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Do-It-Yourself Projects versus Hiring Contractors


Unsure of whether to do the work yourself or hire the project out? Obviously quality of work is a deciding factor, while, many homeowners enjoy the rewards of being able to witness the product of their firsthand accomplishments.

Doing yourself, there is more control over the grade of materials and therefore the quality for completed product, that is, if you go out and purchase for yourself. But this may not necessarily outweigh the price breaks received by contractors who normally buy in bulk.

There are yet other factors involved.


SUPPLY OF LABOR - HIRING OUT
Is what you are in the market for in adequate supply? Or in short supply in a strong labor market. What is your standing in regard to these contractors - will they do your work as promised when it comes to completion, or possibly not even show - remember that agreements can include completion dates! Still, get references.


SKILL LEVEL
With the project trades that you are considering doing yourself, consider if you have the needed skill-level to achieve a quality end product. Or, do you know of someone who could help see you through? Maybe an old hand at whatever you are doing, who doesn't mind putting up with you.

Consider the hands-on qualifications, like related technical abilities, and skills. Can you make needed alterations on the fly; including if there are any design elements or specifications. With other trades waiting on your completion with their own schedule in mind.

There is also familiarization with work sequencing of related trades. Remodels and major repairs can and often do unearth unforseeables. Water can enter foundations, mold and rotting framing can build within hidden wall cavities, radon or asbestos tests might return positive.

Most importantly, can you work within a reasonable level of safety? Are you aware of the health risk factors?

TIME
Are you willing to make the necessary commitment of time, and do you have the luxury of this being an option? Can you step up your game, for the more intense project?


ADVANCE PLANNING
Contingencies - setbacks often do occur, and when they do will you be shaken or ready to deal effectively? Remember, contractors that don't show, or suppliers that are out of stock (or misorder) can all push things back.


ESTIMATING
Many calculators and resource manuals are available that prove extremely helpful. Whatever you methodology have a hold on costs.


SUPPLIERS/FINANCING
Trades people usually have accounts running and ready. But homeowners have other considerations, like whether they are flipping a house, or if the project is done for aesthetics, or if this could affect their credit in other ways, etc..

The big box centers often advertise new credit rates with many going for it. While paying at roofing centers, or granite from tile houses, for example, might offer financing. As with other specialty outlets (gutter supply, hvac installers - possibly claiming energy use reductions, and electrical supply - though their accounts are usually set with trained pros)


Still other issues remain that you will want to shore up prior to performing the work, like with building permits, inspections and code compliance.





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