Sunday, January 11, 2015
The True Costs of DIY
Economic circumstances have many people looking for ways to cut costs. In the summer of 2012, 70 percent of upper-income home owners looked to do-it-yourself (DIY) home projects first before relying on contractors. However, it is important for homeowners to not take the DIY bug too far and take on projects beyond their skill and expertise. Doing so can actually cost a homeowner more in the long run.
Know Your Limits
No one claims that homeowners are completely helpless. In fact, there are some repairs that you should know how to finish. Calking, fixing doors and locks, and painting rooms are all well-handled by consumers. Unclogging toilets and replacing faucet washers also make that list. These tasks arise much more frequently and offer little risk if you struggle with them.
But you must know when to hire an expert like New Orleans roofing. These specialist categories include:
Structural changes, like remodeling or a new foundation; electrical and wiring; roofing; windows; and plumbing.
Experts already offer the skills, tools, and supplies. They will also finish the work in less time which means less opportunity cost incurred by you.
Impacts of Avoiding Expertise
Taking on a complex project may seem fun and satisfying at first, but it can become a nightmare very quickly. Besides completing a less-than-perfect job that falls apart, there are also other impacts you must consider.
Legal Liability. Your project may require permits. If you miss steps in this process, it exposes you to legal liability and fines. Contractors are normally well-versed in this process and can ensure your obligations are covered.
Chance of Injury. Roofers, window installers, and electricians take precautions. They use safety equipment so climbing ladders, handling wires, and removing lead paint or pipes is unlikely to lead to illness or injury. DIY homeowners often do not have the same resources and can increase costs through lost time from work or high medical bills if they are sick or hurt.
Increased Costs. Even if you survive the permit process and avoid injury, you may discover later that your repair or improvement was not as solid as you hoped. In this case, you will need to hire a contractor anyway to fix your mistakes, which can become quite costly.
All the complications of plumbing, for one example, show why you need to avoid the DIY route for specialist work. Damaged pipes, outdated plumbing, drain cleaning and other unexpected developments can demand expert attention. Leaving any plumbing job, including drain cleaning, as a DIY project risks flooding or cutting off water to your home.
Plumbers can video-inspect to find and remove obstructions. Besides hair or debris, tree roots and natural obstructions can also block pipes. Hasty DIY work on this problem can mean damage to pipes that cuts off your water supply or further inconvenience if a clog returns.
Hiring a contractor means knowing a job will be done right. Save DIY adventures to those jobs with little impact and more certainty.