6 things to ask before you DIY
Doing a home improvement project yourself could be a huge money saver or a disaster. These tips will help you decide what the likely outcome will be.
This post comes from Angela Colley at partner site Money Talks News.
Doing home improvement projects yourself can save you money. My frugal father once taught himself how to put a brick mailbox back together after I had backed into it with my car -- saving us both $500.
Then again, DIY projects can also cost you more money if you end up DIW (doing it wrong) and then have to hire a professional. So how do you know when to go it alone or go with a pro? In the video below, Stacy Johnson shares a checklist that can help you decide. Check it out and read on for more tips.
How do you decide? Here's a checklist:
Do it yourself
- Crown molding installation
- Toilet installation
- Appliance installation
Hire a professional
- Heating and cooling installation
- Relocating plumbing
- Major electrical work
- Foundation repair
- Window replacement
- Driveway paving
- Home Depot Project Guides.
- Lowe's How-To Projects.
- DIY Ideas.
- Do It Yourself.
- This Old House.
- The Family Handyman.
- Look at the right time. Shop for a contractor in the off-season, when you can get a better price.
- Get multiple estimates. Get estimates from three to five contractors.
- Choose a contractor you like. Things will go smoother if you choose someone you can get along with.
- Ask for references. Ask for recommendations from friends or family members, or have the contractor provide references you can contact.
More on Money Talks News and MSN Money:
I love do it your selfers, I hear this all the time, I bought an (insert item here) online and I don't know how to hook it up / wire it correctly / make it go round, ETC. What do you charge to make it work? That’s way too much, I already have it installed it will only take a few minutes. They are usually correct; it only takes a few minutes to load the needed tools, it only takes a few minutes to drive across town to the job, it only takes a few minutes to find out how badly it’s screwed up, it only takes a few minutes to (often) completely undo everything that has been done wrong, it only takes a few minutes to repair the damage done to the machine by the inexperienced purchaser, it only takes a few minutes to reinstall it correctly, it only takes a few minutes to do a proper checkout / operational test to make sure It’s right, it only takes a few minutes to clean up and put away the tools. You betcha, it only takes a few minutes.
I have been contracting for over 30 years even I often realize that I am better off paying an expert to do it right and warrant the work and I can and have installed and repaired nearly everything on a home or building. The flip side is that I am also happy to show a customer how to do my trade or anything else I am expert in. People just need to realize contractors make it look easy because they have paid the price in the past, even easy things like drywall and light fixtures require more than just general knowledge. Most contractors have paid for their knowledge in blood and tears and pain at some time or another.
You can save money if you DIY, To bad the government helped the banks cheat me out of a house to improve on, and out sourced my job so I can't afford a new one.
Now for me, Home improvement is buying new tires or parking with a new view..
Thanks,valuable discussion about this topic is very essential for us.
Great works man.
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I learned the hard way about asking for references. Last week I hired a, 'contractor,' that had a free ad on a certain classifides website. I didn't want to do the work myself because of physical limitations.
He seemed like a nice guy, so I went ahead and hired him without asking many background questions...To be honest, I didn't want to appear like a stick in the mud.
Long story short, I ended up with a bigger mess than what I started with and had to finish the job myself. Now I'm about $200 down and in copious amounts of pain. From now on, business is business. I will ask for references and verify them.
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