Buying a house is most definitely a capital intense decision where you pay upfront and thereafter in installments until you clear your mortgage. In addition, there are expenses you must shoulder including utilities, property tax, homeowner’s insurance, and then repairs. In a research done by Wells Fargo, a mortgage lender, homeowners spend anything between 1% and 2% of their home’s purchase price on average per year on repairs.
This is just for routine maintenance. If you include any remodeling jobs, then you are talking of a lot more money in expenses. Home advisor on the other hand claims that on average, it costs $9,000 just to remodel a bathroom, $20,000 for a kitchen, $15,000 for a basement. You can also do your own survey by sampling the contractors near you.
It is on this premise that some people decide on carrying out their repairs and remodeling themselves. The advantage of this is that you will save on the costs, but the disadvantage is that some jobs are too complicated and only skilled professionals can handle them.
When to Hire and When to DIY
This is the tricky part most homeowners face. There is always a temptation to go the extra mile and do that job on your own as long as you will save on cost. In making this decision, three pointers should be considered.
In assessing whether a job is too dangerous for DIY or not, you should focus on the following:
- Risk to your life – Ask yourself the worst possible outcome in undertaking the job. If the job can potentially kill you if things go wrong then pass it over to the professionals. Jobs such as electrical work carry this degree of risk.
- Destruction to your home – Some plumbing jobs can end up destroying your home if not well done. For instance, bathroom fixtures not properly installed can cause water leaks.
- Permit requirements – If a job requires a building permit, there are good chances it is meant for professionals. Jobs such as replacing of water heaters should not be handled by non-professionals.
Unless you have adequate knowledge on how to handle a repair job, do not attempt to do it yourself. Some jobs may be too dangerous or mistakes committed can be very costly. If you undertake a job and it doesn’t turn out as you expected, it can significantly affect your home value and turn off future buyers.
The Time Aspect
The only time you should decide to do a repair job yourself is when it is considerably cheaper than hiring a pro. However, some jobs may take almost forever if you do them yourself and this is why it pays to hire a pro.
As you figure out whether the cost and time element make sense for you to hire a pro for a repair job, you need to look at the following.
- The price you would pay for a professional job
- The cost to do it yourself
- The estimated time it will take to do it on your own
- Your hourly wage
While you can do small electrical jobs on your own, other massive projects and complicated tasks are not worth the hassle.