DIY Dont’s: How to Know if You Should Hire Out
Flipping a house involves a lot of hard work, but not all sweat equity saves you money in the long run. In other words, it’s very important to know when to put your tools down and hire a professional. To help you make that determination, here’s a few indicators that the job at hand is not one you want to tackle yourself.
When Safety is a Concern
Some construction work is inherently dangerous. Often, work of this nature even requires a building permit. Here’s two common examples.
From repairing trusses to laying shingles, working on the roof is a dangerous job. Rather than risk life and limb doing something you’re not familiar with, hire a professional crew. They’ll have both the tools and experience to ensure the job is done as safely as possible, and they’re less likely to leave the roof a little leaky.
There’s a reason electrical work requires special training and certification. A shock from a 110 volt outlet can cause some serious damage, and one from a 220 volt line can kill you. What’s more, it takes a significant amount of expertise to know how to pull a line, or when to wire in a new breaker. So if you’re doing anything more involved than installing a lightswitch, or have never heard the phrase “lock out, tag out,” hire an electrician.
When Expertise is a Concern
For some jobs, the aspiring DIYer is just under qualified. Often, these are jobs that can do some serious damage to the property if they’re done improperly.
Any time you’re putting up a new wall or knocking one down—especially then—you’ll want to consider hiring a professional. Load bearing walls are not always obvious, and you can put the property at risk if just start tearing things down. So if you’re looking to do some serious work involving the frame of the house, look into getting a consult at the very least.
Hooking up a new sink is one thing; adding a new sink is another. Any time you’re adding, modifying, or removing a line, you’re going to want a specialist. Mistakes as simple as failing to ream a pipe can leave you liable for damages caused by leaks that happen years down the line, so don’t be afraid to hire an expert.
When Time is a Concern
With some tasks, it’s simply a matter of how fast you can get it done. Without the proper tools, experience, or number of bodies, you might be doing for two weeks what a professional crew can do in a day. Here’s two jobs that go a lot faster when you know what you’re doing.
From start to finish, dealing with drywall is an involved process. It’s pretty straightforward, so it can be done by a DIYer; the problem is one of timeframe. Hanging the drywall is a lot of hard work that requires several extra pairs of hands, especially when it’s on the ceiling. Mudding and taping takes practice to make it look smooth, and texturing takes a great deal of finesse, depending on the complexity of the pattern you’ve decided to use. Any time you’re looking at replacing a significant amount of drywall, or you have to match a complicated texture, consider hiring a team.
Tile and Stone
Setting tile is another job where a little bit of expertise goes a long way. An experienced tile setter can have a tubsplash set and grouted in a single afternoon, while doing it yourself may take several days. And for larger scale projects, having someone who knows how to lay it out properly and make complicated cuts can make the job a lot easier.
For first-time flippers it may seem too costly to invest in professionals, but quality work, especially when it’s done quickly, will make you more money faster. Wary homebuyers can tell a hack job from a professional one, and you may find yourself regretting doing the work yourself after the fact.