The Dark Underbelly of DIY Projects

Man fixing planks in homeBy Aurora McCausland

If you’re fixing up your house before selling it, you have to make some decisions about spending. It’s no secret that many of us will try taking a home improvement project into our own hands, before handing the project over to a professional. There’s nothing wrong with being a little handy around the house, and trying to save yourself a few dollars in labor fees. But sometimes, going the DIY route isn’t always the smartest, or the safest, idea.

Safety first

Cost of home improvement aside, safety should always be your main concern. Some projects are relatively safe, and you probably wouldn’t be putting yourself or anyone else in harm’s way, even if the project doesn’t pan out the way that you planned. It’s probably safe to assume that you’re capable of changing a light bulb or repainting your kitchen. However, some projects just aren’t safe for someone to do without proper training. Even if no one gets harmed during installation, if something isn’t done properly, it could cause damage to your home or to your family later down the road. If you have a bigger project, like installing or fixing your garage door, installing new cabinets in your kitchen, or cutting and laying tile, you may be safer to put down the tile saw, and call a local handyman. That’s their speciality, after all.
Couple nesting in new house

The icky stuff

No one wants to talk about their toilets…but sometimes, you have to. Your home’s plumbing is an essential part of your home’s comfort and safety. Non-emergency issues like, say, a clogged drain, are pretty easy to handle yourself. But not heeding warning signs could lead to big disasters.

For example, toilet DIYs rarely go well. Your toilet is overflowing, God knows what is all over your floor, and all the towels in your house wouldn’t be able to soak up this nightmare. The plunger is just making the mess worse, you don’t own enough air freshener to make your home smell normal again, and you’re at your wits end. Attempting to take care of the problem by yourself may cost you your sanity, but calling a plumber will only cost you your pride(plus whatever their hourly rate happens to be).

The cost

The biggest deterrent for someone to call a professional for any of their handyman projects, is usually the cost. Spending money, especially on an unexpected home repair, can be stressful. And if it’s not something that you’ve budgeted or planned for, your hesitation to pay the money to have someone else come fix the problem is justified. If you’ve determined that it’s a project small enough that you can handle through either previous handyman experiences, or extensive research via Youtube videos, it’s time to determine the worth of the cost to make the repairs yourself. Depending on the expense of materials, and the scale of the project, it may actually be the less expensive option for you to hand over the reigns to someone who knows what they’re doing without the help of google and youtube videos. Keep in mind that, you’ll probably have to buy all new materials for your DIY project, whereas a handyman likely has all of the necessary equipment and materials on hand to get started immediately. In which case, their fee may end up being less than the cost of purchasing all of the raw material that you’ll need by yourself. Make sure to do this simple calculation before making a decision, so you don’t end up spending more than you need to!
DIY furniture upcycling

Double the cost if you make a mistake

If you aren’t fully confident in your ability to complete your DIY project by yourself, then you may want to save yourself the trouble and hire a handyman from the beginning. The reasoning here is, if you mess up, you’ll not only have to pay for the materials to do it yourself, but also pay someone to fix your mistakes.
There’s nothing wrong with a DIY home improvement project! Just make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into first, and make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *