Is This Project ‘DIY-able’?
We’ve all been bitten by the DIY bug once or twice. You see some home improvement project online, assume it won’t take more than an hour and soon realize that you are in over your head. Tackling projects on your own is a great way to save money and learn new skills, but there are times that you need to leave things to the professionals. Here are some tips for deciding which projects are ‘DIY-able’ and which you need you to call in outside help.
Determine the Skill Level (Beginner, Moderate or Advanced)
Have you ever started a project and realized you were in over your head? Most people certainly have. We decided to redo our entire bathroom: drywall, tile, everything. After the demolition our home improvement skills ran dry and the bathroom sat and waited for over a year. We didn’t even know where to start. Every project requires some level of skill and some need more skill than others. Before you start a project determine what skills are needed and if you have the experience to the make the project possible. In the case of the bathroom, changing out a faucet or repainting the walls would have been perfect for a beginner like me, but working with plumbing and hanging drywall needed someone with more advanced skills.
Is Help Available?
With the right help anything is possible. You may be able to accomplish a project above your skill level if you are able to recruit the right assistants. I certainly learned this lesson during the Great Bathroom Remodel. Once we realized we didn’t have the skills, we decided to recruit some help. We found a friend that was great at hanging drywall. On our next project we know how to hang drywall and we had a great time learning a new skill alongside a friend. Do you have any friends willing to lend a hand? Has anyone you know recently completed a similar project? Helping others with their projects in exchange for help with yours may be the key to successful home improvement.
Clear Directions Are Key
A detailed project with clear directions will be much easier to accomplish than a project without step by step instructions. On my bathroom project I didn’t read the instructions for installing the shower plumbing before I got started. Come to find out the shower’s temperature control must be put in before tiling. Oops! To fix the problem we had to cut a huge hole in our other bathroom wall. A huge mess and a giant repair project wouldn’t have occurred if I had just read the directions. If you see a project online or in magazines that you want to do, see if it is accompanied by directions. If it isn’t, look for a similar project that with a step by step outline. Many jobs have hidden steps that you might neglect if you are only looking at pictures of the finished product.
Do You Have the Time?
All the skills in the world won’t get you anywhere if you don’t have time to dedicate to your task. If you are short on time or if you need something completed immediately, it may be worth getting some professional help. Life is busy; there is nothing wrong with paying someone to do a job you don’t have time for.
The next time you decide to DIY a home improvement project, stop and think first. Some projects can be easily accomplished on your own, but there are times when you might need a little outside help.
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