As more and more millennials make the leap into home ownership, more and more millennials are confronted with another source of debt and another reason to scrimp and save. Mortgages aren’t cheap — especially because they often are compounded with other costs like homeowner’s insurance and property taxes — which means most new homeowners are faced with a tough decision: opt to DIY as many projects around the house as they can to save money or hire experienced service professionals to do the work to save time.
Both saving time and saving money are noble efforts, but which is more important in the long run, especially to cash-strapped millennial homeowners?
Ultimately, You Want Both
It should go without saying that in an ideal world, you would have an unlimited amount of time and money. Then, you could truly indulge in all your desires and live the life of your dreams. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world.
Still, you should be organizing your efforts to maximize both time and money. That means different things for different people. For instance, if you are a New York attorney who earns $600 per billable hour, you would gain more free time and more money by outsourcing yard care to a professional, who can mow your lawn, pick up leaf litter, trim trees and shrubs and spray weeds for $100 per week. Conversely, if you are a public high school teacher in Texas, you should probably only hire a Houston Handyman for larger projects because the costs of many smaller projects will greatly eat into your budget.
Being a homeowner is about balance: balancing your budgets to allow you to afford the things you like and balancing your time to ensure you aren’t working joylessly for every hour of every week. To help you determine whether you should hire a professional, you can use the following questions as a guide:
Do You Know What You’re Doing?
Knowledge and skill are two very important qualities to have before you begin any sort of project around your home. That’s not to say you need to have a professional level of expertise without performing research, but it matters how you understand the project after reading blogs, watching videos and otherwise preparing for the project. If you have a strong grasp on the procedure of the project, how to use required tools and how the final product should look and/or function, you should feel confident launching yourself into DIY. On the other hand, if you are confused by any element of the project, it might be best to get professional help.
Do You Enjoy Projects Around the Home?
This might not seem like an important factor, but in truth the enjoyment you receive from completing projects around your home has a major impact. Think about how you complete projects at work: If you enjoy a certain task, you might prioritize its completion and try harder to make it good, but if you are assigned a task you loathe, it might take forever for you to finish it (if you ever do) and you might not pay close attention to its quality.
Around the house, unfinished projects pile up fast, so you want to be certain that you’ll see a project to its end before you start. Plus, because the projects you complete around your home will affect the property’s value, you want to make sure that you will concentrate on producing a high-quality finish. If you can confidently say that DIY projects aren’t a beloved hobby, you might find it more rewarding to outsource projects to a professional and save your time for more pleasurable pursuits.
Can You Find a Service Professional You Trust?
Finally, not every professional is worth your money. It’s easier than you might expect to contract the services of a so-called professional that drags their feet on completing the project, continues to increase costs and does other shady things to rip you off. Thus, it’s important that you thoroughly vet any professional you hire to complete projects around your home. You should ask for proof of any insurance, licenses or certifications required by your state as well as a contract of your agreement in writing. You might also research your potential hires online, using ratings and review websites to verify that previous customers’ experiences were positive.
DIY is a great way to save money — sometimes. Other times, DIY is a great way to waste your time and end up with a project that needs professional help anyway. It’s better to know how to balance your time and money to improve your house and ensure you live the best life possible with the limited resources you have.