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Home Repairs: When to Hire Out and When to Do It Yourself

Check Building Codes, Do Your Research, and Hire Contractors when Needed

© 2013 by Brionna Kennedy; all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.


Your wife thinks you should always call out for a contractor. Conversely, you think it’s about time to put some mileage on that table saw you bought a couple of years ago. The thing that’s nagging away at you is, that this isn’t your normal line of work, it may require permits, you don’t know if you are capable of doing the job or if you legally can do it.

How Good a Job Can You Really Do?

So, the first thing you need is a little honest self evaluation of your tools, your time, and most of all, your ability. Have you put enough research into an issue to make sure you do it right?

If you have some experience in home repair, you can certainly take on a number of projects. In fact, doing it yourself may be the best way to get what you want.

But, having been in the home repair and remodel business teaches one very important lesson. Sometimes, it’s best to just hire out. Find reliable contractors and doctors when you join Angie’s List today - Use promo code SAVE25 to save 25%.

The Advantages of Hiring Someone

If you think about it, that’s the whole reason for contractors and subcontractors. For example, a St Louis resident wants a new roof. To achieve the best results, they want to hire the best roof installation St. Louis professionals can do.

The process of hiring usually means getting competitive bids, and going with the most impressive company. Most companies that can answer your call to bid, and are licensed, bonded, and insured, will be able to come in with a sound method of doing the job, allowing you to compare the differences.

Are You Saving Money or Doing It Twice?

Often, the motivator to do it yourself is the price. The price on a plumbing service call could easily motivate you to learn about home repair.

If you do decide to do it yourself, you can be confident that most laws in most parts of the country do allow a homeowner to work on their own home. It does get complicated, however, if you have someone help you.

For example, no matter fond of your beer-drinkin’ buddy you are, if he falls off your roof and you don’t carry workmans compensation insurance on him, you might find yourself looking at a mechanics lien.

Knowledge and Building Materials

You can get a lot of the materials that you need right at one of the big box hardware stores. There are even some pretty good books on how to do things yourself (or just use the search function on this site for DIY info).

When you’ve reached what you may call a zenith in your ability to learn from a book, there’s nothing left but to do it. At this point, the best advice is, don’t be in a rush, don’t cut corners, and if you run into something you don’t know the answer to, don’t proceed until you do.

A Couple of DIY Caveats

We would be remiss here if we didn’t list a few practical considerations:

  • Always consult the local building code when you are in the planning phase. Find out if you need to submit blueprints and pull permits.
  • Always use your personal protective gear. This includes safety glasses, substantial shoes, and a respirator when cutting materials like James Hardie siding products.

About the Author:

Brionna Kennedy is native to the Pacific Northwest, growing up in Washington, then moving down to Oregon for college. She enjoys writing on fashion and business, but any subject will do, she loves to learn about new topics. When she isn't writing, she lives for the outdoors. Oregon has been the perfect setting to indulge her love of kayaking, rock climbing, and hiking.

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