Home Remodeling: Do It Yourself or Hire a Contractor

Contractors Vs Do It Yourself

You are planning a remodeling project; let’s say an extra room addition to your house. Whether to use a contractor, or do the work yourself, has been argued and disputed whenever the subject comes up. This seems like a simple decision to make, however you will be living with the results of your choice for a very long time to come. Keeping this in mind, you want to make the best choice possible regarding contractors vs do it yourself before starting on your project.

I’ve done remodels both ways which have worked equally well. There is even a third choice which is to do some of the work yourself and contract out the parts of the work that you need a pro to complete, or just don’t feel comfortable doing yourself. And of course there is the money, always the money, which must be considered when making your decisions. Perhaps if we consider the options side by side the differences will become apparent.

Let’s say the project is a room addition perhaps another room for a new baby. This new room will require another closet along with another bathroom. You will need to cut into the side of the house, which is brick veneer, and cut into the soffit, fascia and a small portion of the roof. The amount of money you have to complete this project is $25,000.00. Let’s see how the various methods will look when compared next to each other:

1. Contractor does all the work… $28,000. 45 days

2. Owner does all the work… $18,000. 75 days

3. Owner/Contractor combination… $25,000. 60 days

What is very apparent at first glance, is the Time and the Money differences between the three methods you are thinking of using. This is where the trade-offs become quite clear.

Hiring a contractor to do all of the work will cost you more money but may save you time and hopefully, some of the aggravation that is a part of doing the work yourself.

Doing all of the work your self will save you money but cost you time as you will need to learn as you build.

Using a combination of doing some of the work yourself and hiring some of the contractors does look like a tempting alternative. However you will need to be very careful in selecting your subcontractors as one bad apple could have disastrous effects on the whole project. Here is a list, broken down by craft, which will give you a better idea, of what type of skills you would need for your addition:

  • · Plumber
  • · Electrician
  • · Mason
  • · Roofer
  • · Carpenter
  • · HVAC or heating and air conditioning
  • · Flooring including exterior concrete and foundation
  • · Painter

If you elect to do all of the work yourself, the material take offs, and the ordering and storing of material on site would be your responsibility.

To get back to the original question of,” Contractor Vs Do it Yourself?” Using the above format you will have enough information to make an informed choice as to the best method for you to use… Which will be the better method for you to use? That is the question YOU must answer after looking at the alternatives. You may want to talk to some contractors to get a better understanding of what this project will entail and make your choice after exploring the different methods I have mentioned here. After you have completed your project you will be able to say which of the methods listed above, worked the best for you and be able to answer the question,” Contractor VS Do It Yourself?” from your own experience.

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