I’ve already told you about my recent carpet cleaning experience (…where I wish we would have called a professional to clean the carpets for us instead of spending 2 days doing it ourselves!).
We learned a valuable lesson there. In addition to paying to rent the carpet cleaner machine (and the carpet cleaning solution), three of us ended up spending 2 days moving furniture, setting up fans, and maneuvering the bulky carpet cleaner throughout the rooms of our house in order to get our carpets clean. In the end, we lost a lot of valuable time. And we were all very sore!
Now, here are some other do-it-yourself projects that are usually best when left to the professionals. Plus, great tips for deciding whether you should pay a professional or do the job yourself.
While some people are naturally handy around the house, the majority of us are not.
When that’s the case, there are times when it makes more sense to let the professionals do what they’re best at.
Some jobs you should probably hire someone else to do:
You can certainly install carpets, tile, vinyl, and even hardwood flooring yourself. But inexperience with installation procedures can cause a great deal of waste, unsightly mistakes, and voided warranties. These things will also result in the flooring not lasting as long as it should.
If you need to have flooring installed, here are some tips for hiring a floor installer. (Remember, you don’t have to use the installer provided by the place you purchased the flooring from.)
If you live in a ranch style home and have nothing better to do with a Saturday afternoon, then you may want to tackle this project yourself.
Here are some tips for cleaning gutters yourself.
But, if you live in a 2-story home with an attic or basement, then you really should reconsider doing the task yourself and hire someone who can do the job safely and quickly.
You might be surprised to learn that this very frugal lady uses a housekeeper during the winter months. The reasons are that I want to keep my kids focused on their school work and not on little chores. Plus, if I know someone is coming to clean, then I won’t worry about little things that are out of place and I’m more productive with my work.
I can easily make 150% of her cleaning fee on a good day. So it financially it makes more sense for me to work and pay her than to do the work myself. In the summers, I pay my kids a little extra to keep the house up to par. I have a housekeeper who can only work during the school year when her kids are in school, so it works out well for both of us.
Here is an excellent tutorial on deciding if you need a housekeeper, plus tips on how to hire and pay them appropriately.
In addition to listing a few more home projects for which you might want to hire professional help, this MSN Money article talks about how not hiring help can cost you.
In the end, doing everything yourself will usually cost more — in terms of money, wasted time, and errors due to inexperience. Tackling too many DIY projects will also cost you in terms of the amount of time you could have spent with your family and the time you could have spent taking care of yourself.
How To Decide: DIY vs Professionals
If you are trying to decide if you should hire professional help or tackle a project yourself, answer these questions first:
- How much do I, personally, make an hour?
- How much per hour will hiring someone cost me?
- Could I be more productive doing something else with my time?
- Do I really know how to do this job, or is it likely that I will make costly errors?
- Do I like doing this job?
If you’re going to do it yourself, take the time to do it the right way.