True Cost of Home Improvement

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When it comes to home improvement, some people are so handy, they'd never think of hiring of a pro. Others are all thumbs, so they always call for help. The rest of us fall somewhere in between. But how do you decide when a contractor is the way to go?

When it comes to home improvement, some people are so handy, they’d never think of hiring of a pro. Others are all thumbs, so they always call for help. The rest of us fall somewhere in between. But how do you decide when a contractor is the way to go?

Before you attempt to tackle a project, ask yourself some questions. First, do you really have the skill? Check out the project online and consider what can go wrong. Talk to more experienced friends, even hardware store staff.

Next, compare the costs. Labor is 25% to 50% of most projects, so you can save serious money. But that’s not all there is to it…

“You need to evaluate if you have the right equipment, are you going to have to rent tools? If so you’re going to have to add that cost in. Also keep in mind that contractors might get better deals on supplies than you might be able to.”  -Angie Hicks, Angie’s List

And then there’s something that most Do-It-Yourselfers don’t consider: potential health-care costs. According to a study published in 2007, 35,000 people ended up in the ER last year from nail gun accidents alone.

So if in doubt, at least consider hiring help. Check out a site like Angie’s List or Handyman Connection to find the right pro for the right price.

Stacy Johnson

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