When to DIY vs. Hire a Professional

The Weekndr household is all about doing it ourselves. Whether it’s cooking a delicious recipe instead of going out to dinner, or installing our own landscaping rather than hiring a professional, we fully embrace self-reliant living. However, the DIY lifestyle is not for everyone.

The New York Times today published an article that ponders the question: should you do-it-yourself or hire a professional? According to the blunder-filled anecdotes collected by the reporter for the article, doing it yourself can lead to even more cost and heartache when a project goes bad. The examples ranged from botched hair colorings to leaky toilet installations.

We’ve had our fair share of DIY projects gone awry, but we’ve avoided even more by using the following litmus test when considering whether to DIY or hire out:

1. Do we have the required tools to complete the task (or do we need an excuse to buy those tool)? Trying to complete a project with the wrong tools almost always leads to a sub-par result.

2. Is there a looming deadline? Doing it yourself typically takes a lot longer than a professional. Most of the time you have to learn something new whereas a pro has done it 20 times before and knows how to avoid common pitfalls and take shortcuts. If you’re looking for immediacy it’s best to hire someone to do it.

3. Does it cost less to do it yourself? Most pros mark up the cost of supplies and materials and of course they charge for labor. Buying your own materials and doing the labor yourself can save a bundle. However, a few mistakes can end up costing more in the long run because it is expensive to repair your errors or buy replacement parts.

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