When it comes to home improvement tasks, there are those that seem like daunting projects to take on yourself. We aren’t talking about replacing a light bulb or putting up a picture– think remodelling your garden or fully repainting your hallway. For big jobs, what are the best ways to go about them? Do you throw yourself in at the deep-end with a sledgehammer or do you hire a professional to take the burden off your own shoulders?
While the exhilaration of DIY might take over and make you feel like the possibilities of what you can achieve are endless – in fact, there are limits of what you can do yourself. We have investigated some DIY tasks that might need addressing to work out whether it’s wise to take on the work yourself, or hire a professional.
Painting your house can seem like a timely repetitive chore but it might be a task worth taking on yourself. Hiring a painter and decorator can set you back anywhere between £190-425 per room, dependent upon the size. However, it can save you some time. On average, it can take 1-3 days for completion, so if you want multiple rooms painted then you can expect to have a decorator in for around a week.
Hiring a professional might save you some time, but with regards to cost – materials can be purchased cheap enough to warrant your own effort. Before you make a start, make sure you have the correct lighting (using 300 watt light bulbs can help you avoid mistakes), good quality paint and materials which may cost you around £100, and finally you need patience and great attention to detail. Following these guide lines helps to achieve the same quality as a professional, at a lower price.
Alternatively, you can hire a paint spray system to speed up the process. This will set you back around £50 for one day’s hire and then £28 for any extra days that you require. However, before hiring, you must make sure the tool is suitable for your walls.
Remodelling a garden
Gardening can be a physically challenging DIY task even for the fittest person, so hiring a professional landscape gardener can take away all the blood, sweat and tears. Of course, hiring a professional means paying a higher fee, which typically start at around £7,000 for a typical garden remodel. Sound steep? Going it alone can save you a large amount of money.
The first step of remodelling a garden is clearing the ground, which usually entails smashing out any pre-existing concrete. For less than £20, you can pick up a pickaxe or a sledgehammer which will help make this step a lot easier. That being said, it is still a tough workout which uses a lot of energy. Additionally, you should invest in some safety goggles to avoid shards flying into your eyes.
You will need to hire a skip to get rid of any rubble and earth that you dig up. Skips typically cost around £250 for hire, depending on size. This is under the presumption that you have the time to do the first step, as it can take weeks rather than days. After you’ve finished, you’ll then need to resurface your garden depending on what you want. Block paving requires sand, cement and slabs which are expensive but low maintenance.
Alternatively, if you do go it alone, you can hire a digger to help you out. This will take a large bulk of the work away from you, speeding up the process but could set up back anywhere between £65-95 per day or £350-400 a week. You will still need to manually put down the new materials yourself which can also be quick timely.
In this case, it might be best to leave this to the professionals…or those who have plenty of time on their hands.
Trimming Tall Trees
Although the materials can be purchased cheaply, tackling hedgerows and large trees can be a tough and ultimately, dangerous task. For example, the USA had 580 deaths due to tree trimming accidents between 2009 and 2015.
Hiring a professional arborist can take away the danger but can set you back by around £250 for just one days hire for a team of two surgeons. Prices do depend on the work load and the area itself.
To keep costs down, whilst also taking into consideration health and safety, you could hire your own cherry picker or access platform to reach high-up trees in a far safer environment. This only applies to tall trees but can dramatically decrease the risk of accidents. With self-drive hire available from £99 per day and up, this is an option worth considering – although some companies ask for certification.
Of course, this is just a sample of the work you could take on in your home. From retiling a bathroom to building an extension, you can just about take on any task as DIY. However, as we’ve shown above, it’s tough to balance the time and effort with any potential cost saving. While DIY is often cheaper and sometimes more exciting, it’s not usually the best choice.