If you are talented or so inclined, taking on a do-it-yourself (DIY) project or repair around the home can be a real money saver. There is great satisfaction to be found in completing the work yourself especially when it comes out exactly as you had envisioned. But, there are times you will want to entrust the job to a professional. Remember, in some cases, a poorly-executed project can cost far more in the long run if you have to hire someone to correct the mistakes you make.
Here are some instances when it is definitely smarter to tap into the expertise of a professional:
Projects That Must Be “Up to Code”
There are some projects, repairs and renovations that must meet a number of safety and zoning regulations. If you have any doubt at all about your ability to handle the project yourself, get a licensed professional involved. If the project involves construction, HVAC, electrical work, or plumbing and you do not have a background in those areas, seek the help of a professional. Remember, they are licensed and/or certified for good reason. Completing a project in one of these areas incorrectly can pose a danger to you, your family or visitors to your home later on.
In that same vein, there are also a number of projects and repairs that can simply be too hazardous to try yourself. The removal of lead paint, asbestos and mold, for example. If you live in an older home and one of these issues poses a problem, it would be worth the money to hire a professional removal team. Tackling roof work at excessive heights alone is another example. And, of course, any electrical work should be left to someone with experience in that area. Don’t forget, the danger doesn’t rest solely with the completion of the project. Incorrect handling of electrical work can result in a fire down the line.
If Expensive Tools or Equipment are Required
Even if you are more than capable to handle the project or repair at hand, if it will require you to purchase expensive tools or equipment that you expect you will never use again, you may wish to consider outsourcing. You may find it far more cost-effective to hire a professional who already owns the tools. At the very least, if you must tackle the challenge yourself, consider renting the tools or teaming up with a friend or neighbor who can share the cost.
Repairs Stemming from Insurance Claims or Reimbursements
If your project comes as the result of a product recall or if you are claiming damage on your insurance policy, you may want to consider hiring a professional. Oftentimes in these cases you will be receiving market value for the project. That being said, why not hire a professional to ensure it is completed correctly? Check with your insurance company as well as many require professional work and will pay the contractor/repair person directly.
Projects That Require Digging
You’ve likely seen a public service announcement about this very topic, but it bears repeating. If your project involves digging up any portion of your yard, it is imperative that you first contact your local utility companies. You could end up seriously injured or cause interruption of services to your entire neighborhood. No one wants that.
Never fear, there is still a long list of projects you can take on. Before you do, just be realistic about your limitations, know when it’s necessary to hand the reigns over to a professional, and stay safe!
Alexandra Kelly is a school teacher and devoted mother with a passion for writing and home improvement projects. She is also an outspoken advocate of grammar checkers and often encourages her students and children to use them to proof their works. Her current home improvement project involves the use of San Diego granite.