DIY versus hiring a contractor

You’ve spent a few months collecting home design ideas from magazines and the internet, and now you’re ready to renovate. But you’re plagued by the following decision: Do you hire a builder? Or is this the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in a DIY project?

14 Benefits of DIY

  1. Doing-it-yourself, if you get it right, will probably be less expensive than hiring a contractor to do the work.
  2. You can change your mind halfway through your project and make some alterations to your work without causing frustration for the builder and costing you more.
  3. There’s a sense of reward and deep satisfaction that comes from making something with your own hands.
  4. As you work on your DIY project, you’re learning new skills that you can teach others, or potentially charge for.
  5. You can save money sourcing your own products and materials. Builders will always add a mark-up on these items. However, when sourcing your products on your own, remember not to compromise on quality.

If you decide to attempt a DIY project, or manage subcontractors on your own, make sure you are aware of the requirements. See How to manage your subcontractor yourself.

But, sometimes, it pays to hire a builder.

15Benefits of hiring a contractor

  1. Builders have the knowledge, skills and experience that you wouldn’t manage to acquire by watching a DIY video, or following a step-by-step guide.
  2. Builders will know which of your renovation plans are suitable or not with regards to size, location and weather conditions.
  3. Builders have all the proper tools and equipment needed to satisfy your home building needs.
  4. Certain home maintenance and home improvement projects are illegal for DIY enthusiasts to undertake without the help of a qualified and registered contractor. See: Health and Safety DIY: Plumbing, electrical and gas DIY home building projects that you can and cannot undertake.
  5. Contractors understand the National Building Standards and local building codes. It is illegal not to follow these standards and by-laws. You don’t want to jeopardise the safety of your home and endanger your family, or pay fines, for failing to follow these standards.
  6. Contractors often take care of the paperwork involved in acquiring permits and organising inspections.
  7. Contractors are required to take the responsibility for health and safety while on site.

Sources: Let's Talk Building