Thursday, April 19, 2012

When Should You Hire a Contractor for Your Home Improvement / Renovation Project?

We are a DIY society. It fits the rugged American spirit and the can-do attitude that typifies it. If you watch television, you’ll see all the ads for the big box home improvement / renovation stores focusing on the industrious homeowner who does it all – builds his own deck, paints his own house, cares for his own lawn and does his own landscaping. It’s no wonder that most homeowners are almost embarrassed to admit that honestly, they’d rather not DIY all their home improvement & renovation projects.

There are certainly some advantages to doing your home improvement & renovation projects yourself. Generally, it’s less expensive if you provide the labor yourself, and there’s a certain sense of accomplishment in pointing to your new tiled wall or brick patio and saying, “I did that myself.”

On the other hand, there are also some major disadvantages, especially if you’re not skilled in doing the work in question. Some projects can be accomplished relatively easily by anyone who is detail-oriented and can follow directions. Some home renovation or home repair projects, however, require specialized trade knowledge and skills. If you mess up on painting your living room walls, for example, you’ll just have to live with a few drips or a sloppy job. If you mess up on a plumbing job, on the other hand, you could end up having to pay a plumber big bucks for an emergency repair job.

So when should you turn to a local professional contractor to handle your home improvement & renovation projects? The answer will vary according to your skills, abilities and the time you have available, but in general, you should opt for a contractor under the following circumstances.

The Job Requires Specialized Skills or a Licensed Contractor.

Electrical and plumbing jobs – especially those that involve heating systems and natural gas – should be done by a professional contractor, or at least inspected by one. Making a mistake on an electrical job or a job involving natural gas can create a major safety hazard. If you’re not experienced with them, call in a professional to handle the task.

You Own a Rental or Commercial Property.

Check with your local code office about who can perform certain jobs in a commercial or rental property. At the very least, in jobs that involve safety issues, you’ll have to have your work inspected by a professional in order to have it approved.

You Want to Sell Your Property.

If you’re making home repairs, home improvements & renovations with an eye to increasing your property value, it makes sense to pay a professional contractor and get a quality job. The television DIY programs make it look easy, but when the results are important, the extra dollars can make a big difference.

You Just Don’t Want to Do It Yourself.

The very best reason of all to engage a professional to do your home improvement / renovation jobs is that you’d rather relax and watch someone else work. You can almost always find an affordable contractor for any job you want done if you shop around online and get several bids on your job.


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  2. Home improvement & renovation projects yourself. Generally, it’s less expensive if you provide the labor yourself,

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