DIY or Hire A Contractor? A Homeowner's Guide

Posted by Justin Havre on Friday, March 16th, 2018 at 9:24am.

DIY or Hire A ContractorHomeowners seeking to save money often make home improvements themselves. However, not all home improvements make good DIY projects. Homeowners who are thinking about taking on a home improvement project as a DIY must consider a variety of factors including budget, ability and risk.

Consider Ability and Experience

Homeowners must consider the relative difficulty of each home improvement project, and must then choose the projects that match their abilities. For example, a homeowner who is new to DIY and home improvement may be able to handle small projects like house painting, hanging blinds or putting up a shelf. Homeowners who have a lot of DIY experience may be able to take on more challenging projects like fixture installation, duct sealing and so on.

Consult With Contractors

Sometimes it's hard to know how much work a home improvement project will involve. Homeowners who are not sure about the relative difficulty of a DIY project can consult with contractors for bids. Asking questions like "what would you do to make this repair?," "What tools are involved in this project?" and "How long would this take?" can all help homeowners determine step by step what must be done to complete a project, and whether or not that project would be within their ability.

Make a Budget and Explore Both Options

Sometimes the deciding factor for a homeowner trying to decide whether to DIY or to hire a contractor is in the budget. Once a budget is made and the homeowner knows how much he or she can afford to spend, the homeowner can then pick the option that best fits his or her budget.

This is done first by setting a spending limit. Next, the homeowner must meet with contractors and get bids from various professionals. Finally, the homeowner must find out how much it would cost to complete the project as a DIY. The DIY budget must include the cost of tools, as many homeowners do not have all the tools on hand that they need to successfully complete a complex DIY project.

Consider Risk

Some home improvement projects involve a lot of risk and therefore are not appropriate for an inexperienced DIYer. These projects are often those that affect multiple systems in the house and therefore have a great potential to go wrong, or involve parts of the house where people can easily get injured. For example:


It's easy to fall off a roof, so homeowners who go on their roof must be very careful. In addition, roofing materials must be installed in a very particular way. If materials are improperly installed, this can lead to roof leaks, structural damage and mold. For these reasons and others, many Air Ranch homeowners will hire a contractor for roof repair or replacement.


A DIYer who does not understand electricity and who does not know how to minimize risk of electrocution can face very severe injuries when performing their own electrical work. Even if the homeowner manages to escape electrocution, improperly installed electrical work can eventually lead to a fire.

Bathroom or Kitchen Remodel

A bathroom or kitchen remodel can involve a variety of moving parts. Therefore, there are many ways a project of this nature could go wrong. Hiring a contractor can ensure that all the work is done properly.

Consider Property Value

Ultimately, the way a home improvement project is completed will have a big impact on that home's property value. Homeowners who are thinking about selling their home soon can consult with a real estate agent for more guidance.

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