Know When to Hire It Out.


We love DIY; that’s for real. (You know that already, because this blog.) But every now and then, we’ll run into a project where we find ourselves spiraling downhill, wasting time and arguing way, way more than the, uh, normal amount. Accusations fly, something will inevitably shatter in to pieces, frustrations grow, and pretty soon you’re wondering if it’s 5 o’clock because I could use a beer right about now!

And at some point along the way, you remember to cut your losses and move on.

On a side note, I had an amusing conversation with a friend this past weekend; she’s always said that she gets a kick out of the quirky banter between me and Scott – and by ‘quirky banter,’ I really mean strong, opinionated disagreements. (It’s out of love, really!) These two are a stubborn bunch, but can I just say? I appreciate the way that Scott challenges me. Most of the time.

In this particular case, I’m talking about our doors. Remember when it took us a day to install just one? (Which, by the way, swings beautifully!) But then we still had four more to go? Excited to just get on with our lives – and gain a bit of privacy while we were at it, let’s be honest here – we decided to just hire it out. This decision, of course, came at the price of a bit of ‘quirky banter,’ in which we weighed the pros and cons of cost vs. time, our current growing list of would-love-to-dos and can we afford it?


But! If you figure that it takes us a day to install one, well, the math checks out that it would take us a good four days to finish the job. Not to mention that one of the doors needed to be shaved down, one of the doorways needed to be raised and another one needed a couple more 2x4s installed for a perfect fit. All of that sounded like our idea of a terrible time, and after a handful of phone calls and quotes (some outrageous, some so-so), we found Harry. He charged by the door (as opposed to the high hourly rates we’d been receiving), was ridiculously fair, and he had every last door installed in half a day.


We’re still far from being finished, but man, Harry was worth every single, shiny penny.

What are the jobs you’ve found yourself saying no! to DIY?

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  • caroline [the diy nurse]6.2.14 - 8:15 AM

    Yeah with all those odd specifications I’d say you made the right decision! Yay for new and working doors! [and privacy ha]ReplyCancel

  • Jessica@CapeofDreams6.2.14 - 8:31 AM

    We paid people to put on a new roof, install new windows, refinish the wood floors and install new countertops. Those are all things that we could have done ourselves, but not without a high price in blood, sweat and tears. We decided that it was worth the money to let someone else do these projects in a quarter or less of the time it would have taken us. Also, not having to purchase or rent new tools and equipment such as dumpsters meant that we really did not pay that much more than we would have for most of the jobs.ReplyCancel

    • Kim6.2.14 - 9:21 AM

      You said it best – sometimes a job is not worth the high price of blood, sweat and tears! Not to mention, we’re still learning to balance work vs. time away… In some cases, hiring it out makes the most sense.ReplyCancel

  • Elly6.2.14 - 8:46 AM

    High five Harry (and for the relief of having beautifully swinging doors!) :)ReplyCancel

  • Laura @ Rather Square6.2.14 - 9:02 AM

    Good call! Half a day vs. 4+ days makes much more sense. For us, we hired out for doing our carpet removal/installation, our electrical/asbestos issues (you kind of have to for that kind of thing), and of course for big stuff like our furnace/AC replacement. It would take so much longer (and create so much more stress) to try and figure that stuff out ourselves when others are more qualified and can ensure accurate results.ReplyCancel

  • Cait6.2.14 - 10:18 AM

    You totally made the right choice! The doors look great! :)ReplyCancel

  • I’m with you, when it came time to install some doors in our house we decided to hire it out, we were selling after all and figured we could spend some time doing other things to get the house ready instead of arguing over doors.ReplyCancel

  • First off – Yay doors! What a difference :)

    We are definitely fans of knowing when to call in the pros. We use a similar approach to decide when to hire out: time, confidence in tackling the project, safety and cost. We opt to call in the pros for big projects that would be massively time consuming (breaking out the bricked over windows and replacing them) or impossible for us to do (pouring our concrete patio). We’re also looking for a plumber to replace one of our outdoor spigots because it runs right next to our natural gas hookup for the range. Obviously that’s a safety issue.

