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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Classic Dilemma - Hiring Professionals vs DIY

Written by guest contributor: Antoine Rizzotti
Well, we all have faced this dilemma. When it comes to some projects, we are doubtful whether to call a professional or to do it ourselves. Well, there is no simple answer to this question. There are so many factors associated with it. Let’s take a closer look below. When it comes to the many projects that you know you can handle it and it is a waste of time and money to go after a professional. And there are projects where you know that you must hire a professional. But there are some projects that do not belong to either category. We will be analyzing the case of such projects below.

I Should Fix This!
Well, Americans generally think that they are supposed to fix everything themselves.  That’s an innate cultural sense. The idea behind this thought is to get the most out of the project. You have a free weekend and you have plenty of time at your disposal. And you are bored. Then they start the work. But the funny thing is that such a work can last for several weekends for many months or years.

Do It Yourself Trend
Let’s take a look at the origin of this trend. Where did it begin? Well, you can blame the internet for this. The internet has enough information to do stuff on your own instead of going after a professional. Moreover, people take inspiration from home owner seminars, home improvement TV shows etc. as well. They get to learn plenty of things that fuel their interest in going in that direction. According to the experts, people usually take the route of DIY if the project is a small one. And it holds true especially if the homeowner is a young person. If you grew up in a house where the adult showed a fascination to ‘fix everything’ in the house, you will most likely take the same route. This is a true confidence builder. 

The Danger Of Overconfidence
As you know, confidence is good. But overconfidence is not. You can see that in most cases, overconfidence is what fuels this drive. Initially, the home owners will assume that they know so much and they will be able to deal with the challenges ahead. But when things get real, they realize that they were not up to the task. You should realize the fact that some things are not as easy as you think, no matter what. Once you embrace this truth, things will become easier for you. For example, moving a wall to create some extra space is not a small project. It is obviously beyond your expertise.  Keeping that in mind, it is wise to keep away. There is so much work implied and you should know your limitations. So you have so much to do before you start doing it.

The Basic Skills Won’t Take You Far
Most of the homeowners only have a basic skill to deal with the task at hand. This is obviously not enough. This basic skill can lead to many unexpected problems later on.  Well, a small problem can later turn into a big problem. You will be surprised to know that most of the projects that professionals handle these days are the DIY projects that went wrong. So you need to seriously assess your skills before you start doing the project.

Assess Your Skills
First and foremost, assess your skills. Before you start any sort of home improvement or any similar project, ask yourself this question, ‘do I have the skills to finish this project?’  You should also ask whether you like the physical work or getting dirty. When it comes to successful projects, mere can-do, will-do chest thumping is not enough.  Attitude alone won’t make much difference. Check with the professionals if you have to. Also, talking to your friends who executed such projects in the past will be of great help. I would also suggest you to read the relevant books in this field. Get all the resources you can have and use it to assess whether you are up to it or not. Remember that there are power tools implied as well, such as drilling machines, wire strippers, circular saws, power sanders, oscillating tools, nail guns, etc. and almost all of these tools can be dangerous if not used properly.

The Step By Step Approach
Whether it is a small project or a big project, the step by step approach is really important for the proper execution of the project. First and foremost, write down the steps in the process. If you are able to predict the steps in advance, you will be able to go a long way. Being well prepared in advance is going to be very helpful in executing it perfectly. And I would also suggest you to talk to your friends who are part of the trade.  Are they going to help you if you need their help at a later stage?  As you learn more and more about the project, you will realize that some things are better left to the professionals for the betterment of the project. If the project has anything to do with natural gas pipes or electrical lines, it is better not to do things on your own. You definitely need the help of a professional here. The failure in such projects can lead to death or even serious injury. Though plumbing seems like a job that you can undertake, remember that it can lead to huge water-clogged troubles at times. So, take it up only if you know that you are going to execute this project perfectly. 

The Lack Of Knowledge About Rules And Regulations
Even if you are able to do the project well, the lack of knowledge about the local rules and regulations regarding the certain project, you would end up inviting fine from the authorities. Also, this can lead to problems that will prevent you from selling your home.  So, do things only after careful consideration. Also difficulty in executing certain projects might warrant the presence of a skilled worker. 

Even Simple Jobs Can Be Tricky
Many don’t realize the fact that many seemingly simple jobs can be very tricky once you start executing it. So make sure that you are doing it right and that you have the expertise. Another important factor is the cost. You might assume that you are saving labor costs when you do it yourself. But this is a wrong idea. When you mess up the whole project, you will end up spending several times more money to fix it.

Antoine Rizzotti

I’m a mechanical engineer by profession and DIY enthusiast.
When I have the time I like to blog about cars, home improvement
and power tools. To check my latest reviews you can
visit ToolsReviewer. If you want to reach out you can find
me on FB, Twitter or G+.

Psst! Do you want to guest post or contribute? Read the details here or email me if you have any questions at

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