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Do-it-Yourself vs. Hiring a Contractor

Posted by Christina Steinmann Lowry on March 1, 2021
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Renovations can do wonders for a home. Updating your home can help it be a more practical space. It can also help the space fit your needs better or match your style. The big question then comes: Do you hire a contractor or try and do it yourself?

If you choose to do the renovation yourself it is important to double check all the skills needed for the job. You want to choose what projects you will DIY based on your skill level. If you need help, you can watch YouTube videos to help figure out the steps for the project. However, you also want the finished product to look good, so practice a new skill before starting. If you don’t have the skill level, ask a friend or family member who does to help.

When doing renovation projects yourself, pay extra close attention to detail. It’s the small things in the finishes that can make or break a DIY project. The small imperfections, like joints slightly mismatching, can show whether it was done by a professional or not. Staying within your skill level will help with this too.

Some parts of a home renovation or updates can’t be completed by many homeowners. Jobs like plumbing, electrical, gas fitting, etc. should be handled by a licensed professional. Not only do they have insurance for this, they have completed years of training and experience too.

Decide what jobs you want a contractor to handle. Choose ones that will give you the highest return on investment, like your kitchen or master bedroom/bathroom. Contractors have practice with the in-and-outs of home renovation. They also know about the safety protocols involved.

  • Can help you save costs on labour
  • Complete the project at your own pace as your budget allows
  • Do small projects quickly. No need to wait for a contractor to have time in their busy schedule.
    • Such as, changing cabinet hardware, painting walls or cabinet, changing faceplates on outlets
  • Hunting for materials on sale
  • Larger projects can be completed more quickly than doing it yourself
  • Confidence that any updates have been made to code and are safe
  • Have connections with tradespeople
  • Have expertise
  • Can provide valuable suggestions for the project based on their experience

If you want to contract out your project but want to some money you can source the materials and finishes. All your choices on materials and finishes are done, which helps the contractor. This can help speed up the timing of the project because there won’t be any delays waiting for materials.


Another option is to break up the project into parts. Ones that you can complete yourself and others for the contractors. Consider completing the DIY parts before or after the contractor. This will help the contractor stay on schedule. It is very important to make sure your DIY part is completed in time for the contractors to begin theirs.

Home renovations can help increase the value of your home and it’s appeal to potential buyers, when you are ready to sell. If you are looking for a contractor let me know! I am happy to send you some options.

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