The ability to be handy and perform some maintenance around the house can have its advantages—especially when it comes to saving money. But there is a fine line between what a homeowner can do and where someone more experienced is needed.
Over the years, I have seen homeowners take on projects that have resulted in needing to hire a professional to repair their work. That often ends up costing more than having a professional do the work in the first place. On top of that, the finished product may be affected by how the work was originally started.
When working with an avid DIYer, it's important to know how to sell your services without belittling their abilities. Below are five things to keep in mind.
Safety. If it’s a dangerous job for the DIYer, let them know and don’t assume they understand the full extent of the work involved. Safety should always be a concern. You can show you have the proper scaffolding and fall protection for heights, ventilation equipment for indoor work, and strong labor for removing windows and other work that requires heavy lifting or carrying.
Existing Conditions. Fixing a problem without knowing what caused it may be difficult for the DIYer. Deteriorating siding can be caused by poor flashing from the roof. Changing out windows using the same rough openings (RO) can save time and money. Adding a few outlets can overload a circuit. Your knowledge can be valuable to the DIYer. As an experienced contractor, you can look at the existing conditions of the project and see the overall extent of the work.
Products. There are a variety of building products on the market, and they're not all equal. Your experience and knowledge in this area can be an asset to the DIYer. This can include windows, plumbing fixtures, water heaters, roofing, siding, paints, and other materials.
Timing. No one wants a project to drag on, especially when it involves work in a home. Having the ability to accurately estimate how long it will take to complete the work and handing the DIYer a schedule with proposed start and completion dates can be a great way to get the project. This is especially true when the work interferes with the family's lifestyle.
Warranty. Knowing a warranty comes with your work when you furnish the equipment can also be a great motivating factor. This is especially true when looking at changing out a furnace, water heater, or window glass due to leaky seals.=
The DIYer may want to do some of the work, and that is fine. Painting the walls you built or planting flowers in their new landscaping can make them feel like they are part of the construction and help them take pride in the project. With good people skills, you can determine the right balance, resulting in a win-win situation for all.