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Is DIY right for you?
If you’re considering doing any do-it-yourself (DIY) renovation or maintenance work on your investment property, conventional investment property advice says: by all means, go ahead. However be aware there are some pitfalls to this method for saving on cash outlays…For starters, you probably aren’t used to working in the same field as someone you would normally hire to do the work. For example if you’re going to do some carpentry work you’re going to go a lot slower than if a professional carpenter were doing the work. Even “unskilled” work such as painting will go much, much slower for you then it would for a professional painter. How much slower? That’s hard to say. It depends on your temperament and how much experience you’ve had painting.
To illustrate, I myself am currntly in the middle of doing painting on an investment project of mine that’s taking me forever to finish. Why? Because I’m not a painter. I think of past painters that I’ve hired on my projects. They always brought in a veritable army of painters with them. So on any project where I hired the professional painters, there would be at least four or five painters painting all at once all over the place – inside and out. But when it’s just you just you by yourself, things go really, really slowly.
Savings versus sanity
So while you may be saving many thousands of dollars, you’re definitely going to be earning it. Just be ready to do some hard work, and take your time doing it. Obviously your work is not going to be as neat, efficient and good-looking as a professional’s work. Still, you’ll need to live with the at least the bare minimum standard performance that you’re going to offer relative to a paid professional.
If you’re considering doing more serious finely tuned work like plumbing or electrical work, make sure that it’s work that does not require a license to do so, for example, any new installation or new remodeling work. It would have to be simple repair work. And you have to be comfortable doing work with the right amount of knowledge, accomplishing a passable job, and ensuring you don’t kill yourself in the process.
Think you have a green thumb and can do your own landscaping? Well maybe you can. Again, a professional landscaper is probably going to bring a whole lot of experience to the game. A lot more than you can. However they are expensive, and if you can find a nursery nearby, you can solicit some fre advice on the best plantings for your investment property. The nursery still wants to sell you the plantings, regardless if you do the work yourself. Just know that sometimes you’re going to require some heavy-duty equipment you may you have to already own or rent it in order to accomplish some landscaping chores.
The bottom line: can you live with the results?
Clearly if you have the time and the wherewithal to do it, then saving yourself money by doing some basic work is sound investment property advice. Just make sure that you’re okay living with the results. After all, you know yourself. Remember too, that the end product of your labors must appeal to either your prospective tenants, or your current tenants, or to buyers of your property. If your work is so shoddy, you’ll be doing yourself an injustice whilst shooting yourself in the foot.
That said, and in this day and age, if you can save a buck doing it yourself, then it’s certainly worthwhile to try. And if all else fails, and you get so fed up you can’t take it anymore while you’re in the middle of trying to do the work yourself, you can always humbly call on a professional to bail you out. And then the project will look great.
And then, damned the expense.
And you’ll have learned a great deal about yourself in the process…
photos courtesy of doctormacro.com, funny-pictures-lol.com, colourbox.com, reclaimedhome.com