Contractor vs. DIY: Navigating Home Renovation Choices

Hire a Contractor or DIY: Making the Right Choice for Your Home Renovation Project

The age-old question is, do I hire a contractor for my bathroom or home renovation or do I do it myself? In this blog, we are going to explore the pros and cons of hiring a professional contractor or doing the renovation on your own. The truth is, there is no single answer that fits most or even many situations, each case is different, and for each renovation project and homeowner’s goals, it may work better one way or the other. All depends on the goals of the homeowners and their skills, skill as a handyman and do-it-yourself person as well as interpersonal and how good of a manager you can be.

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To get the most obvious out of the way, if you have the money, if you do not have the time, and do not have the skills to complete say a bathroom renovation, the answer is to find a professional bathroom contractor, establish a great relationship with him or her and let the contractor do what they do the best.

Did you notice we said “establish a great relationship”? This is for a reason, even if you have all the money in the world, but you are not pleasant to deal with, most likely you won’t find any good experienced, and self-respectful tradesman to do your job. So simply put, – be nice.

On the other side of the spectrum is someone skilled and experienced in home renovations, has time on his or her hands, does not mind, and actually likes spending time remodelling their home. Again, the answer is obvious, you are going to do the job on your own.

In many cases as such, you still will need a specialized trade such as a plumber or an electrician to complete their part of your bathroom renovation. Again, being nice to others and showing trades that you have a healthy respect for what they do will go a long way to help you make your remodel project go smoothly.

Let’s say you have the financial ability and even some skills, but like many people, these days you are simply overworked and have no time to take on a reno project. This is a very common situation. This is when many people reach out to hire a local renovation contractor. They either ask friends, family, or neighbours for references of who did their bathroom remodel, or sometimes simply go to Google to search for a local contractor based on their reviews. 

The advice here is to know what you want as a result, and communicate clearly and honestly with your contractor what is important to you in your project, even to the level of technical details, good contractor will always appreciate your knowledge and as always, remember that kind words go a long way, show them that you trust their expertise above yours and a good contractor will go above their way to make the project a success for you.

And perhaps the last option that is sadly becoming more common these days as people find themselves not only overworked and underpaid, but with high real estate prices and high interest rates many Ottawa families are struggling to find disposable income to renovate their bathrooms or do any sort of home improvement projects.

Many folks also do not have the training or skills to work with tools, which leaves them completely reliant on hiring a contractor, but with the tight budget, they have to look at their cheaper offering on the market and unfortunately, not always these offerings are of good quality, and service. As the saying goes, you get what you pay for.

Related Article: How to Renovate Bathroom Under 20K or Less

If you find yourself in a similar situation, our advice is to interview the local contractor whom you are considering, speak honestly about your budget, and don’t try to have contractors fit into your budget, as those who will try to do that are mostly likely desperate for work and this could be for various reasons, and none of them are good for you. Instead, be honest when you are speaking with your local contractors and see who can help you tailor the project in such a way that you can come closer or even fit into your budget and at the same time receive good quality work and service. If your budget is not realistic, you may need to re-think it or put the project aside until you have the funds to do the work properly and with a good reputable contractor.

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