Time is Money in Home Improvement

Sink

Photo courtesy of DesignMine

Contribution by Andrea Davis, HomeAdvisor

When you decide to complete a home improvement project, the inevitable question is, “Do I pay someone else do to it or do the work myself?” Hiring a professional can be expensive, but your time is valuable as well. So which projects are worth investing time and which are worth investing money? Here are some common projects that homeowners may want completed and whether they likely fall into the “time” or “money” category:

  • New sink installation: Because of the extensive plumbing and expertise required to lay a sink in a countertop, sink installation should probably be a money project. Homeowners should not try to install a sink because they could damage pipes and cause a leak, and improperly laying the sink could crack and scratch the countertop. Calling in a plumber to install the sink ensures it has the right plumbing and placement in the kitchen or bathroom.
  • Door and window weather stripping: With the right materials and methodical placement, weather stripping can be a time project. It’s easier to add weather stripping around door frames than around windows though, because windows are designed to be airtight. If you decide to install weather stripping on your own, be sure to get the kind that won’t prevent the window from closing. You can also have a professional install weather stripping if you have too many windows and doors leaking air and don’t feel comfortable doing it.
  • Laying attic insulation: While attic insulation sounds like it could be a DIY project, it’s actually a money project for several reasons. Laying it requires safety gear to avoid the insulation irritating the skin and eyes. Also, certain types of attic insulation require tools that can’t be bought at the store. Most importantly, insulation experts know how to avoid putting holes in the ceiling during installation. It’s easier to pay between $1,400 and $1,900 as reported by homeowners for insulation than to risk bigger bills for ceiling damage and medical visits.
  • Installing a programmable thermostat: There are new types of thermostats out now that allow for their installation to be a time project. Innovations in their design make programming and wiring easy with just a few wire connections. It’s important to know if the thermostat you want is that simple though. Otherwise you might want to call an electrician out to do the thermostat wiring.

These are only a few of the projects for which homeowners may make the “time is money” decision. If you’re ever uncertain about proceeding with one as a time project, call a professional.

About Andrea Davis and HomeAdvisor

Andrea Davis works for HomeAdvisor, which helps homeowners find the right home improvement professionals for their home projects at the right price. Homeowners can use HomeAdvisor Reviews to see what past customers have to say about each professional, and can calculate average local and national costs for a variety of home projects using Cost Guides. Access to all information and features is free for homeowners.

Note: This is a guest post; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Redfin.

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