3 Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before You Start a DIY Project

While many people’s first questions about DIY are how much money they will save, the time involved and the difficulty, there are other questions you should ask before you try to tackle home repairs or home improvement projects. Here are three questions you should ask before you DIY.

Do I Know How to Do It Right?

It doesn’t matter if you can replace some wires and screw in new pipes as per the plumbing how-to video you saw online. Ask yourself if you know how to do it right. Taking an old door off the hinges and installing a new one is routinely DIY. More advanced projects like electrical, plumbing and foundation work need to be done by a professional because you cannot afford for it to be done wrong.

For some projects, the real question is – am I installing new functionality or replacing something that already exists? Replacing an existing toilet or tap is DIY, whereas installing the plumbing to put in a second shower head or new bathroom should be done by the pros.

Installing a vertical radiator from a store like Warm Rooms where an existing one stands is a minor job you can do yourself, whereas trying to add a radiator to a room that didn’t already have one should be left to the plumber.

If I Mess Up, Will People Notice? And Would I Care If They Did?

Yes, you could save money painting a room yourself. However, would it look good or not so good after you were done? Another question is whether or not other people would notice, and whether or not you’d care if they did notice the imperfections. This is why parents are more willing to patch and paint the drywall damaged by a toddler’s stunt when it’s hidden by a relocated bed, but pay the professionals to fix the punched out hole in the hallway. This is why replacing cracked tiles in the shower is often a do it yourself job whereas the kitchen tiles others see is often left to the professionals.

Is Doing It Myself the Most Effective Use of My Time?

Too many people rush into DIY work to try to save money. What they forget is the cost of renting tools, buying materials and investing their time to do the job, time that could be spent on other things. This is why you hear jokes about do it DIY enthusiasts never getting out of the house because they still aren’t done fixing it yet, spending every weekend fixing something themselves when a pro could finish it the first weekend. If the project is time sensitive, like fixing an air conditioner correctly, call in a pro. If the project will take up all your free time for weeks, it is more effective to hire a professional so that your house isn’t your life.

DIY is fun, but only if you have the skills to do a good job. Bear this in mind before you rip out the bathroom or knock down a supporting wall.