Should you roll up your sleeves and tackle a renovation on your own? Lots of people do just that. According to a recent survey, a whopping 71% of homeowners finish home projects themselves rather than hiring a contractor. 

The reason? Inflation. Rising prices have caused a lot of people to reach for their own toolbelts when they start a project. 

When renovations can wind up costing you a lot of money, any cash you manage to save is a win. But is saving money enough to warrant DIY work, and do you really save as much as you think? 

Let’s answer these questions before you take the first swing of your sledgehammer. Below, you can peruse these pros and cons of DIY renovations to help you decide if it’s something you want to start.

Pro #1: You May Save Money 

Homeowners embrace DIY work because it can save a lot of money. After all, it means you won’t have to pay a professional to help you with the work.

By ripping out old cupboards and installing new drywall yourself, you can save quite a bit—especially if your job takes several days or weeks to complete. According to a Bankrate study, you stand to save as much as 83% on the bill by not hiring a contractor. 

Think about it — a general contractor can charge anywhere between $50 and $150 an hour, and their rate skyrockets when they are specialized laborers. Every hour you work by yourself keeps $150 (or more) in your pocket. 

Con #1: You Might Spend More Money

Not all studies show that DIY work saves money. According a to survey by home services website Angi, 40% of homeowners admitted that DIY renovations were more expensive than they expected.  

Why can some people save money and others waste it? It comes down to the unique conditions of your renovation — your project, your home, and even your experience doing renovations. 

You can run into trouble if you aren’t familiar with the job you want to complete. Social media can convince you anyone can remodel their bathroom or kitchen, but these big jobs take skill and special equipment. Without them, you can wind up doing something wrong and having to redo it. 

Paying for a job twice is frustrating. It can even be impossible on the original budget you create for a job. If you run out of money in an emergency, you can head to a website like CreditFresh to learn about online lines of credit. These personal loans may help you fix unexpected, urgent problems at home, so you don’t have to live in an unsafe, half-renovated house. 

Pro #2: You Learn New Skills 

You don’t have to be a master contractor before you can confidently pick up a hammer without fear of ruining your home. Sometimes, doing something for yourself is the best way to learn how to do it. Plenty of people pick up lifelong skills by doing DIY renovations. 

The important part is that you do your research. Don’t go into a brand-new job without understanding what it involves. The Internet has made it easier than ever to find instructional videos about a project—whether it’s retiling your backsplash or wiring a new wall sconce. However, you should temper these videos with information found in a book.

Head to the library to read up on DIY projects. The information published in these books is a lot more reliable than a random video posted to Instagram. The author has to go through a publishing process to ensure their advice is practical and safe. People on the Internet face no such scrutiny unless they write for a reputable news site or home improvement publication like This Old House

Con #2: You Can Hurt Yourself 

Certain DIY projects put you into precarious positions. You might be on a ladder, using unfamiliar tools, or run into plumb back luck when your friend drops the end of the heavy armoire on your foot. 

It might not seem like it, but your life can even be on the line during these renovations. It’s important you avoid the most dangerous tasks to protect your health and your wallet. After all, an accident can ruin your home, and change your life, and an unexpected trip to the ER can result in a huge medical bill. 

Get licensed and experienced professionals involved when it comes to electrical or plumbing work. You should also approach each DIY job with safety in mind. Always have a spotter when you climb a ladder and wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when renovating your home. 

Pro #3:  Builds Confidence and Pride

While completing a project always feels good, you’ll feel an extra sense of satisfaction when you do it on your own rather than paying someone to do it. Nothing beats the pride and satisfaction of stepping back and looking at your work thinking, “I did this”! 

This sweat equity can go a long way to boosting your confidence. Not only do you feel proud for doing a job well done, but you also gain new and impressive skills that you can use for future DIY projects. 

Con #3:  It Takes Times 

Most homeowners have a day job. Between working all week and running your household, you may not have a lot of spare time to invest in your project. Compare this to hiring a professional who can commit steady, uninterrupted hours while you’re busy working or taking care of life admin. 

You might only have a few hours after work or on the weekends to devote to the project, so you may take twice as long as a professional. Depending on your schedule, you may toil away on your project for weeks, months, or even years. 

Are you ready to live in the chaos of a renovation for that amount of time? Some people can tolerate it, but others may rethink their conviction to DIY. The same goes for any con on this list. 

That’s why it’s so important to weigh these downsides with all the perks. A fair assessment of the work ahead can help you decide whether a DIY project is worth your time, money, and energy.