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When To Do It Yourself: DIY Or Hire A Contractor

DIY Or Hire A Contractor

When to do it yourself – DIY or hire a contractor? That is a big question. Doing home renovations yourself could save you a lot of money, but if you don’t know what you are doing, it could also end up costing you a lot more than if you had hired a contractor in the first place. In this post we will look at the types of jobs that are suitable for DIY and the types of jobs that should be left to a professional contractor. We will also discuss the benefits of both as well as list a number of questions that you should ask yourself before making your decision to do it yourself or hire a contractor.

If you are looking for a professional contractor to tackle your next renovation project, contact the interior design and renovation experts at Graham’s & Son. You can come and see us in our showroom or if you prefer, you can book a free in-home consultation and we will come to you. We also offer on the spot quotes during our first visit!

Hi Matt, Thank you very much for the service you guys provided us with, it was excellent and I know we didn’t spend a lot of money with your company but you treated us as if we did, thank you.”
Lisa P – Cambridge

What Types of Jobs Should I Do Myself and What Types Should I Get A Professional To Do?

According to Scott Mcgillivray, as long as you have all of the correct permits and inspections, you are legally allowed to do almost any type of renovation in your own home. However, it is not always wise or safe to do every type of renovation. If you do not have the expertise or skill, then some renovations are best left to a professional contractor. The following chart summarizes the types of renovations that are usually fine for a DIY and the types that should be left to a professional.

The biggest thing to consider before you tackle any renovation job yourself is your safety. If you don’t have the skill level or expertise to tackle the renovation, you should definitely hire a professional. According to, if the job:

  • Could kill you
  • Could destroy your home
  • Requires a permit

then you probably should probably hire a contractor instead of taking the risk.

The following video will help you think about whether you should DIY or hire a contractor.

Benefits of Doing It Yourself

Save Money: The biggest benefit of doing it yourself is the huge savings that you make. Hiring a contractor can be very expensive, so if you are capable to do the work yourself, you can save a lot of money.

Privacy:  If you don’t enjoy having strangers in your home for long periods of time, then doing it yourself will keep you from this inconvenience.

Pride of Accomplishment: It is a great feeling to complete a project successfully and know that you have done it yourself.

DIY Or Hire A Contractor


Benefits of Hiring a Professional Contractor

Experience & Expertise: An experienced contractor brings a level of expertise and skill that the average do-it-yourselfer most likely lacks. Their workmanship is usually of a higher standard and they how to do the job safely and according to the current building codes as well.

Saves Time: According to The Canadian Home Builder’s Association, if you are short of time to do the work yourself, then hire a professional to do it for you. Because of their experience they can usually finish a project much faster than you can as well.

They Have The Right Tools: A professional contractor will have invested a lot of money purchasing the best tools to do the job right and to do it safely. You may not have the money to purchase all of the tools that you need for each job you want to tackle.

May Save You Money In The Long Run: Hiring a professional in the first place may end up saving you money in the long run. If you attempt a do-it-yourself project and you find that you cannot finish it or you mess it up, you may end up spending extra money to fix your mistakes.

Questions You Should Ask Yourself To Determine If You Should DIY or Hire a Contractor.

Before making the decision between hiring a contractor or deciding to do the job yourself, take some time to honestly ask yourself the following questions.


Do you have the right skills to do the job?

Consider the skills and experience that you have before taking on a difficult renovation project. Watching a YouTube video on how to do something is a lot different from actually have done the project before. According to The Canadian Home Builder’s Association, you may end up spending more money in the long run fixing a job that you weren’t qualified to do in the first place.

Do you have the time to spend on a renovation?

Be realistic about how much time you have to commit to a renovation. It can take a long time to complete, especially if you are inexperienced. Delays can be a big problem especially if you are working on an often used area in your home like your kitchen or bathroom.

Do you hate having strangers in your home?

Having contractors for days on end in your home disrupting your daily life can be stressful for some people. According to The, if you decide that the lack of control is too much for you to tolerate then maybe doing it yourself is the better option for you.

Renovation Contractor Vs Interior Designer

Do you have the proper tools and equipment?

When you consider the price of hiring a professional over doing the work yourself, make sure you factor in the cost of tools. According to The Canadian Home Builder’s Association, you may be saving money on labour costs, but if you have to shell out hundreds of dollars to purchase or rent the proper tools or equipment, your savings will be forfeit.

How long are you going to stay in your home?

If you are planning to stay in your home for a long time – 10 to 20 years or more, then go ahead and take on all of the do-it-yourself projects you want. If you are planning on selling in the near future, then you will probably be better off hiring a professional to do your renovations. A buyer may not appreciate your cost-saving efforts and a professional renovation can add to the value of your home.

How much will the total renovation cost?

If your renovation is going to cost more than $5,000 you may be wise to get a professional contractor to do it. That is a significant investment and you don’t want to risk that much money by messing up the project.

The following video will help you think about whether you should hire a contractor or do the renovation yourself.

Graham’s & Son: Interior Design, Renovations & Upholstery

Graham’s & Son are your renovation experts.  We are celebrating 40 years of high quality renovation service to the Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge and surrounding areas. At Graham’s & Son we can do any re-modelling project you have in mind and we will do it at a great price. Come and visit our showroom today at 11 Queen St. East in Cambridge. Or if you prefer, we can come to you. Book a free, in-home consultation today and find out what sets us apart from all of the other interior design companies.

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