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The benefits of professional help

Kit Stansley

November 7, 2012

By: Kit Stansley, DIY Diva

In: PaintingContractors

Arguably, I need "professional help" in more areas of my life than just painting… I mean, I'm not addicted to buying power tools for nothing, you know. However, for the purposes of this post let's just take the fact that I'm a little crazy for granted and talk about something more fun, like paint fumes!

Truth is, I'm a DIYer to the core. I have a hard time hiring people to do things I'm unqualified or ill equipped to do around the house, much less something I'm perfectly capable of doing but just don't seem to be making any progress on. However, painting the miles upon miles of wood trim in my house was the breaking point.

before professional contractor paint job

It's been seven months, and I'd made minimal progress. I felt stuck and even though painting is something I definitely can do, a few weeks ago I had to sit myself down and have a little talk with myself about the future. As in, "Self, is there going to be any point in the foreseeable future where you see this getting done before you turn eighty? No? Okay, let's have a look at Plan B."

Plan B, was hiring a professional to do the painting, and I'm not going to lie, it was a hard decision. I thought about all the other things I could use that money for, and all of the reasons I wasn't getting the work done, and here was the list of benefits that finally pushed me into making the call for outside help:

  1. Quality. The reason I started DIYing is because I've had a lot of bad experiences with sloppy contractors, and in the end I know there are many things I will do better (or at least the same) by doing it myself. Painting is not one of those things. While it doesn't take a particular skill, it does take patience and care, which, let's be honest, is why I often prefer to hit things with a hammer. It's not always the case, but this time hiring a pro meant the job would be done better than if I forced myself to do it after midnight, which made the cost easier to swallow.
  2. Cost-benefit analysis. (aka asking myself, "How much do I NOT want to do this?") Speaking of costs, I often put my time into dollar amounts to help me make a better decision (or at least feel better about my decision) to hire something out. Truth is, the work that two professionals did in four days at my house, would have taken me at least 8 days on my own straight through. Since I have a full time job, that translates into two full months of weekends dedicated only to painting trim, and if I do the math on the money I could be earning in those hours doing other things, the benefits far outweigh the financial costs.
  3. Motivation. Putting a date on the calendar when hired-help will arrive is a sure way to kick procrastination to the curb. Those ceiling patches I'd been putting off for four months (because, really, who likes sanding drywall dust into their eyeballs?) well, no more excuses. Also, seeing a lot of work done in a short period of time itself was a motivator to get some other lingering projects in my house taken care of (I'm looking at you, wall paper that still needs to be removed.)

While it was a difficult call, all in all, it ended up being the right one for me.

contractor painted this entryway

And hey, you can't argue with the results.

1 Comments

  • Jacob says: 25 January 2013 at 9:22 am
    I've had pretty bad experiences with contractors too.. That's exactly why I take on DIY projects myself. quality is very important to me. Great article!
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