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A Comparison: DIYing vs. Hiring a Contractor

It’s been quite some time since our last blog post, but the start of a new season has had us thinking about starting a new blog series. We’ve actually been brainstorming this new series for quite a few weeks, trying to understand your needs and what would serve you the best and what we’ve realized is we’ve been getting a lot of questions about comparisons.

And so we thought, why not do a whole comparison series? Remodeling versus building a new home, comparing different materials, doing your reno now or in five years, and all of the things you’ve asked us to compare, we want to include in this series!

And so today we wanted to start with a pretty common one we’ve been hearing: DIYing a project vs hiring a contractor.

So sometimes we get asked, “what’s the difference between hiring a contractor (like Valiant Home Additions) and just doing it myself?” Is it better to do one over the other? Is it smarter to hire a contractor? Can I save more money DIYing it, or will it come out to about the same? And today we want to cover all the concerns that come with that question.

A good place to start is discussing the finances of these two options. If you DIY it, can you save money? Yes, absolutely! You can actually do it way cheaper. But there is a drawback, as there is with every comparison. When you DIY it, there are a couple of things you should definitely consider: it will most likely take you longer, there is a steep learning curve for most people, and there’s a lot more liability if anything goes wrong. 

In comparison, hiring a contractor can be a lot more expensive. But what you lose in money, you can definitely more than make up in confidence in the project being finished in a timely manner, and to your satisfaction. As contractors, we have the technical know-how and the crew to be able to do things much faster, because we’ve already learned how to do it all. And when we haven’t, we have a subcontractor who have. No learning curve to get in the budget or timeline!

Hiring a contractor also removes all of the liability from off your shoulders, which is a huge plus. If something wasn’t done correctly according to your contract with your contractor, or if something goes wrong (as things always have a possibility of doing), your contractor is the one responsible for fixing the issue and getting the project back on track, without having to get you involved in what could be a stressful situation, were you taking it on yourself.

Now, what about doing some sort of combination? We also get asked this question quite frequently, and the answer is “definitely, yes!” In fact, we currently have some clients that have us come in for the heavy lifting (moving walls, pouring slabs, framing, etc.) and they’ll do the more DIY-friendly projects, like painting or tiling their kitchen backsplash.

This is a great option for our clients who either want to save a little bit money without the added stress or lengthy timeline, or that like to take on a DIY project without the overwhelm of having a huge project on their hands.

Obviously, there are pros and cons to any of these situations, and there’s no wrong or right answer. What we can say though is this:

If you have a more experienced hand and are willing to be patient (and potentially live with a little bit of project mess in your home), DIYing could be a great option! However, if peace of mind and handing off a large project to someone more capable is worth it to you, the extra money will always be worth the investment.

So our answer? Decide what works best for you, your personality, and your lifestyle, and be confident in your decision!

And that’s it for this week. Our next blog post will be covering another question we get asked, which is “should I move to a new home, or remodel my existing home?” We’re looking forward to sharing our thoughts on this great question next week!

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