We’re always asking ourselves this question when improving our homes: should we do something ourselves and save some money, or should we call in a professional who we know will do it right? The answer to this question depends on your areas of expertise, people you may know, and how dangerous the job is.
If a job carries inherent dangers with it, especially if those dangers will be exacerbated by lack of proper materials or safety measures, it’s almost always better to leave the job to an expert. For example, when wiring in your house needs replacing, doing an improper job could potentially result in damage to your home or to you. Gutter cleaning, on the other hand, isn’t inherently dangerous, but since you’ll likely be working on a tall ladder, there’s always a danger of falling. Moreover, professionals will often bring gear that lets them get the cleaning job done quickly and easily, but you might not have access to it. You may also want to leave any job that could result in damage to your home, like replacing roofing shingles, to a professional unless you have prior experience.
It’s Who You Know
Now, what we mentioned above applies less if you have friends or family who is experienced in the job you want to do. For example, if you need a tree cut down in your yard and you have a friend who does lumber work, they probably have the equipment and know-how to fell a tree safely. Whereas typically, you wouldn’t want to cut the tree down on your own, if your friend is there to help with the proper equipment and supervision, you’re probably good to go.
Prior experience is always something to take into account for DIY projects, as well. If you were the child of a plumber, for example, you probably have a decent knowledge of how interior plumbing works in a house, and you’d likely feel safe about replacing a length of pipe or two yourself, even if you needed to do a bit of research to refresh yourself first. The same goes for working with things like power tools. If you were taught how to use them before, you’ll probably feel much more comfortable using them yourself in the future.
When approaching an at-home task, understanding why you might want to call in an expert, why you might want to do it yourself, and what situations apply to both is essential to a job well done.