Should you DIY or hire a tradesman?

. 4 min read

Completing home improvement projects by yourself can be very rewarding and performing simple tasks around the house can save you money, however before you rush into a home renovation and start a ‘to do’ list, take a comprehensive look at everything that’s ahead, taking into account risks, costs and timeframes.

Things to try and DIY

Purchasing your own materials

You can easily take on purchasing your own materials, equipment, and appliances. Tiles, cabinetry, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, doors—there are a number of materials you can pick yourself or salvage from flea markets and antique stores. Sometimes professionals can get better pricing and bulk discounts, but if you are a savvy a buyer you can drive the right bargains.

You still want an expert’s advice on how these finishes will come together. Common DIY mistakes are ordering a material before it’s ready to be installed in the home or not ordering enough of something.

Painting

Well, certainly interior painting anyway, it is simple to do and there is not any major safety risk, of course mistakes you make can just be painted over. Normally there is not any need for any specialised expensive equipment, internal painting is probably the number one job you should definitely try to DIY.

Other Cosmetics

Cosmetic changes don’t need permits and there are plenty of DIY resources available online. You can find tons of YouTube videos and learn how to install tiles, strip woodwork, apply plasterwork and brick mortar and recreate ceiling mouldings. However try to be realistic about DIY improvements, some of these videos make everything look so easy, because of course the people in the videos are experts.

Here is a great YouTube video on the most profitable DIY skills for beginners:

Bear in mind

Going the DIY route can save you money, but it comes with a time cost. Think realistically about how much time you can set aside to complete it and whether it's worth that time investment.

For example, polishing wooden floors can also be a DIY project, but it's not only time-consuming, it's tricky and absolutely no fun. If you want to replace all the countertops and cabinets in your kitchen but only have the weekends to do it, make sure you're comfortable not having full use of your kitchen for weeks or even months. When you're just starting out, build confidence with small projects and grow from there.

It’s worth it to pay someone to think about large projects strategically. For large-scale renovations, you’ll need experts to check the systems in your home, and a trusted architect to propose a plan. Experts will alert you to any urgent fixes needed.

When to leave it to the experts

There are a number of jobs that you should probably not carry out yourself. It is much better to hire a qualified tradesman for any of the following types of work.

Electrical Work

Australian electricians need to be certified before carrying out any work, so unless you’ve got the right qualifications, it’s time to find a good electrician. Electrical work is not only illegal for you to do yourself in Australia, but also it is simply very dangerous, the risk of a fire or electrocution is all too real. On expertEasy you can find electricians in all major australian cities, we have a large number in melbourne.

Structural repairs

Expect older homes to have structural wear that will eventually need to be upgraded by an expert. If the house was previously extended to a larger property it will likely require repairs to the home structure as well. Prepare yourself for any surprises when working with an old home. Knocking down a wall sounds pretty simple, but if you don't know there's electrical wiring or plumbing behind it or the wall is load-bearing, you're in serious trouble.

Asbestos

Asbestos is something nobody wants to find in their renovation, but it tends to pop up. Once you find it, you can’t do any other work. Asbestos will need to be tested for, and then removed, by a professional.

Gas appliance installation and repair

Obviously, you don't want to burn your house down or cause an explosion, you're probably not too keen on carbon monoxide poisoning either, so hire a tradesman who’s licensed, trained, and insured to set up and repair gas appliances. While it will cost you money it will be far less inexpensive than paying for hospital bills or property repair expenses.

Plumbing

Do you need to install a new shower? Have a busted toilet? Consider putting that toolbox away and finding a local plumber instead. While you can fix a leaking faucet or maintain your sink on your own, major repair, installation, and replacement work should be left to the pros. Failing to get these jobs done properly can lead to serious and expensive damage to your home.

Roof repair

Whenever a roofing problem comes up, it can be tempting to climb up there and fix things yourself. However, you have to take note of the dangers you’ll face if you try to take things into your own hands. Before working with roofing issues, you should ensure that you have the necessary safety equipment to do the job. Moreover, you need to be properly trained to avoid accidents when working at heights. For these reasons, it’s better to get a professional to work on your roof. Expert roof repairers are fully equipped and have the experience to finish the work faster and more safely.

Life hacker has a good article if you want some ideas on inexpensive upgrades to do before selling your home.



Mark

Part of the expertEasy team in Melbourne. Mark is a keen gardener and a father of two beautiful girls. He is originally from Perth and is a true Eagles fan.

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