DIY or hire? That’s a frequent question for many homeowners, especially those of us who like to think we are “handy” and like to save money when we can. Suppose your ceiling fan makes noise and you want to replace it; or you want to add a new motion detector light for the driveway; or you are tired of the fuse being tripped when you use the blow dryer in the bathroom. What should you do?
When does it need to be completed? Here are a few areas to think through. Consider each of them before you make the decision.
If it is needed immediately, that points to hiring. If not, it might be a DIY project. For all DIY projects, do research before you start — either on the internet, or by getting a book about it. Studying and learning in advance is part of the time required for the job. You don’t want to be in the position of having removed the bathroom exhaust fan, and then not have enough time to install the new one for several weeks. If you are not sure that you have the required time (plus 50% extra in case something goes wrong) strongly consider hiring.
How skilled are you?
Do you have a basic understanding of electricity and safety rules? Have you done other electrical projects successfully? Do you respect the power of electricity? Do you have the tools you need — if not, what will it cost to buy them? Are you capable of drawing a wiring diagram before you take it apart? Most electrical repairs can be learned by following guides. You can read the steps in a book or watch a video, and you’ll get a better idea of the materials, tools and total effort needed. If you go through your project this way and feel that you clearly understand what to do, this may be a DYI project.
How Difficult is the Project?
When you do your research, you will often find that each project has already been rated as Easy, Medium, or Difficult by professionals in that field. Many people can successfully do those that are rated Easy, but no so many can do the Difficult ones. If the project involves complicating factors such as high voltage, working on a ladder, cutting into a wall, or working in an attic, strongly consider hiring the work done. There is a lot to be said for having someone come and finish a difficult job quickly so that you can sit back and enjoy it.
If you need help making this decision about DIY or hire for a project, contact us through Ask the Experts. We’ll be glad to give you advice or assistance.