hiring a contractor

Yesterday, today and tomorrow our contractor is at our house doing various small projects.  Most of the work we’ve hired him to do consists of finishing projects that we’ve started but never got around to completing.  And as we contemplate putting our house up for sale, the need for project completion becomes even more important.  Clockwise from top left: replace old vanity/sink with new vanity/sink, patch ceiling where I almost put my foot through, patch hold in bedroom wall, add piece of ductwork and louver in basement ceiling, add insulation and trim around new patio doors.

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Up until now, our mantra has always been "Why hire someone to do something we can do ourselves?".  The work to be done is not complicated.  We could handle it, but it is a matter of putting aside the time to do it, which neither of us has right now.  And the hole in our wall has been there for a couple of years now and isn’t getting any smaller.  One thing I learned in Construction Management class in school is "Time = Money".  And when deciding whether or not to do a project(s) yourself, you have to consider how much your own time is worth.  Like I said, we could probably do the work ourselves, but Jim will get it done faster, it will look WAY better and we won’t have spent two weekends doing it.

I realize not everyone has the luxury of hiring help even for small projects.  But don’t rule it out right away.  There are retired carpenters, electricians, etc. in every town and city that do handy-work or small projects for a reasonable amount of money.  Ask around to neighbors, friends and family first to see if they can give you recommendations.   That’s how we found Jim and he has been a God-send.   He’s not a retired carpenter but a full-time contractor that does additions and renovations as well as small projects.  You’ll find those types out there as well.

We’ve done quite a bit of work in and around our house (building a shed, installing wood floors) and we do get a sense of accomplishment when we finish a project and it comes out pretty good.  But it can be just as satisfying when you spend an entire day at work and come home to a project that someone else finished for you.

See also: keeping home improvement costs under control

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