Do I Really Need a Contractor?
You need to paint the house. Maybe install a new bathroom sink. Or it’s time to replace the inflatable pool sitting in the backyard with a kidney-shaped in-ground pool. But what you need to ask yourself is… do you take on the project yourself? Well, it all depends. To answer this question, you’ll need to ask three more questions: • Do I have the money? • Do I have the time? • Do I have the skills? DO I HAVE THE MONEY? A big factor in any home improvement or repair is whether or not you can afford to hire a professional to do the work or, at least, help with the job. Paying for labor can add to the cost of any project, sometimes doubling it.
Right? Like the answer to so many questions – it depends… It’s possible you might have to spend even more money by not hiring a contractor or subcontractor. If you do a project yourself, you might have to buy or rent tools to get the job done. And you could spend a lot more buying building materials. Many contractors get special deals for buying in bulk or have built up relationships with many suppliers. You might be paying retail while your contractor is buying wholesale.
Finally, if your skill level is not up to par, and you have to pay a contractor to come out and fix your mistakes, your costs could shoot through the roof (that you just tried to replace!) Always consider money when taking on a remodeling or do-it-yourself project. Without access to proper tools, special discounts, or how-to knowledge, you might need a pro to come in and do the job. If it’s a simple project and you have the tools and the skills, then hiring someone else to do it could be the wrong move. Unless… DO I HAVE THE TIME? You always must consider how much time will be involved to finish your construction project. Replacing a faucet might only take you a few hours if you have the tools and talent. But if you’re going to tackle a larger task, factor in how much of your time it will take up. And not just the time you’ll spend actually working on it but the time it will take to find the right price, shop for any special tools and for the materials, and to clean up after your job is done. Whatever project you have in mind, try to estimate how much time it will take to complete. Once you’ve got your time estimate in hand… double it. Well, not always but unexpected problems always seem to creep up on your that add delays.
Many “weekend warriors” will start a simple bathroom remodel that should only take three days. If an unseen problem occurs, the completion date could get pushed to the following weekend. Imagine if this happens and it’s the only bathroom in the house… If you’re short on time, it might be a good idea to bring in an expert to handle the workload. If you have too much time on your hands… I could use help installing a ceiling fan. DO I HAVE THE SKILLS? If you ask anyone who drives a car whether or not they are a good driver, nearly every person will tell you they’re the best driver in the world. They can’t all be right because I nearly got run off the road twelve times yesterday. Some people don’t know they’re the bad driver that everyone complains about. Many people also think they’re exceptionally skilled with tools. “Good with their hands,” they’ll tell you. It’s a good idea to make an honest assessment of your skill level before beginning any new remodeling project.
The danger of watching too many “home improvement” shows is that the hosts always make it look so easy. They edit it down till each project looks clean and simple and only takes a half hour to complete (with commercials!) If you are putting new tiles on your shower walls or installing a new backsplash in your kitchen you could be working with expensive materials. A trial-and-error approach or learning on-the-job could really increase your costs. It might be best to pat yourself on the back, congratulate your ability to find a "Contractor Referral Service", like ConstructionDeal.com, to help locate the right professional for the job. ARE THERE ALTERNATIVES? Sure, there are always alternatives. You can do it all yourself, you can bring in a contracting pro for the entire project, or you can do some of the “dirty work” yourself. To save on the amount of money you have to pay someone else and to save on the amount of time others will be tramping through your home, you could do a lot of the prep work on your own. For example, if you’re hiring professional painters to paint your house, you could scrape and sand a lot of the paint before they ever get there. Or, if you’re adding a new room to the home, you could handle the cleanup yourself after the project is completed.
There are a number of ways to do this “grunt work” to save time and money on the project while still bringing in an expert to do the job right… when it really counts. A final thing to keep in mind, when doing it yourself – be careful to not void any warranties on labor or products that you own by working on them. If they’re covered, let someone else handle it. Whether you do-it-yourself or you do-some-of-it-yourself, make sure you think about everything involved in the project. Asking yourself these questions, and answering honestly, could save you time, money, and maybe even a few fingers… those jigsaws can be tricky to operate. Good luck!.
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