These days, a heap of resources online make DIY jobs seem a little too easy. So, it can be tempting to save a buck on labour and do it yourself. However, the key to a successful and budget-friendly project, is to know when to DIY, and when to hire a trusted expert.
The first step to determining whether a job can be done by yourself, is doing a bit of research. Check out the process for completing the project online, or speak to someone in the know. Get the cold, hard facts, and then assess your ability. Do you have the skills to complete the job you want to do? Or is it a job that can be learnt on the fly? Be honest with yourself, and keep in mind that DIY jobs often look easier than they actually are! If you have the skills already, or if the job requires little experience, it may be worth giving it a go yourself. Otherwise, leave it to a pro.
Also, if a job could possibly be unsafe, don’t risk it. Projects that include wiring should always be left to a qualified electrician. And if you’re inexperienced with tools (like nail guns or drop saws), don’t use them without someone experienced present to guide you.
The next step is to estimate the time your project will take. Consider things like drying time (if working with wet materials), time for picking up supplies, and time spent running back to the hardware store—if need be. And most importantly, add extra time to account for mistakes.
If you have a whole weekend free for a project that will take a day, go for it! But if you’re pushing your limits time-wise, it might be worth calling in an expert. The last thing you want is a DIY that stays unfinished, week after week.
Cost is a big consideration. Many people choose to DIY to save on labour, so before commencing your DIY job, estimate how much it will cost. Add up all the materials, and of course—add a buffer amount to cover mistakes. Now, pop online, or request a quote from your Local Expert, and work out if the DIY will actually be cheaper. Quite often, tradies have access to cheaper materials, meaning the cost for labour and resources almost evens out. However, if it’s still cheaper to do it yourself, why not have a crack? Just keep in mind that a major mistake can be more expensive to fix in the long run!
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