Most every budget-conscience person living in this decade has decided to take on a DIY project at some point to save a bit of cash. It could be something as small as up-cycling an old picture frame with some glitter to designing and building an entire house! With all of the information available to us on the internet these days we can learn how to do just about anything on our own. But just because you can doesn't mean you should automatically, which is why we're exploring this question today: should you Do-It-Yourself?
Is research a hobby for you?
A rare few are able to find good sources and study a skill without getting completely overwhelmed, and when the pressure of installing a costly semi-permanent floor in your own home is weighing you down it's even easier to feel defeated. The thing is, if you're planning to install a floor without ever having done it before you are going to have to spend hours doing research. You'll have to learn what the best materials to use are, what problems to look out for, how to prep a room for an installation, what kind of flooring is best suited for the room it'll go into, how to properly ventilate the area, what tools you'll need, how to stay safe during the installation process, and what to do if something goes wrong. That doesn't even include how to install the floors themselves! And you have to worry about finding reputable sources on top of all that. It's just not worth it if learning all of that doesn't excite you to begin with. You'd be better off paying the extra money to have someone install your floor who has been perfecting their craft daily.
Do the savings balance out quality?
It's no mystery that even the most optimistic DIYer can have a project go south quickly. Things look easy when you watch a professional do them, and they can even sound easy with the right teacher, but at the end of the day it'll be you holding the hammer. Do you feel confident that you'll be able to install a floor that is functional and pleasing to the eye on your first attempt?
Unfortunately, floor installation is not something you can practice beforehand very well, nor can you make multiple attempts at it and still hope to save money. It's one and done. Additionally, when the project is complete you can't just toss it out if it comes out poorly. You're stuck looking at it for years. Type A personalities beware!
Are you saving enough?
In all honesty, when you break down the cost of installing a floor on your own and having a professional do the job, you're not saving as much as you might think. When you start from the ground up a flooring installation you have to pay for all of your flooring materials, tools that you don't already have, safety gear, and for any machines that you have to rent (air compressor, compact miter saw, nailer). When it's all said and done you're bound to have a bunch of extra materials and waste that you'll likely never use again. Do you really want to store all of that?
The long and short of this article is that unless you enjoy activities that fall in line with installing a floor, get an immense amount of satisfaction out of completing these kinds of projects on your own, or have no other choice than to do everything you can to save those extra dollars, we wouldn't suggest DIY. On average you are saving about $3 per square foot by doing the floor yourself, and a price gap like that is just too small to go to all of that trouble for.
What do you think? Is DIY worth it? Let us know in the comments below!