If you are a handy person with a small project, doing it yourself will save you money on your labor costs. But only on your labor costs and only if your project is small! Here is where doing it yourself will cost you MORE:
Materials cost – Professionals buy their materials cheaper than you can because they buy at contractor rates, a special bulk rate for those who buy in large volume. Contractors are also professional buyers of building materials; they shop for and negotiate the most advantageous prices. Special discounts, warranties and returns privileges are also available for contractors that simply are not given to regular customers.
Cost of tools – Professionals use the highest quality tools. They also always have the correct tool for the correct job. Don’t underestimate the damage the wrong tool or a cheap tool can do to your project.
Code violations cost – Do you know the current building codes for your area? Are you capable of remodeling to that code? An out of code remodel can actually devalue your home.
Cost of your time – If you are working on your remodel when you would otherwise be working in your own profession, you are losing money. If you are working on your remodel when you would otherwise be relaxing or spending time with your family, you could be putting your health and your relationships in jeopardy.
Value of your home – The quality a homeowner will accept if they do it themselves is much different than what they will accept if they hire a professional. Because of their experience, a professional will think of, and troubleshoot, things you have never even thought or heard of. A poor remodel will devalue your home. Your house is probably your single largest leveraged asset, growing at approximately 4% each year, and a main feature of your retirement plan. Any remodeling decisions you make will directly impact your home’s resale value.
Saving a few thousand dollars today could cost you many more thousands tomorrow, plus some relationships. Before you begin a project yourself, get some professional advice and really consider how much time and energy you want to spend on “doing it yourself”.