How to Decide: DIY vs Contractor

How to Decide: DIY vs Contractor

So it’s time to get some work done around the house. Now comes the big decision: DIY vs Contractor – What do you choose?

The DIY vs Contractor debate isn’t as tough to figure out it might seem. There’s the do-it-yourself’ers who can’t help but throw on a tool belt, and there’s the hands-off folks who much prefer to leave it to professionals and spend their time elsewhere. If you’re considering one or the other, though, this guide will help you ask the right questions to find which way you’d prefer to go for your project.

Here’s an outline of the 2 mindsets:

DIY Mindset:

DIY is confident in their ability to do the work. DIY’s usually have one or more of the following:
1. They have received training or a certification from school or their employment
2. They currently work in the trades and are able to do the work on evenings and weekends since they work regular working hours
3. They are OK with spending every evening for sometimes weeks or months doing the work, even though they already worked all day
4. They are OK with travelling to and from all places in the city to buy materials
5. They are OK taking the time to educate themselves about all the materials and selecting the right ones
6. Since they are working evenings and weekends, DIY is OK with having their house messy for longer periods of time. It will take longer due to the fact their DIY project is being worked on by them PART TIME, after hours, thus making their house in disarray longer.

The common theme with DIY is that people put more value on the money they are going to save than their time spent getting materials, getting educated, and doing the work. Therefore, for people with good connections, knowledge of the trade, friends who are reliable and can help and a predictable life schedule, DIY is a good fit. DIY is also a good fit if it causes you to come in way under budget and the work can still get done in a quality way.

Again, do you have time? Expertise? Desire to go through the entire process by yourself and learn?

Are you OK with your house being disorganized longer? Are you OK if you find out you didn’t do something right and have to re-do it? Are you OK if you find out you picked the wrong materials?

In the other corner of the DIY vs Contractor ring, there is the mindset of someone who hires a professional:

Hiring a Contractor Mindset:

People who decide to hire a contractor are either not confident in their ability to perform the work up to professional standards, or they value their time, peace of mind, and lifestyle more than the money they have to part with to have the work done.
1. They likely don’t have up-to-date professional training from past employment or a certification in the trades
2. They do not work in the trades and are generally unfamiliar with the processes of doing the work. In effect, they do not specialize in doing this work (ie: not experts)
3. They have unpredictable life schedules or they have reserved parts of their time for other appointments or commitments. (Ie: they haven’t built into their lifestyle the time to do renovations themselves)
4. They work already and don’t want to do more work when they come home from work.
5. They do not want to travel to and from Rona or Home Depot on weekends to educate themselves on materials and the process. Simply put, they do not want to spend the time doing those things (looking, selecting, waiting in line, travelling back and forth if wrong materials were purchased)
6. They do not like disorganization and really do not appreciate their house being messy for longer than it needs to be.

The Hiring a Contractor Mindset, by virtue, puts more value on the time they gain and their lifestyle ahead of spending the money it takes to hire someone to get the job done. For these people, if they are investing time, they would rather invest their time in the selection process and hire someone they can trust so they can get the work done in a way that is “hands off” to them.

Which one do you value more? One is not better than the other. Every person has to make the determination for themselves as to who wins in the face-off of DIY vs Contractor. Both have benefits. Which one are you going to choose today?

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