DIYing can be a great way to make repairs around your home, take up a new hobby, or just pass the time when you're stuck indoors. Most DIY projects can be undertaken with little or no risk. Some projects, however, should only be taken on by professionals.
To DIY or not to DIY, that is the question. So how do you answer it? Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine if it's safe to DIY or if it's time to call for help.
How Much Is The Work Going To Cost?
One of the first factors you should consider when determining if you can DIY a project is cost. Sometimes DIY can seem cheaper but then add up to more because of the costs of materials. You should always make sure you're saving money before beginning your DIY.
The second financial factor to consider is the potential cost if something goes wrong. How much will you have to pay a professional to redo your repair if you make a mistake? If the cost of a professional repair outweighs the savings of your DIY, consider hiring one, to begin with.
Finally, consider whether the cost of the DIY is more than you're legally allowed to do yourself. In Virginia, for example, if the project costs over $120,000, you must hire a contractor with a Class A contractor's license.
While that may not worry you, consider that you're also required to hire a Class C licensed contractor for any project totaling over $1,000, which is probably closer to most people's budgets. If either of these scenarios applies to you, cancel the DIY and call in a professional.
On the other hand, consider if you're a handy person yourself. There are so many people who have taken their DIY passion and turned it into a full-time career. If your passion for DIY runs that deep, you can just go on and get your Class A contractor's license yourself so there won't ever be any doubt in your mind of if a project is legal or beyond your realm of expertise.
But until you decide what you want to do, doing your research now will save you time, money, and legal fees.
Can The Structure Of Your Home Be Affected?
The next question you should ask yourself is if the DIY project you're considering will affect the structure of your home. The structural foundation of your home is what keeps it standing, so it's crucial that any work that could affect it be done the right way.
You may own all the must-have tools, but unless you do structural work, you don't have the skills necessary to ensure that everything remains up to code. Hiring a professional is your best move to guarantee that your project is safe and effective.
If you're thinking that a professional is too expensive, consider this: it's common for major structural work to cost over $10,000. That means that a DIY project that harms your home's structure could end up costing you far more in repairs than a professional would've cost at the beginning.
When your home's structural stability is at stake, put away the DIY gloves and call in reinforcements. Your house and your wallet will thank you.
What Is The Risk Of Injury?
Finally, before you swing the first hammer on your project, ask yourself the most important question. What is the risk of injury? Over 200,000 people go to the hospital in the UK every year as a result of DIY accidents.
Only about 71 of those people will die, but the risk for serious injury is very high. With that in mind, ask yourself how likely you are to be injured in the course of your DIY project, and what that injury could mean for yourself and your family.
If you decide it's just too risky, you can check out tips from the Better Business Bureau on how to hire a contractor that's reliable and trustworthy. That way, you can rest assured that you and your home are in good hands.
If you find it difficult to determine how much risk there is, it's probably a sign that the risk is too high. Better to hire a professional now, than wish you had later. Or better yet, start small with home improvement projects for beginners.
Asking yourself these questions can help you determine if a DIY is safe or if you need to call for help. Remember, better safe than sorry.