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DIY: When To Leave It To The Pros

By Alicia Murphy | August 8, 2012

In today’s economy many homeowners struggle with maintaining their property but understand the importance of doing so. This has led to a surge in DIY projects being taken on by individuals who have previously barely hammered a nail. So how do you know when its better to tackle the project yourself or leave it to the pros?

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Major Systems Repairs & Upkeep

Your home is comprised of several major systems: electrical, plumbing, HVAC, etc. When these larger components need routine maintenance it may be tempting to take on the challenge yourself (with the help of YouTube of course!), but let your common sense be your guide.

Unless you have previous experience working intimately with these systems, trying to tackle maintenance or repairs to them could end up leaving you in a worse mess than when you started. Instead it’s a better idea to let a professional handle the job, albeit more costly. By completing the work yourself you risk major damage or even total destruction to your property (or yourself) at which point you’d have to contact a professional to clean up after you anyway.

Cosmetics & Renovations

The advent of the internet changed many things including how we think about our personal capabilities. Now with the help of Google and YouTube you can find instructions and video tutorials for completing tasks ranging from spreadsheet creation to changing your car’s battery. Instructions for DIY home improvement projects are no different or more difficult to find. So even if you’ve never held a paint brush before you can learn how to strip wallpaper and paint a room on sites like the DIY Network, one of the best resources for DIY information.

For fairly simple cosmetic projects like painting, you can easily tackle the project yourself with a little guidance, but for larger projects such as tearing down walls it’s still a good idea to call a pro. You never know what lies inside that wall that’s blocking your wonderful open concept dream and simply throwing caution to the wind could have disastrous results.

Likewise if you get started on a simple project such as painting and discover that even with direction you’re just not getting a good result you may want to stop and let a professional take over from there. After all, this is your home and it constitutes a large financial investment so you’ll want any work done on the place to be of good workmanlike quality.

In the realm of what projects can be completed yourself a little common sense and humility can go a long way. If you aspire to complete a project but just don’t know what you’re doing when you get into it don’t let your pride stop you from calling in a professional. In the long run you’ll be much happier with a professional quality result that doesn’t require more costly repair of your personal mistakes. To learn more about when NOT to DIY check out this video.

Alicia Murphy is a licensed real estate agent. My freelance writing career began simultaneously with my Real Estate career in 2010.As a Realtor I’ve worked primarily with buyers in finding themtheir dream home and have experience in foreclosure sales, but I've also represented sellers in marketing and selling their homes. As we await the bolstering return of the Real Estate market I will continue to adapt to ever-changing conditions and continue to provide first-rate service to my clients.
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