    I think our smartest hire out/DIY combo is the carport turned garage. We hired people to build the actual structure and install the garage doors. But we’re taking the time to finish the walls. It looks similar to your doors – pay for the installation and DIY the finishes (trim and paint).ReplyCancel

  • Joanna @ TheNestbook6.2.14 - 12:15 PM

    Ha! So true! We recently just hired out some concrete work and installing a sprinkler system. We briefly considered doing them ourselves, as all DIYers do, but ultimately thought better of it for those particular tasks! Worth every penny!ReplyCancel

  • My husband and I usually love to DIY, and we’ve taken on some pretty challenging projects ourselves, like installing hardwood floors and building a patio. We’re actually working on a privacy fence right now. We hired out a major stair renovation, since it involved installing a new beam and some major structural work that was way beyond our skills (we installed the new treads and risers ourselves though). We also hired out the drywall finishing for that job – something we could have done ourselves, but we knew it would take way, way longer and it just wouldn’t be as good as a professional. After spending all that money on the stair remodel, we figured it didn’t make sense to go half-hearted on the drywall finishing, since it’s something everyone would see – daily!ReplyCancel

    • Kim6.2.14 - 1:07 PM

      That’s awesome! We would absolutely hire out the drywall work too (actually, we DID hire out drywall work for this house!); I can’t imagine if we had to do that all on our own. Just the dust alone would be a nightmare. Thank goodness for amazing contractors.ReplyCancel

  • Katja | Shift Ctrl Art6.2.14 - 1:31 PM

    We love to DIY, but when it comes to taking walls down, we want to do it right, so we hire a structural engineer and a contractor to put in the new beam. Of course now that I have seen it done… wasn’t *that* hard ha ha… No, I would still hire that out…

    Love your new doors!ReplyCancel

  • Julia@Cukoo4Design6.2.14 - 8:35 PM

    It’s so worth hiring out some projects for sure. For me it will always be drywall and mudding. Hate it!
    Electrical work too, scares me to death.ReplyCancel

  • Loryn6.3.14 - 7:59 AM

    The doors are looking good! It’s really fun to watch you turn this mishmash of a house into one with consistent details.

    We finally broke down and hired a contractor to install our upstairs bathroom. We’d gutted it, and it stayed like that for nearly two years. You could actually stand in the downstairs bathroom and see the peak of the attic, two stories above! The contractor finished it, tile,flooring, walls, trim, everything, in less than two weeks. Hiring him was one of the best decisions we made!ReplyCancel

    • Kim6.3.14 - 9:19 AM

      Oh, WOW! I bet it feels amazing to have that knocked out in such a short amount of time!ReplyCancel

  • misie6.3.14 - 10:23 AM

    Before we moved cross country we were getting the house ready to sell. Most of our projects were the little things never finished ten years earlier when building the house….shoe moulding, painting doors that were only ever primed…etc. The biggest was painting our hardy plank siding. Mick reeeeaaaalllly thought he could do it, and I’m sure he could have but all I saw in the future was months of time in 90 degree weather and/or him falling from the 2nd story and breaking his back. SO we hired out and they finished in two-three days and it was amazing. It was also so much more affordable than Mick being in traction for months :-)ReplyCancel

    • Kim6.3.14 - 10:27 AM

      Good call! I’m sure that project was a beast!ReplyCancel

  • Alexis6.3.14 - 2:24 PM

    Seriously, good for you guys and cheers to having a bedroom door now!! Have you decided on a color or stain?ReplyCancel

    • Kim6.3.14 - 2:37 PM

      Thanks! We’re definitely going to be painting them bright white to match our trim (that we’ll be installing SOON), and we’ve already purchased new black doorknobs for contrast!ReplyCancel

  • Melanie6.3.14 - 4:33 PM

    Our garden…….it would have taken my husband every weekend til Christmas…….

  • […] this week I read Jackie’s post on why she quit DIY, and Kim and Scott’s post on hiring out, and both really struck a cord with me.  I get so jealous when I see all these other bloggers […]ReplyCancel

  • alana6.13.14 - 12:19 PM

    We recently hired a stone mason for the numerous items that needed to be done around our house, it was definitely way beyond our skill level. Worth every red cent too, he did a great job. Knowing when to bring in the pro’s can save a lot of heartache!ReplyCancel


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