Saturday, January 22, 2011

DIY vs Professionals

It is often assumed that doing things yourself will save you money, so it is better to do it yourself. I agree with this for the most part, but there are times when it is better to get in professionals.

My home is currently under renovations. A new kitchen, floorboards, doors, painting etc... There is a fair amount of work involved. I have been asking around and getting different quotes on things to see what we are better off doing ourselves and what we may as well pay for and it has been a real eye opener.

Originally we were going to tackle the kitchen ourselves then I remembered when my parents did theirs, dad priced it DIY and got a quote for the bench top. The guy doing the bench top said he could do the cabinets for $xxxx if they wanted. The price difference between dad doing it and this guy doing it was not worth dads time. It was better to pay a professional. So I decided to get some quotes.

They came out yesterday, measured, sat down with me and spent an hour working out what would be best with what we wanted, what suits the area (since we are looking at resale value), how long it would take, the price differences in things (such as laminate vs stone, we went stone, price difference not much!) They had excellent ideas and the total price was way under what we thought and friends had paid. They do excellent work and we can have a custom made to our measurements (our kitchen has NO normal measurements in it) with a great lay out done and well within budget.

Sometimes it is better to just pay. Now we could still DIY and save but is it really worth our time? It would be quit stressful, there are other projects around the house we do need to do and it would not look as good. If there was a significant price difference I would DIY.

There are other things which have turned out to be cheaper to get a professional than DIY which was surprising, but then they do have wholesale bulk buying power I do not have.

Things we are taking into consideration with our renovations are

- Will it increase the value of the home?

- Will it mean there are other projects we have to do if we tackle this one?

- What will we get the most value from?

What can we do ourselves? Followed by quotes from professionals to see if it is worth it doing ourselves?

- How long will it take?

Our aim is to sell our house for a profit once it is finished and move. There are 2 areas we are considering, but won’t decide until late this year. They are about 4 hours apart and we have a busy year, so we won’t even be selling our house until then it looks like, but resale is always in our mind when deciding on any projects.

When thinking of tackling any DIY renos, consider your capabilities and if you really can do it, how long it will take you to do it and if it really will be worth doing it. For things such as painting for us, it was worth us doing it ourselves (not finished, but we have other things needing to be completed first). Other things it is not.

What is worth it to you?

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