Home improvement projects are popular DIY projects, because it is the belief that if you can do it yourself, you will not only save money, but will also increase the value of your property. While this can sometimes be true, it is not necessarily always the case. Before you decide to take on a home improvement project yourself, ask yourself the following questions. Be honest with your answers.
- Do you have the necessary tools necessary to complete your home improvement project?
If not, do you know someone that will be able to loan you the tools for the duration of your home improvement project, or will you have to incur the cost of purchasing them yourself?
- Do you have the spare time to complete your home improvement project in a reasonable amount of time?
There are safety issues to consider with any home improvement project, but especially with one that will remain uncompleted. If you cannot put forth the time needed to finish the project, how will your protect yourself and your family from injury?
- Will you need assistance? If so, do you have access to a skilled laborer that is willing to donate his time?
Don’t just assume that a friend will be willing to spend an entire weekend helping out. Before you begin any home improvement project, make sure you have the help necessary to complete it. There are some home improvement projects that, by law, must be done by a trained professional. Also, check with your home insurance company to ensure that home improvement projects completed by novice workers are covered under your policy; they usually aren’t.
- Would a professional laborer be able to purchase the materials needed at a cheaper price than you can get them yourself?
Contractors and other professional laborers often receive deep discounts, and can purchase materials for a cheaper price. They don’t always pass on the savings to the customers, but it is sometimes worked into their estimate.
- If you are injured during your home improvement project, can you afford to miss time from work?
This is a serious consideration, because unless for some reason you have a disability insurance rider on your health insurance, you will not be reimbursed for time missed from work due to injury sustained off the job.
- Can you pay your medical bills if you are injured during your home improvement project?
Again, this is a serious consideration. Most of us have had to pay for a hospital stay, or trip to the emergency room, at some point in our lives. It is not cheap, and if you are injured during your home improvement project, you can incur hundreds, or even thousands of dollars worth of medical bills.
- Do you enjoy manual labor?
Home Improvement projects require a lot of lifting, bending, reaching, and other types of strenuous physical labor. If you don’t enjoy manual labor, you won’t enjoy a DIY home improvement project.
- Do you have access to the safety equipment needed to complete your home improvement project?
Back braces, safety goggles, steel toe work boots….these are just a few of the many items you will need to keep yourself safe. If you don’t already own these things, you will have to purchase them.
As you can see, there are many factors to take into consideration, and the decision to take on a home improvement project on your own should not be taken lightly. In many cases, hiring a professional laborer will end up being cheaper and will most certainly be more convenient. Remember the old adage, “you get what you pay for”? Sometimes FREE LABOR, just isn’t worth the hassle.
Practically every professional laborer offers free estimates. It doesn’t cost you anything to have them come out and estimate what the home improvement project will cost. You may be surprised at the price. Don’t forget that most professional laborers accept credit cards now, or will at least work out a payment plan to assist you in paying the bill.
If you decide to hire a professional laborer, make sure they are licensed and bonded. NEVER pay the full bill amount before the job is complete. Typically, 1/3 of the amount is given as a deposit, another 1/3 is due when the work begins, and the last 1/3 is paid upon completion. If possible, get a written contract spelling out exactly what will be completed and for what price.
Good luck with your home improvement project! If you’ve decided to do it yourself, be sure to take all safety precautions and protect yourself from injury.