How Homeowners Can Know When to DIY or Hire a Professional

While there are many repairs that are relatively simple, others do require the expertise of a professional. Know when to DIY and when to call in a professional.

How Homeowners Can Know When to DIY or Hire a Professional Close
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How Homeowners Can Know When to DIY or Hire a Professional

Posted by Gary Ashton on Tuesday, July 10th, 2018 at 10:47am.

Can You DIY or Is It Best Left to the Professionals?Many homeowners like to think that they can watch a few videos and then make any repair needed in a home. While there are many repairs that are relatively simple, other types of upgrades or changes do require the expertise of a professional. Homeowners should know when to address a repair or upgrade yourself and when to call in a professional.

Be Clear on What You Can Do

Some renovation projects can be handled by the average homeowner, while others require more extensive knowledge. It can be better to hire a licensed contractor or electrician when mistakes can lead to potential fire hazards or fines for a homeowner. This can come into play when work on a home may change the existing structure, making it hard to sell a home with work that has not been properly permitted.

Homeowners need to know what they can reasonably handle. Have an idea of which projects require few tools and only a rudimentary understanding of involved processes, and those that may lead to issues that are outside of one's experience. Poor workmanship can make for increased safety hazards in a home. Know when to DIY and when to seek out further assistance for a more complicated repair or project.

Common DIY Repairs

A little patience and know-how can save homeowners money when it comes to maintaining their home. Some of the common repairs the average homeowner can address themselves include:

  • Regrouting tiles;
  • Repairing a leaky faucet;
  • Painting cabinets; and
  • Addressing cracks in plaster.

Such minor repairs are budget-friendly and do not require excessive amounts of time from the homeowner. In such cases, a homeowner who addresses such common issues can potentially head off future issues, as when flooding occurs in a laundry room as a result of a cracked hose off of a washing machine. Observant homeowners can easily replace such items, keeping appliances working well and maintaining the overall appearance of bedrooms, bathrooms and more. And many small home improvement projects can pay off in terms of resale value when or if the home is ever sold.

Permitting and Special Licensing

Does a potential repair or remodeling project include making changes to electrical wiring or plumbing? A homeowner would do best to go with a licensed and reputable professional who will be contractually obligated to get any needed permits. Permits are often needed when outlet placements need to be changed, a hole for an additional window is needed, or for the construction of a deck or other addition.

Building load-bearing structures and changing internal systems often need to meet specific codes and require prior approval. Look into current city building codes and see when building permits may be necessary before making significant repairs or remodeling a home.

Be Honest With Yourself

A homeowner can easily get in over their head when taking on new repairs themselves. Be aware that certain renovation projects require approval and documentation which will make it easier to sell a home. Some people who choose to DIY may save money in the short-term but could potentially create a safety hazard in their home.

All of that being said, many East Nashville new home buyers and homeowners successfully complete common basic and more complex repairs and upgrades in their home and experience a feeling of accomplishment when they are able to address issues themselves without calling out for a professional. It is important to step back and understand which projects can be addressed with minimum fuss and which types of repairs may lead to bigger issues outside of one's experience and expertise. Speak with a professional before starting a new DIY renovation project or major repair to learn of the common problems encountered when repairing a specific issue - and know when to give it to a pro or keep it as a DIY project.

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