DIY vs contractor: When should you and when shouldn’t you?

Posted on 07.11.14

At Unhinge, we’re all about helping you create the home you dream of. And if that means getting your hands covered in plaster or paint, more power to you.

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diy-or-contractorWith the proliferation of DIY fueled by the Internet and a host of cable shows, it’s easier than ever to find the information you need to start and complete almost any project. You’ll gain an incredible sense of satisfaction and probably save some money.

But on some of those projects you might want to be asking yourself the question: “When should I hire a contractor?”

Small jobs. DIY!

If you can change a light fixture, replace a sink faucet or redo the hardware on your door, you can realize big results for a little time and effort. But if it’s a more complex job that involves plumbing, electrical or tile work, it might be a better choice to call in the pros.

Working with a contractor can actually save you money.

It’s true. A quality contractor isn’t cheap. You are paying for their knowledge and skill gained over a long period of time. If you make a mistake in setting a cabinet or cutting linoleum for the floor by trying to do it yourself, a redo can be costly. Working with a contractor can help you get it right—the first time.

How you can work with a contractor.

Sometimes when you work with a contractor, there are unskilled portions of the project that you might be able to perform to lower the bill. For instance, you might be able to demo your kitchen before you begin the remodel. (Sledgehammer, anyone?) Just ask your contractor if they are open to that. (And be sure to talk to them before you demo!)

And honestly do you have the time?

If you have a larger project to complete and work Monday through Friday at your regular job, that means you can only DIY on the weekends. It might take you two months to complete a project. In contrast, a contractor will be there full time and will be able to complete the job much quicker. You’ll be able to limit how long you have to live with dust, mess and no kitchen sink.

Just remember, sometimes it’s a little easier with some help from your friends.