We've all pondered over the eternal question: "Should I do it myself, or should I pay an expert to do it for me?" There's a good reason for that question. Most of us don't have bottomless pockets. If we did, the answer would always be simple: If it isn't fun or pleasurable, pay someone else to do it - of course.
So the real question should NOT be: "Should I do it myself, or should I pay an expert to do it for me?" The real question should be: "Would I enjoy doing this; and/or will it save me time and/or money to pay an expert to do it for me?
The first part of the question is easy enough to answer. If you'd really like to do the project at hand, whether it's a home repair project, like fixing a sliding glass door, or a home beautification project like putting up new curtains on your windows, and you have the spare time, then just go for it.
If your hobby is restoring antique cars, and you like working on engines, then, by all means, have at it.
If on the other hand, you don't mind working with your hands, and you need to fix something around the house, but you've never done that project before (and you'd like to spend your time doing something else) you'll need a little more analysis before deciding.
Consider the following:
- If you did the repair yourself, would you have to buy tools, oils, paints, parts, or gizmos that you may never use again? The factor that into what it will cost you to do the repair.
- If you did the repair would you have to spend time learning how to do something that you'll never do again in a million years? The factor that into what it will cost you to do the repair.
- Going to the store for supplies takes time as well. Especially if you find out you need another blue widget, or that the one you have doesn't fit.
- It's easy to break something when you aren't proficient at repairing it – especially when it comes to glass. You could actually do more damage than good. Imagine trying to change the rollers on a sliding glass door, and breaking the glass.
- Don't forget you'll have to do all the clean-up as well as the storage of the new supplies you'll have to buy. More time and space to consider.
- Many small tasks seem to take specialized equipment or 3-4 hands. Do you have the manpower available to help you if you need it?
- Don't forget that there is a risk that you'll hurt yourself using a tool that you rarely use. Is it worth risking a smashed thumb?
- Do you have an adequate workshop or workspace for the project? It doesn't make sense to put the kids and the family pet at risk, just to save a couple of bucks. Does it?
- Could you spend your time growing your part-time or full-time business, instead of doing handy work? If so, it may be better to invest that time into yourself.
In the long run, as long as you're working with an ethical contractor who provides great service – one who prices his product correctly so as to keep his clients and customers for a long time - it more often than not makes sense to pay the expert. It'll save you time and money, and give you peace of mind as well.