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When to DIY and When to Hire a Pro for Your Home Improvement Projects


By: Courtni Wisenbaker-Scheel

Between the rise of DIY shows and the limitless supply of information available online, homeowners are far more willing to tackle home improvement projects than they once were.

However, just because you can learn how to perform a renovation, does it mean that you should? By asking yourself these four questions from Home Improvement Leads, you will be well on your way to knowing when to DIY and when to bring in a pro.

Do you have the physical ability and temperament?

Home improvement projects are almost always strenuous in one way or another. You will need to evaluate your own physical capabilities and limitations to determine if a project is going to be manageable by yourself. Similarly, if you are prone to being easily frustrated or lack follow through, DIY projects that are extremely complicated and require extensive time commitments may not be for you. Save yourself the headache and hire a professional in that instance.

Are there safety risks to you and your family?

So long as you use low- or no-VOC paint, there is little you need to worry about when you want to repaint your living room. Rewiring your entire house, however, is another story altogether. Assess the level of risk you are willing to take on, bearing in mind that some contractors are wary of taking on a fumbled DIY project.

How much will I save when I DIY?

By eliminating labor costs, you can usually save yourself 25 to 50 percent in total expenses when you DIY. Savings like that are enough to make anyone consider taking on a project! However, any mistakes along the way will definitely increase your expenditure, as will the need to rent/purchase any specialized tools. When performing your cost analysis, be sure to bear in mind that construction professionals are able to purchase materials at a fraction of the cost to the average consumer, too. If after running the numbers, it seems like it would be negligible for you to attempt a project versus hiring a professional, it’s usually wiser to go ahead and bring in experienced help.

Will you need a building permit?

Depending upon the city/county you live in and the renovation you have planned, a building permit may be required for the job to be performed legally. In certain instances, only licensed professionals are eligible to apply for such permits, in which case, you will be not be able to alter your home by yourself. Check your city’s website to determine not only what renovations require a permit, but also who can be granted one. When you take the time to evaluate each aspect of a renovation and how well you would handle them, the decision to DIY or hire a pro usually becomes clear. DIYing will earn you some bragging rights, and so long as your home ends up exactly how you want it, you’ll be one happy homeowner.

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Plano Profile
Founded in 1982, Plano Profile is the magazine of good living in and around Plano.

Plano Profile magazine is an community-based cross-channel publication for those who live or work in the city of Plano, Texas. Plano is an affluent community just north of Dallas, which is home to some of the most recognized businesses in the world. The combination of affluent citizens, exceptional healthcare, business growth, exemplary schools, and a diverse demographic make up the fabric of Plano.

Our print publication is delivered monthly by direct mail to 50,000 homes and businesses in Plano, Allen and Frisco. Our website is updated daily with local news and events and our weekly email newsletter keeps readers up-to-date with everything going on in and around Plano.

With more than 160,000 monthly readers, Plano Profile will help you grow your business and reach more customers than ever before.


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