diy home improvement project gone bad- poorly installed door handleThat Pinterest project sure looks appealing, doesn’t it?

That unused-closet-turned-mudroom, kitchen cabinets turned from drab to fab, even a new-brand vanity in the bathroom: those DIY home improvements (do it yourself) look so easy to tackle when you’re scrolling through before and after photos. But what did it take from Point A to Point B? Are these projects really as easy as they appear to be?

Most of the time, they’re not. We’re all familiar with “Pinterest fails,” where someone tried to bite off way more than they could chew, and let’s just say the end result isn’t flattering, or even functional. The trick is to know when it is a job you can complete yourself versus a job that you want to complete yourself – that dividing line can mean the difference between a job well done and a job never done.

Are DIY Home Improvements Right For Me?

Sometimes it can seem like a real money-saver to do a project yourself, but make sure you consider all that the project entails before you begin. Here are some questions you should ask yourself when deciding between a handyman and tackling a big project on your own.

  • Is it safe? Your safety should always come first when it comes to any home improvement project. If the job is something you can complete without putting yourself at risk, then it may be a project you can tackle on your own. However, if there’s even one doubt about your safety, it’s best to let a professional handle it.
  • Does it require a permit? If you want to build anything new like an addition to your house or even a shed in the back, you might need a building permit to complete the job. Different states have different laws and the permit issuing process is often guided by local authorities, so you’ll need to do your homework before applying. Some people simply aren’t interested in navigating the maze themselves, while a licensed pro will be familiar with the process.
  • What are the stakes? When deciding whether to do a project yourself, consider if there may be serious consequences if the job isn’t done correctly. Big projects that require certain skills, such as electrical or plumbing work, could cause serious and costly damages to your house if you don’t know what you’re doing and something goes wrong. It’s not worth the price tag to fix damages when a professional who is trained to handle these projects get the job done correctly the first time. In the long term, avoiding “re-dos” saves the money you thought you would have saved completing the project yourself.
  • How will it affect your home’s value? Great renovation or maintenance work has the possibility to raise the value of your property, but a shoddy job could do the opposite. Poorly-laid tiles or improperly repaired plumbing are repellants for buyers who want a turn-key home. If you put a little more money in now, you’ll get more out of it later.
  • Will it actually save money? If you price out the cost of a professional versus doing the project on your own, you may find that they actually aren’t so different once you add up all the supplies that you would have to buy to do it yourself. While you save on labor costs when you employ yourself to do the job, that’s a lot of free time you have to spend actually completing it. A few extra dollars to pay doesn’t seem like a bad deal when the project is done for you and it’s done right. Plus, a quality, long-lasting fix saves you money in the long run.

Think before you act

Doing a job yourself seems like a genius idea until it isn’t. A job gone wrong can become a costly, or even dangerous, situation. While you may have to invest a few more dollars to hire a professional, it is well worth it to save yourself a lot of time and aggravation, as well as to prevent the issue from resurfacing. Make sure you weigh all your options before starting any project, and consider a professional home maintenance service for a quality and professional job.

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