DIY or Hire a Pro.

Do I DIY or Should I Hire a Professional?

If you live in Toronto and are looking to renovate your home, build something new or repair some damages then you already know the struggle of trying to find a reputable, honest firm that won't rip you off or leave the job unfinished. Sometimes, it seems, you might just be better off doing the job yourself... Stop! Read this article first and then you will be in a much more educated position from which to make your final choice.

Doing it Yourself

Home building, home renovations and custom homes in Toronto are all subjects of DIY lovers... but where do you draw the line? Certain things are easily enough fixed: a loose screw, a jamming door, a wall that needs stripped – but what about the bigger things?

Here at MGB Construction we are all for those that stand up, pick up that brush/screwdriver/hammer and get to it! However, we want you all to be safe out there and there are certain things that you just shouldn't mess with. We put some of them together for you to stop you ending up with a DIY disaster on your hands. You can thank us later... only read this first...

DIY “Do Nots”

While it is fine for you to put up a shelf, sand down a splintered window ledge or even replace an outdoor bulb; there are some things that should only ever be attempted by a trained professional. Like it or not, certain systems require years of study followed by gruelling hours of on-the-job experience learning the intricate parts that you can only pick up the hard way. So, you, sitting at home in your PJ's and re-watching a YouTube video for the 3rd time before you attempt to construct your entire home is a terrible, terrible idea.

Things to think about before you begin:

  • Your own skill levels. If you happen to be a fully qualified electrician then actually, go ahead and rewire. Otherwise leave it alone.
  • Do you have permission? Big jobs and technical aspects all need documentation, permits and inspections in Toronto. Do you have all these?
  • How much money are you willing to cost yourself by saving? Some DIY jobs seem small and get bigger and bigger the more you work on them.
  • How much time are you willing to spend? DIY projects eat into family time at evenings and weekends. If you live alone and need a new hobby then you may want to start a few small projects, but otherwise leave it to a pro.
  • Do you have all the tools you need for the project? The bigger the job, the more tools you will need. Be prepared or don't bother.
  • Do you know what to do if the project doesn’t go as planned or you come across major structural issues? Probably not. We do, so leave it to MGB Construction.

DIY to Avoid At All Costs

Even after those considerations we haven't finished yet. There are a few jobs that shouldn't be touched at all without the relevant insurance, permission or training. These jobs need to be left to those who know best and you can imagine what types of work they cover. Just in case, we listed them for you:

  • Electrical work should be carried out by qualified practitioners and nobody else.
  • Gas appliances, installations or heating systems all need to be fitted and checked regularly by a professional.
  • Plumbing needs to be done by a pro, any leaks might cause long term structural damage to your house and is not worth the chance.
  • Any work on your roof, including re-shingling.
  • Chemical work likely to contaminate the land if incorrectly completed should always be undertaken by someone with a knowledge of chemistry.
  • Asbestos removal will put you and your family in the line of immediate danger. Call a pro.
  • Any job where you need to climb a ladder or work at height needs a license.
  • Any project where you want the highest level of craftmanship. We don’t pretend to do your profession. Don’t pretend you can do ours.

Hiring a Professional

Moving swiftly on we present the opposite end of the spectrum; that of hiring a professional to do the work for you. As you can imagine this comes with a bit of a bigger price tag, but also accrues numerous benefits you just don't get when you do the work yourself. These include:

  • A professional can cover permissions and legalities on your behalf, as long as you make it clear when outlining the contract that this is what you want.
  • Hiring a pro means you have an established timescale for the work to take place, so your house won't be left at odds for months on end while you plod through the work.
  • Professionals have all the necessary accreditation for the jobs you shouldn't touch, such as electrical work, plumbing and gas safety aspects.
  • Arranged contracts allow you just as much control over the project as you would have had you done it yourself, but without all the attached backbreaking labour.
  • Professionals will have both insurance and worker's compensation from the WSIB Ontario should an accident occur, meaning you are protected financially.
  • Professionals have years of experience in crafting the perfect finish. Can you achieve that same level of attention to detail when armed with only a paintbrush and a hammer? If the answer is “no” then you need to go pro.

How do I know a Good Professional when I see one?

The CHBA basically provides a measurable mark of professional excellence. Membership within this association guarantees that the builder in question operates within their code of conduct and code of ethics, as well as ensuring safety compliance and providing an online platform loaded with resources your Toronto based renovator or contractor can access at the click of a button. On top of all of this, membership to the organization is completely voluntary... so any contractor that has joined the CHBA does so of their own free will and because they want to meet those exacting standards.

Perhaps best of all, those from the CHBA are part of a network of like-minded and honest construction firms throughout Canada whose skills they can draw upon to amp up your project. So, when it comes to selecting a contractor with a good reputation ask your firm of choice about membership. MGB Construction is a long-standing member and our staff sit on councils with the CHBA and RENOMARK programs.