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DIY at Home: Hire a Pro or Go It Alone?

DIY at Home:Hire a Pro or Go It Alone?

When it comes to DIY projects at home, many of us feel that we are able to have a go at
small projects ourselves and save having to get help from a professional. However, are
you really that confident in your own skills? What do people really think they are capable
of? Our recent survey came up with some interesting results.

General DIY Skills: How Do You Fare?

We asked 502 members of the British public to rate their DIY skills.
Almost half of those asked (45%) said that they had either no skills or
poor skills. 35% claimed average to good skills, whereas less than a
(20%) said they had excellent or professional skills.

When asked whether they would usually do a job themselves or hire a professional, 43% said they would do it themselves, with only 16% saying they would hire a professional. 41% were unsure.

The level of DIY skills you possess probably comes down to how much DIY you have done in the past, as well as the task at hand. Even if you have relatively limited DIY skills, you may still think yourself capable of doing basic jobs around the house, and therefore be reluctant to pay for a professional service. This was the topic of the following questions in the survey, which asked about various types of DIY jobs.

Which jobs would you do yourself?

The first job asked about was one of the most common DIY tasks at home: putting up a shelf. Of the 500 people who responded, 43% said that they were confident they could do it alone, 26% would get help from friends, and 17% would hire professional help. Interestingly, 14% were not confident but would still attempt it.

The other projects on the list saw very different results, mainly because they are considered more complex tasks. They included:

Tile a bathroom:

27% of people asked would feel confident enough to do it themselves
while 34% would hire a professional.

Install loft insulation:

28% of people asked would do it themselves and 38% would
hire a professional.

Install A STUD WALL:

20% of participants in our survey would do it themselves and 44%
would hire a professional.

Convert loft or garage:

46% would hire a professional for this job. Perhaps a little worryingly,
12% of people would attempt this fairly significant project even though
they wouldn't feel confident in completing it successfully.

Why Do It Yourself?

There are many reasons why people do DIY jobs on their own. For some, it is a fun way to spend an afternoon. For others, it is a challenge that provides a sense of achievement. However, probably the biggest reason to do jobs yourself is that you may be able to save money on hiring a professional.

This is all well and good when you have the necessary skills, tools and time. However, remember that if it goes wrong, you could end up spending more to rectify the mistake – so always be honest with yourself about your own abilities. If you're not fully confident, consider if you're willing to treat the project as a learning experience.

Safety first: work within your capabilities

There are many people who will take on the job no matter how large it is. Would you be happy to put up a shelf? Install insulation? Carry out a full loft conversion? It's important not to be influenced by what anyone else says because only you know what you are really capable of.

Taking on a larger DIY project can also be more time consuming than initially estimated. If you're the kind of person who enjoys doing DIY tasks in your spare time this is all well and good. However, if you'd rather spend your spare time in other ways it may be advisable to seek the help of a professional which will save you time and potentially get the job finished quicker.

For some jobs, knowledge of building regulations may be required and specialist skills needed to ensure the work is carried out to meet legal requirements. The work may also need to be inspected at various stages of the project which is something a qualified professional will be aware of from the start.

Make sure safety is always paramount. It's great when you can do DIY tasks around the home without having to call out a professional, but it is never worth risking your safety over. If you don't have the required skills, get some training and go on a course. Alternatively, focus on doing the smaller tasks yourself and leave the more complicated stuff to the professionals.

by Phillip Lidgerton

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