When to DIY and when to outsource your project

There are two major considerations when undertaking a new project and those, broadly speaking, are time and money. In this post we explore when to do it yourself (DIY) and when to outsource your project to a contractor.

Do you have the time, materials and expertise?

This is the very first step and if answered in the negative then just go ahead and outsource and the post ends here. There’s nothing worse than starting a project and getting half way through before realising you can’t finish it because you have other commitments. Be realistic about your ability and the time you have available.

Will you enjoy it?

You may be fully capable of completing the project but you might not enjoy manual work. Why force yourself into a project you won’t find satisfying for the sake of saving a few quid? I hate painting for example, so I’ll hire a painter and decorator. Not because I can’t paint a surface to a good enough standard, but because someone else can do it better, at a good price and much quicker than I can.

Is the provider reliable?

If you know someone who can take the work off your hands at a reasonable rate, but don’t know how reliable they are, this could be a sticking point. Check out any reviews they may have on their website or social media channels. Also make sure you get fixed quotes and discuss any potential hidden costs in advance.

Does the job require more than one person or specialist equipment?

For example, if you were to lay decking on your property you may need a hand to hold boards together, erect handrails or fencing and to carry the materials to where they are needed. You may also need specialist cutting equipment which an external company has already invested in.


If you can afford the time and effort to do a project than by all means go ahead. If you are time poor and don’t need to invest in specialist tools or enlist the help of your friends and family, then outsource to a reliable provider. Always check reviews and references where possible. A reputable contractor will be able to provide at least one reference.

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