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Lawsons are the largest independent timber, building & fencing merchants in London and the South East of England. Established in 1921 Lawsons now have a number of branches offering the complete range of building materials.

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Should I DIY or Hire a Professional for My Home Improvement?

DIY is quite a personal and divisive issue – while some people are happy to while away their weekends on projects and improvements, others might feel anxious about getting things wrong or just prefer to spend time on other things. If you’re not sure about whether to hire a professional, here are some quick questions to help you decide.

Are You More Time or Money Rich?

Doing things yourself is an excellent way to save money, so if you have a larger project and you’re not intimated by the technical side, you may want to DIY in order to lower costs. However, some projects take considerably more time than you may have, so it’s important to realistically assess how much time your project will take and see whether you have that amount to spare (especially if it needs to be finished by a particular date). For example, if you need to re-tile your bathroom and only have weekends to do it, you will need to balance the inconvenience of a bathroom being half done vs. the cost of hiring somebody to come in and getting finished sooner.

Is the Work Risky?

Damage limitation is an incredibly important part of this decision – simply put, what are the consequences if you get it wrong? If you’re just putting together some planters, the consequences are either wasted time, wasted money, or both. However, taking on larger electrical or plumbing projects yourself is far riskier, both in terms of potential damage you could do to your home and even risks to your own health. Some jobs may require a professional, such as gas appliance repairs, while with others it’s often best to be cautious.

While plumbing and electrical work are the obvious high risk jobs, other projects such as knocking down walls shouldn’t be undertaken without a good degree of knowledge, since knocking down a load-bearing wall could have a huge impact on the integrity and safety of your home.

Do You Have the Skills and Tools Required for the Job?

Finally, there are instances where DIY may not be the cheaper route – if you need to buy a lot of new tools that you’re unlikely to use again, hiring a tradesperson to do the work for you may not be much more expensive than getting everything you need to do it yourself. Likewise, there are usually YouTube videos you can watch to help you learn but the time and equipment it takes to practice and get everything right may not be worth the cost.