By: Courtni Wisenbaker-Scheel

Between the rise of DIY shows and the limitless supply of information available online, homeowners are far more willing to tackle home improvement projects than they once were.

However, just because you can learn how to perform a renovation, does it mean that you should? By asking yourself these four questions from Home Improvement Leads, you will be well on your way to knowing when to DIY and when to bring in a pro.

Do you have the physical ability and temperament?

Home improvement projects are almost always strenuous in one way or another. You will need to evaluate your own physical capabilities and limitations to determine if a project is going to be manageable by yourself. Similarly, if you are prone to being easily frustrated or lack follow through, DIY projects that are extremely complicated and require extensive time commitments may not be for you. Save yourself the headache and hire a professional in that instance.

Are there safety risks to you and your family?

So long as you use low- or no-VOC paint, there is little you need to worry about when you want to repaint your living room. Rewiring your entire house, however, is another story altogether. Assess the level of risk you are willing to take on, bearing in mind that some contractors are wary of taking on a fumbled DIY project.

How much will I save when I DIY?

By eliminating labor costs, you can usually save yourself 25 to 50 percent in total expenses when you DIY. Savings like that are enough to make anyone consider taking on a project! However, any mistakes along the way will definitely increase your expenditure, as will the need to rent/purchase any specialized tools. When performing your cost analysis, be sure to bear in mind that construction professionals are able to purchase materials at a fraction of the cost to the average consumer, too. If after running the numbers, it seems like it would be negligible for you to attempt a project versus hiring a professional, it’s usually wiser to go ahead and bring in experienced help.

Will you need a building permit?

Depending upon the city/county you live in and the renovation you have planned, a building permit may be required for the job to be performed legally. In certain instances, only licensed professionals are eligible to apply for such permits, in which case, you will be not be able to alter your home by yourself. Check your city’s website to determine not only what renovations require a permit, but also who can be granted one. When you take the time to evaluate each aspect of a renovation and how well you would handle them, the decision to DIY or hire a pro usually becomes clear. DIYing will earn you some bragging rights, and so long as your home ends up exactly how you want it, you’ll be one happy homeowner.

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