DIY versus Hiring a Contractor: What’s the Catch?

Before you sign yourself on for a major DIY project like a roof replacement, either at home or for your business, it’s critical to count the costs. And we’re not just talking about money.

Any DIY home improvement project will cost you in both time and money.

Yet depending upon the DIY project, you could save a serious chunk of change – if you know what you’re doing. That’s precisely what entices most homeowners or business owners on a budget to take on a major project themselves, like a roof replacement.
So, that brings us to the important question: How much money will you save by replacing your roof yourself?
Based on national averages, a DIY roof installation project could cost you $1100 with 50 hours of labor involved. A professional contractor could cost $2508 on average with 39.46 man-hours involved.
While the price alone may be attractive, counting the costs includes determining if you’re prepared to complete a major project of this kind. Start out by asking yourself some helpful questions before you make a final decision:
1. Do you legitimately enjoy physical labor?
2. Are you committed and patient when undertaking long-term projects?
3. Do you have all of the tools needed and basic skills required for roofing?
4. Is your skill level up to par for a roofing project?
5. Do you have enough time to devote to the project?
6. Are you prepared to handle any stress this will create in your home life?
7. Do you fully understand all of the steps needed to complete the project?
8. Do you have manufacturer’s directions for the use of the materials?
9. Can you finish this project by yourself or do you need assistance?
10. Have you researched local permit requirements and building codes?
Ten quick questions will tell you what you need to know about whether or not DIY roofing is the right choice for you. Homeowners and business owners may begin a DIY project with the best intentions, only to find that it costs them more in time, money, and stress than anticipated.

Many times, it would have been better to call a professional roofer in the first place.

Let’s dig a little deeper, shall we? The average roof installation will take a total of 50 DIY hours of labor. Depending upon how much time you have available to devote week after week, this could mean an extensive 10 week project if you are only able to work five hours on the weekend.
Based on national price estimates, the cost of a professional roof installation is twice that of a do-it-yourself job. Yet for a little over $1000 more, you will be rewarding yourself with peace of mind and 50 extra hours of free time as you hand over the project to someone who knows exactly what they’re doing.
And let’s not get started on building permits. Depending on where you live or where your business is located, you may need various building permits from your local government in order to kick off a DIY renovation project.
Obtaining the necessary building permits requires you to fill out a permit application, submit a project plan or strategy, and deliver the complete package to the correct government office along with a permit fee.
A building permit could cost anywhere from $50-$100 and will add onto your DIY project total.
For a business or residential project, a building permit violation could get a project shut down altogether. On top of that, you could be subject to fines as a penalty – hiking up the cost of your project even further.