Should you attempt that next Home Improvement Project yourself, or would it be a better choice to hire a remodeling professional? This simple quiz originally was created by NARI and is not meant to scare you or push you into hiring a contractor, but to help you make an informed decision on your best option. It is only 17 simple yes or no questions
01. Do you enjoy physical work?
02. Are you persistent and patient?
03. Do you have reliable work habits? (This means that once you start, it will get finished in a timely manner)
04. Do you have all the tools needed and the skills required to do the job?
05. What quality level do you need for this project? Are your skills at that level?
06. Do you have the time that will be required to complete the project? (FYI – the first time you do something, it will almost always take 2 to 3 times as long as a “normal” install, then you also have to calculate how tired you will be at the end of your normal workday or work week)
07. Will it matter to you or other family members if the project remains unfinished for an extended period of time?
08. Are you prepared to handle the kind of stress this project will create in your family relationships?
09. Do you know all of the steps involved in the project?
10. Have you gotten and reviewed the installation instructions from the manufacturer to determine whether this product will meet your needs, that you have the abilities to install it, and do you have the tools necessary / ability to rent them? (Most manufacturers installation instructions can be found on the web)
11. Is this a job you can do completely by yourself or will you need assistance? If you do need assistance, what skill level is involved for your assistant and do they have that knowledge and skill level? If you need a professional subcontractor, do you have access to a skilled labor pool?
12. Are you familiar with your local building codes and permit requirements? (Even if you are located in “the County” you still need to follow the 2006 IRC for everything except for Electrical work which follows the 2008 NEC)
13. Do you have a plan for what to do if the project goes awry / location of the main water shutoff?
14. Is it safe for you to do this project? (Everyone’s health and safety should be your primary concern)
15. Will you be able to obtain the materials you need? Who will be your source of supply? Will they deliver?
16. Are you attempting to do-it-yourself for financial reasons? If so, have you looked at all of your costs, including the cost of materials, your time, and the tools you need to purchase or rent? You may also want to look at the cost to correct any mistakes you may make—i.e., the damage factor. Will it still be a cost-saving venture?
17. If you are trying DIY for the satisfaction of a job well done—can you ensure that the job will be “well done”? If it doesn’t come out right, how will you feel? Will you be able to afford to redo any unsatisfactory work?
If you answered yes to at least 8 or more of these questions, you might have what it takes to complete a successful project. However, before you run for the nearest hardware store, revisit those questions you marked “No” on, and carefully consider the potential problems you will face in those areas if you proceed.