Everybody knows that home is where the heart is, and that there is no place like it. But if you are planning to become a homeowner, you are going to need a whole lot more than heart to properly maintain it. You are going to need money to call in professionals, and skills to do some tasks yourself. and the judgement to know when one option is more appropriate than the other.
Home Depot is constantly encouraging do-it-yourself projects that, under no circumstances, should be done yourself. They say things like, “You can do it. We can help”. But when your little project takes a left turn, Home Depot is nowhere to be found.
It is not always easy to know when you should call in a pro for your project. Here are a few tips to help you decide:
When Doing It Yourself Voids Your Warranty
Every home owner needs home owner’s insurance. Assuming you have it, you might want to become familiar with the terms and conditions. Home owner’s insurance does not cover the damage you cause. Set your house aflame, and see how much coverage you get. Yet, no one will be denied an insurance claim for properly changing a lightbulb.
Somewhere between changing a lightbulb and doing your own electrical rewiring is a grey area of projects. If even the successful completion of a project would void your warranties and insurance, you should call in a pro.
When I say “pro”, I really mean professional. The world is full of unlicensed Jacks of all trades serving as the poor man’s contractor. They may even be good at what they do. But they are not professionals. One of the marks of a professional is that they carry professional licenses and insurance. When deciding whether to work with a contractor, compare their credentials and insurance papers with the information available at www.targetinsuranceservices.com.
When Doing It Yourself Exceeds Your Skills
So just how much training have you had in cabinetry? I ask because if you are really planning to hang those cabinets yourself, there is an awful lot you need to know about the craft. One of the first things you will probably want to do is look around the web to find videos and pictures of projects that have gone horribly wrong.
If that doesn’t scare you straight, immerse yourself in how-to videos that show you the project step by step from beginning to end. If any part of the project seems a bit beyond your reach, don’t start it in the first place. There is no shame in calling a professional to do a job for which you are not qualified. You don’t do tonsillectomies for your family. So why should you do the cabinetry?
When Professional Results Really Matter
Interior painting is one of those projects that almost anyone can do themselves. One gets good at it with practice and repetition and practice. You get the idea. But you may want to consider bringing in a pro for your living room, guest room, home office, or any other part of the house that will be seen by lots of people, especially clients.
What is acceptable in your private den where even the spouse does not visit, may not be acceptable in other parts of the house. The same goes for hanging shelves, molding, flooring, carpeting, or anything else that you might achieve rough results. It is not that you should never try these things, just that you should pick your battles wisely.
Indeed, home is where the heart is. Just make sure there is also a place in that home for good judgement.