If you’re a confirmed do-it-yourselfer, your first instinct may be to launch into a home improvement project yourself. After all, you can save a bundle of money going it alone. But even if you’re an experienced home handyman, you can get in over your head fairly easily. It’s an unpleasant feeling when you suddenly realize that you really did need help with the electricity or plumbing, or if you run into trouble dealing with an inspector.
Contractors will understand the codes and know what permits are needed. They’re experienced at organizing a job, getting it done cost effectively, and getting a better price when it comes to materials through well-established relationships with subcontractors and suppliers. And they’ll usually warranty their work, meaning you can rely on them to fix anything that isn’t right within a given period of time. That’s peace of mind you can’t rely on when you go the DIY route, and it’s usually worth the expense.
When to hire a professional
There are just some jobs that are best left to the pros, either because of the damage you could do to your home or because there’s some physical danger involved. Putting in a new bathtub may look straightforward, but there are complicating factors, such as plumbing and sealing, that make it an ideal job for a professional. Then there’s the back-breaking labor of removing your old tub, the damage you can do to your house getting it out the door, and wrestling the new one upstairs.
If you’re contemplating a tiling project, consider the size of the space. The larger the room, the more difficult and intricate the work, particularly when working with ceramic tile, so consider contracting with professionals who know what they’re doing. Roofing is another job that’s usually best left to the pros. You just don’t want to mess it up and cause water damage that can mean big trouble. According to HomeAdvisor, repairing an asphalt shingle roof averages anywhere from $300 to $1,300 Winter Garden, FL.
Why you should hire a professional
When you hire a professional for a home improvement project, you automatically gain a number of advantages. Homeowners sometimes overlook the fact that contractors manage all of the details, things that you as a DIYer may not even know about. Their relationships with subcontractors and other professionals means they’ll have the people they need to get your job done right. For example, if there’s plumbing work involved, they’ll have a plumber on hand, someone with whom they’ve worked in the past and who will give them the best price. And you’ll have a main point of contact, usually a project manager (or whoever’s in charge), so there’s not a problem when you have a concern to air or just want an update.
Reputation is important, so it’s always a good idea to get references about a contractor you’re considering. But any professional contractor must be licensed in order to perform any work on your home so you can be confident that whoever you go with will be licensed and fully legal. Licensing provides you with a safety net: If licensed contractors ignore regulations, they‘re at risk for losing their license and their ability to perform any further work in your state.
If you get injured working on your home, you may be covered depending on the nature of your accident. But if you damage the plumbing or fry your electrical system because you didn’t know what you were doing, you’ll probably be on your own and can expect to take a major financial hit. Hiring a contractor means their work is insured, and they’ll be responsible for anything that goes wrong.
Leave it to the pros
When you envision what your home improvement project will look like, you probably don’t picture what it’d look like if something goes wrong. Hiring a professional contractor means you don’t have to worry about safety issues and incurring huge costs if you make a mistake. If you have any doubt at all, do yourself a favor and leave it to the pros.
Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.