Consider Potential Dangers, Costs of DIY Carefully

Updated September 4, 2015
Be realistic about DIY ventures. If you don't have the proper knowledge or tools, consider calling a pro to help. (Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Mitchell)

Experts caution homeowners to be realistic and thoroughly evaluate DIY projects before tackling them on their own.

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The desire to save a buck motivates most homeowners with a DIY spirit to tackle home improvement projects themselves, according to a recent poll. The January survey of Angie’s List members revealed that 63 percent say they do some or most of the work on their homes. Of that group, 86 percent cite the desire to save money as the main reason for doing so.

Homeowners who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty should keep in mind that not all home projects are as simple as they may seem. Experts caution do-it-yourselfers to be realistic about their skills. If you don’t have the knowledge to complete a project, it could lead to additional costs and — even worse — injury.

“It can be an absolutely devastating injury that happens oftentimes in the intent of trying to save some money,” says Dr. James J. Creighton Jr., M.D., orthopedic surgeon and managing partner of the Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center.  “And now because of the injury they are out of work for a prolonged period of time and they’ve got a health expense that they certainly were not budgeting for.”

Some home-related projects can be tackled successfully by homeowners, but it is important to ask yourself these three questions:

What experience (if any) do I have? Just because you’re not afraid to take on a project – doesn’t mean you should. You might find it difficult to find a contractor who will fix your snafu.

Do I have the time? Many home improvement projects take weeks rather than days. Measure the inconvenience against the cost of hiring a professional.

Do I have the right tools? If you have to go out and buy a power saw, but don’t plan to use it again in the future, it’s probably not a good investment.

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