One thing is common to all homeowners - sooner or later something is going to break or need to be replaced.  At that point you are faced with two choices:  do it yourself or call a professional.  Yu have a choice to make - and it's probably the most important one.

There is a certain satisfaction that all DIY'ers know - of being able to say, if only to yourself, "I did that myself."  And often there are other benefits as well.  Sometimes you can save money.  The project gets done on your schedule.  And it gets done the way you wanted it to, at least that's the intention, and from time to time it actually turns out that way.  But the wisest and most capable do-it-yourselfers can tell you this:  "Know when to say no, it's time to call a pro."

Before you head out to Home Depot with your honey-do list, the best thing to do is to assess the situation:  ask yourself what is the worst that could happen if you mess things up.  If you'll lose more than a little time and some pocket change, then perhaps the smarter approach would be to get the help of an expert. If a trip up a ladder to repair a loose section of roofing results in a trip to the emergency room to repair a broken leg, you'll end up calling a roofer anyway.  Trying to fix that leaky pipe under the kitchen sink might mean a frantic call (at emergency prices)  to a plumber when you break the pipe.

That's not to say you can't ever attempt anything new, but the best way to do that is to work alongside someone who already knows what they are doing.  Network with your friends and neighbors who are also DIY fans and see if you can pick up some tips.

While we can't offer any hard and fast rules as to when to handle it yourself or when to call in the professionals, there are some guidelines we can offer.

First off, if the job you're contemplating would otherwise require a licensed professional, it is probably best to leave it to a pro.  There's a reason licenses are required in trades such as plumbing and electrical.  A level of expertise is required to do it right, safely, and according to code.

Second, consider the value of your time.  Not everyone finds home repair to be  relaxing, therapeutic experience, so if you'd rather be doing something else, it's often worth it to pay someone to handle the chore and free you up for what you'd rather be doing.

The bottom line?  Do your research before you take out the tool box.  How much is it really going to cost, and are you going to save anything by doing it yourself?  Do you have the skills to avoid doing major damage?  And finally, do you REALLY want to spend your only free weekend this month fixing something?

When you need an experienced exterior home repair and improvement contractor, Quarve Contracting will be there for you, just as we've been for hundreds of Twin Cities homeowners for the past three decades.