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Common Home Fixes: When You Can DIY and When to Hire a Pro

By Bret Engle of the blog DIYGuys.net

Being a homeowner can be confusing these days, at least when it comes to DIY projects. With so many shows, guides, and experts seemingly ready to walk you through the most difficult of undertakings, is there any limit to what the average homeowner can do? Well, in actuality, there are a number of jobs where most people are better off connecting with a pro, and here’s how to determine what projects those are, as well as what you should expect to pay for them.

Before You Jump In
The last thing you need is to be tripping over supplies and materials while you’re in work mode, and neither do you want a contractor damaging your belongings. Whether you DIY or hire a professional, consider budgeting for a storage space to boost elbow room. As an example, you can rent a 10’x10′ self-storage unit for just $20 at Affordable Family Storage on L Street in Omaha. It’s a smart and inexpensive option for preventing both injuries and broken belongings, so include that when crafting your project budget.

Timelines and Limitations
When it comes to home repairs, having a good understanding of your personal skills and abilities gives you a good starting point. Make an honest evaluation of what sort of projects you have experience with, as well as how much time you can dedicate to your tasks. As an example, Interiors Addict explains a full bathroom remodel can take a builder as much as seven weeks to accomplish, barring complications such as asbestos removal. That’s with having tools and supplies handy, as well as professional expertise. On average, you can expect to pay between $3,000 and $25,000 for the work, depending the size of the room, materials, your location, and what work is involved.

When it comes to tackling it yourself, some experts suggest a timeline of several weeks just for re-tiling a shower if you’re working nights and weekends. That’s a long time to do without your bathroom, and that’s just one component in a remodel. If you elect to re-tile a shower yourself, materials can cost as little as $50 to over $1,500. To hire someone to re-tile your shower, expect to pay anywhere from $800 to more than $2,500.

Rules and Restrictions
In addition to projects that are involved or time-consuming, some jobs are simply too dangerous or complex for the average homeowner to consider. As a starting point, Liberty Mutual points out, any home repairs requiring a special permit or license to accomplish should be considered off-limits to homeowners. Bear in mind building permits and codes are meant to protect you, your family, and your home, since they ensure minimum safety standards.

Taboo Undertakings
There are many aspects that can make a project too dangerous for a DIY, such as height, materials, and potential consequences. For instance, removal of hazardous materials, such as asbestos, is not for amateurs, and the average cost for an inspection and test is $1,000. Roof repairs and tree removal are inherently dangerous and should be left to professionals. Fixing your roof costs anywhere from $150 for a minor repair to $3,000 for a major repair. The average cost for tree removal is estimated to fall between $500 and $1,500. Rerouting plumbing requires the expertise of a professional; if done incorrectly, you can flood your home. You can use an online calculator to give you an idea of costs, depending on what is involved and where you live, but expect to pay upwards of $600.

In a world of DIY channels, instructions, and videos galore, knowing when to draw the line on your home repairs can be tough. Keep your personal skills in mind, think about how much time you can put toward projects, and if something is beyond your abilities, hire a professional. When it comes to home repairs, stick to a policy of better safe than sorry.

Bret Engle created DIYGuys.net and co-authored the book How to DIY Damn Near Everything to help give others the courage and confidence to pursue their own DIY projects.

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