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To DIY or not to DIY

Washington Energy | 08/13/2015 | Posted in Home energy audit

That IS the question, isn’t it? In our Pinterest-scrolling and HGTV-watching world, do-it-yourself projects are more prolific than ever.
We’re astonished by before and after shots, and relish the feeling of a job well done. However, for large projects—ones that are central to the integrity of your home—it can be a challenge to know when to take the DIY plunge. Should you even take that plunge? Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you grab the toolbox... or the phone to call a professional.


Are there safety concerns?

It’s simple—nothing is more important that your safety. Plus, damaging your home costs money, causes frustration, and can result in substantial time loss. Many types of projects present safety and home damage concerns and are best left to the pros, such as:

  • Electrical or plumbing work
  • Second-story ladder work
  • Roof work
  • Lead paint removal
  • Asbestos removal
  • Large tree trimming and removal
  • Gas appliance repairs

Will I save money by doing it myself?

DIY is heralded as the golden method for saving money. And oftentimes, it is. But before you tackle a project, take the time to consider the often-overlooked costs of DIY. Equipment and supplies can quickly diminish potential savings. More importantly, the price to hire a professional to fix the damage of a botched DIY project can be catastrophic.

If possible, first get an estimate from a professional, even if you think you will do the project yourself. This gives you a baseline from which to compare the DIY costs.

What is my time worth?

Time is money. Just because doing a project yourself seems cheaper, doesn’t mean it’s the best use of your time. This is particularly true for high wage earners and those without a large amount of extra time.

For example, if it would take you 10 hours to complete a task that a professional would do for $300, you’re valuing your time at $30 an hour. Consider your salary, time constraints, and other responsibilities, and then make the determination on the true value of your time. Of course, if the project is fun, will teach you a new skill, or you simply just want to do it, go for it!

Maybe you have several projects on your list, but you’re not quite sure where to start. If those projects relate to energy efficiency or home performance, consider having a Home Energy Audit conducted by Washington Energy Services. Not only will you gain a thorough understanding of your home’s performance, but we can also provide our expertise to help you create a plan of attack for your DIY projects.

There’s a lot to consider when you’re debating between DIY and hiring a pro. Ultimately, just make sure you carefully evaluate cost, time, and your skill set before you make a decision.

Going with a pro? That’s great. DIY? Fight on, weekend warrior.

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