Building something new or updating something old in your home can be overwhelming if you don’t have the proper skills or tools. Sometimes buying the proper materials and tools could cost more than the project itself, especially if you don’t plan to use these tools in the future. 

Do you have the proper tools?

How many times have you gone to the hardware store full of pride and excitement about a project? You pick up all you think you need and head home to begin. You then learn, when you watch the YouTube video again, that you actually need a power saw table to get all the complex cuts just right. Or you realize that you picked up the wrong sized nails. We’ve all been there. The nails are an easy fix. You’re going back to the hardware store, where the store clerk who knows you by first name, will get you the right size nails. You might not even make the even exchange, because you figure you will use the wrong size nails initially purchased, for the next project. Easy peasy. But what about that power saw table, huh? Ask yourself before you commit to DIY if you need to actually purchase any of the tools you need, and if so, if you’ll use them in the future. Is it worth the purchase? Other options include renting the tools from a hardware store. Compare pricing, and again, decide if it's worth it. Neighbor Bob might help you out too, if he has what you need. Can you borrow? 

Do you have the skills?

I joked about the YouTube tutorial, but these days, they really are life savers. You can usually find every project tutorial, from a basic beginner level, slowed down, rewound throughout, with closed captioning; to an advanced tutorial- the two minute, fast talking, speed video. What about hiring help? Do you need to hire expert help? Will this break your budget? Do you only need an assistant? And if you will hire out, is it best for the project, and agreeable to the budget (and your sanity), that you just hire the person to complete the entire job? Expertise areas like electrical and plumbing should be left to the experts. You’ll just call them anyway when you go at it yourself and make an inadvertent mistake. 

Can you afford the mistakes? (they happen)

Speaking of mistakes, they happen. Our best efforts can sometimes lead to errors. The question is, how many errors, and what errors does your project have capacity for? Ask yourself too,, a mistake on the alignment in the doorframe means the beautiful french doors won’t fit. You’d be stuck at one stage of the project if the previous step wasn't done correctly. That's different from the extra inch in carpet padding you originally thought you’d ordered, but you bought the wrong size. I can live with an extra inch off the plush, but I need those french doors to fit! Don’t estimate your measurements, and triple check them each time. Triple check your cart too, so you have the correct supplies. Learn what mistakes you can live with and those which you cannot. 

Do you have the budget?

Financing a project is a hard thing to talk about. Sometimes clients have a million-dollar awesome idea, but do not have the capital to fund it. Hey, it’s okay to dream. Remodeling dreams cost money though. Some projects are fairly inexpensive, but even saying that is largely dependent on what a person describes as affordable according to their budget. What I’m trying to say here is do your research and understand all of the costs  for your project. An unfinished project is will certainly not be what you were dreaming of for your home.  

What do you know?

  • Building codes (Do you need permits?)
  • Current trends (This may help in the availability of materials you need. How many stores do you want to go to, in search of the materials you need?) Do you get the Pro price?
  • Your timetable (When sketching the budget, sketch a timetable for yourself too. You should know how long projects take from start to finish and know how long you and your help can commit. Include drying times, poor weather, clean up, if any applicable. Give yourself a cushion, too.)
  • In Case of an Emergency (Are you working with high power tools? Bring safety gear. Need a fire extinguisher on hand? A first aid kit? 

If, after all of these considerations, your answer to the DIY question is nay give me call.