you don’t end up stretching out the timeline any more than you need to.

But sometimes these bigger tasks may actually be a bit simpler or even safer than the tasks that seem pretty small in comparison. Let’s say you’re building a shed. While some people can do this in a weekend, it will take most people a week or two. But a rewiring job might take less than an hour, and fixing a few tiles on the roof might take half that! But compare the relative dangers of building a shed and messing around with your electric system. While the size of the task is important, it isn’t the only measure you should use.

ExpensesDIY is a great way of saving some money. There is always the chance that a particular job won’t be done quite as well as a professional may have done it, but the money you save can definitely be worth it. Of course, this is assuming that the main objective of the project is completed successfully. And if you don’t have the right skillset, then you might end up causing some damage to your home!

A bad DIY job can actually result in a higher expensive, simply because you may end up having to hire an expert to fix the problem and then redo the task originally intended. Again, it’s worth assessing what exactly can go wrong if you decide to DIY. There are certainly projects out there that have potential hiccups that are relatively minor. Again, building a shed has a fairly low risk because you’re not likely to cause damage inside the house from there! But a bathroom renovation, for example, might result in breaking your plumbing.

Assessing the dangerThe most important think you should consider is the danger in which you’ll place yourself if you decide to do a task yourself. This was highlighted earlier, and there are two tasks that are generally considered “best left to the professionals” - rewiring and roofing. Rewiring might not be that unrealistic a DIY task if you definitely know what you’re doing, but hiring an electrician is always going to be the safest option.

Of course, the danger of certain tasks may not always be so obvious. Let’s say you’ve got some minor flooding in your basement. It’s a pretty big problem, but not the most complex of things. You can at least do some work before calling in a restoration team, right? But you may be placing yourself in more danger than you think. Deciding whether or not to call a restoration team or sewage backup cleaning services can be assisted with proper risk assessment. What color is the water that’s flooded your basement? If it’s clear, then there probably isn’t much of a threat to your health and safety. Grey water is usually used water that isn’t too dangerous, but might contain unhealthy chemicals. And if it’s black? Trust me, just call in the experts.

EquipmentYou may have the time. You may have the knowledge. You may have the skills. But do you have the equipment? It’s often said that a bad worker blames their tools - one may logically deduce from this that you can use just about anything to resolve any problem. It assumes that the quality of your equipment doesn’t matter.Neither of these conclusions, of course, are true.

If your equipment is looking a little worse for wear - if it’s blunt, or loose, or rusty, or weak - then it’s best to rethink your approach. This doesn’t mean you need to call in the experts, exactly. If you’re going to use that equipment again, then you might want to replace your tools and get to work. But if you need to buy a specific and expensive piece of equipment to do this one task - equipment you might not need again - then you might actually end up saving money by getting in experts who do have the equipment! A lack of experience with that equipment may also put you at risk.

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