When to Hire a Professional for Remodel

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Are you qualified to renovate yourself or is it worth the money to hire help?

Although sometimes costly, hiring professional designers and contractors relieves stress and eradicates expensive do-it-yourself (DIY) remedies. But how can homeowners determine which projects to undertake and which to outsource?

We asked eight home improvement writers to weigh in on their process for determining when to pull out the tools or the checkbook.

Try before you buy

Overseeing house projects from start to finish gives homeowners total control over outcomes — minimizing the odds of remodel regret.

“My husband and I are pretty handy and we do most home improvement and redesign projects ourselves. We do this not only to save money, but also because we enjoy being a part of the creative process,” said Tiffany Hewlett of Making the World Cuter.

Undertaking a home improvement project can cut upgrade expenses by eliminating installation fees.

“We paid way too much money to have carpet ripped out and tile installed in our master bathroom in our old house.  If we had to do that today, we’d probably do it ourselves,” said Gennifer Grover-Hass of Life in the Hass House.

“I was recently quoted $8,000 for a bathroom reno[vation]. My husband and I decided to try and do the reno ourselves and will end up spending about $2,500 total.  That’s a pretty big savings,” recalled Erika Brendle of Retropolitan Hip

Play on your strengths

Both DIYers and professionals can learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses.

“The DIYer can benefit from guidance, help in choosing color and help with an overall plan they can implement at their leisure. A professional can save them time and money by minimizing the ‘let’s try this’ and then the ‘oops, that didn’t work’ trial and error periods we sometimes go through as DIYers,” advised Claudine Barnett of Your Nest Design.

Handymen who lack interior design vision should hire professionals to select paint colors, cabinetry and furniture, but complete labor independently to reduce total costs. Similarly, design-savvy homeowners with big plans for aesthetics might only require assistance with assembly and installation, and therefore eliminate pricey consultations.

Know your limits

It’s easy to get in over your head, especially attempting common DIY projects. Regardless of difficulty, many home projects require professional input as a necessary safety precaution.

“Steer clear of any project that involves electrical work or changing the basic structure of a room. Knocking down a wall to change the layout could be a recipe for disaster if it’s load-bearing. When working in the bathroom, water and electrics don’t mix, so by law you should always consult a professional electrician who holds a Part P qualification to help you fix your bathroom lighting. If you don’t, not only will the work be illegal but it will put you in danger,” warned Natalie White of Rated People.

Not to mention, tackling arduous projects without proper knowledge can hurt your home and end up costing more to fix.

“I would NEVER attempt a major plumbing project because I’m not confident in my abilities. On the flip side, there are SO many resources online that can help you with almost any project. Also, check with your local home improvement store for classes like tiling or dry walling,” said Angela Lerew of Unexpected Elegance.

Don’t hesitate to ask for help

While you may be confident in your DIY skills, there’s no shame in asking for help. Even professionals accept support from colleagues and specialists, and multiple viewpoints ensures the project receives optimal attention and care — from start to finish.

“I am a firm believer in leaving some things to those that specialize in them. I am not afraid to admit when something is beyond my scope and it’s time to bring in the professionals. There is always going to be someone that can do it better and I’m happy to find that person to make the project turn out as perfect as I imagined,” said Gina Kleinworth of Kleinworth & Co.

“Our neighborhood has an amazing Listserv where people will share resources. Any time you can get a direct referral from someone you trust, it’s bound to be a better experience!” said Mary Sell of Lemon Grove Blog.

Call a professional when you don’t feel comfortable tackling modernizations alone. With close observation and practice, you can learn the how-to’s to be more involved and save money for future home improvements.

Read original article by Jennifer Riner for the Zillow Blog here

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