Our homes are our safe haven. It is what we come back to after a hard day’s work. It is where we feel most secure and fulfilled. This is why it is so important that it remains in optimal shape.
Have you ever had a time when you came home stressed out from the daily grind and thought, ‘Finally, home sweet home’, only to realise that you don’t have warm water? I don’t have to tell you how frustrating that is.
When your home is not functioning properly, you are miserable. This drives you into panic mode. You are willing to do almost anything so that everything gets back to normal again. This may tempt you to pick up the hammer or spanner and start fixing the problem yourself. You may feel that waiting for a tradesman will take too long or that it might cost you too much money.
If you are already skilled and capable, you might have a point because there are certain advantages you get from fixing the problem yourself:
- Money — Save the money you would have given to the tradesman
- Time — Don’t waste time searching for the right tradesman
- Learn skills — Add a new skill to your repertoire if you already have the basic skills
But before you go all Bob the Builder on your house, you need to consider if it is worth your time to do so or if it is wiser to hire a professional.
Fixing my home myself versus hiring a tradesman: things to consider
Do I actually have the time and basic skills to complete this particular project?
You must understand that any project you embark on will cost you your time. On top of that, if you have never seen a hammer before, you might not be the right person for a complex project. The worst thing you could do is leave a project half finished and then hire an expert to finish it. You could even aggravate the problem and end up paying more than if you had just hired a tradesman in the first place.
Cost of materials and equipment
Building materials are something to consider really closely. Your local tradesman has built relationships with hardware stores and most probably gets materials for a better price than you ever will. Depending on what materials you need, you might end up using all the money you saved on labour to buy materials. You also need to know what set of equipment you need and get familiar with them. Some could even be dangerous if you use them in the wrong way.
Explosion, fires and injury — be aware
Stay away from electric lines and gas pipes. I am sure that if you are planning to renovate your house that you wish to live a long life in that house. Accidentally setting it on fire or hurting yourself will defeat the purpose. Anything that has to do with electricity and gas is a definite no-go zone for the untrained.
Am I allowed to undertake this project?
You may need to check with your local council that what you want to do is allowed. Usually they have building codes. This is mainly for safety purposes so you might need to have a permit to begin with. The last thing you want to do is hurt yourself and get a hefty fine for not abiding by the law.
So what now?
Your home is precious and you want to approach any project with sufficient care.
The issue is not whether or not you want to get a tradesman to fix your house. The issue is about getting the right local tradesman who is reputable and transparent in their pricing.
Let us summarise the benefits and risks of fixing it yourself versus finding a tradesman in the table below:
If you already have the right set of skills and you decide to roll your sleeves up and get down to business, I wish you happy building.
However, if you do not have the required skills, like most of us, you will need to find a tradesman to do it for you.
Unfortunately, knowing where to look isn’t always easy. You need to find a tradesman within your budget and who, ultimately, is trustworthy, reliable and will deliver to a high standard. Consider using a comparison site or your local connections to find a tradesman near you.