4 Reasons for DIY Home Renovations

How do you determine whether to do a job yourself or to contract it out to a professional? Examining these 4 reasons people opt for DIY instead of hiring pros can help you evaluate whether the DIY route is really best for you.

It’s Your General MO

The reasoning goes like this: I make my own bread, do my own landscaping, paint my own nails, change my own motor oil—why not remodel my own house? If you’re the DIY type in general, you may be a good candidate for DIY home renovations. On the other hand, you may not. DIY-ers of all types enjoy the satisfaction of completing all kinds of tasks themselves and the independence of not needing any help. With construction projects, though, there are both financial and safety risks that may outweigh those major pros. Since house-sized blunders can’t be compensated for as easily as rubbing acetone or re-tilling a botched flower bed, you may want to forego your usual MO.

You’re Short on Cash

This idea goes hand-in-hand with reason #1, since most DIY types choose that lifestyle, at least in part, in favor of thrift. When you’re comparing inexpensive ingredients in French bread to the pricey option at the corner bakery, it totally makes sense. However, there’s much more involved when it comes to home renovations. You’ll need to buy or rent equipment, and you won’t want to go cheap on those. You’ll also be forced to pay more for materials than contractor rates, so you may not save as much as you think you will by avoiding labor costs. And then there’s the inevitable mistakes that amateurs are bound to make. In fact, one contractor admits that “A small problem can very quickly grow into a huge one,” and, “a sizable percentage of our business each year, in fact, involves salvaging do-it-yourself projects that have gone wrong.”

You Want To Learn

YouTube and HGTV can only go so far. And we see the edited version of what really transpired between “before” and “after.” Even the HGTV producers admit: “Home renovation looks so easy on TV. We see a project move quickly and smoothly from start to finish – and the results are always beautiful.” Instead of a self-taught DIY project, maybe you could find a contractor who will allow you to do the unskilled grunt work, such as cleanup and some demo, in exchange for a sort of temporary apprenticeship on someone else’s project—or your own.

You’re Out for an Experience

Many DIY projects provide quite the entertainment factor, prompting a popular HGTV show called Renovation Realities, where “budgets skyrocket, tempers flare, relationships suffer. This is real life. . . . even in home improvement, truth is often stranger than fiction.” If you’re set on DIY-ing it and are the type to ensure some heavy doses of drama along the way, you may be a great candidate for your DIY moment of fame.

D.R. Hartman Construction Inc

If you are looking for a full service commercial or residential construction company in the Maryland, Washington, D.C., or Fairfax County, Virginia region, we'd love to have the opportunity to learn about your construction project and give you a free quote. Submit our online contact form or call Don Hartman at (301) 926-9000.


  1. So true!

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