Friday, October 14, 2011

DIY vs Hiring someone

Now that the move is off, we can work on Bossy's room.  We picked out the carpet, but still need to have the room measured and officially order it.

Prior to installation, we have to redo his ceiling.  Our wonderful son picked at the tiles on the ceiling (he has a loft bed), and destroyed them.  And they are so old, we can't get replacements.  We decided to take it all down, sheetrock the ceiling, and then paint everything (the room hasn't been painted in 9 years).

We had planned on doing the ceiling ourselves (or I should say, G-man and a friend), but our time is really tight right now, and I am not sure that it will really come out....well.....good.  The materials would have been about $100 in total.  Plus the pizza and beer.  ;)

So I got the idea just to see what it would cost to have someone do it.  HAHAHA.  It is a 12x12 room.  We just need the ceiling done.  We will do the demo of the existing tiles.

Guy 1 - $550.  Didn't like him that much.  He ripped down part of the ceiling to see what was under it, and just did it.  Didn't ask us, just ripped out part of our ceiling....right in front of us.  Now there is a hole where the tiles were....right over Bossy's bed.  Plus, when I asked him what was involved in the project...he was very condecending.

Guy 2 - $720.  Didn't even come out to look at the room.  Just gave us a price over the phone based on the size of the room.

Guy 3 hasn't called us back.  But it isn't looking good.   I really wasn't expecting the cost to be this high.  All of these people are using "one day" products, so it isn't like they have to come out again to sand and mud again.  I realize that this is "skilled labor" and that they need to make their money too...but we are talking ONE wall.

So I am struggling with this one.  The carpet will be about $500 installed (how could doing the ceiling be more expensive than the carpet???).  Add in paint and supplies.  We are probably at $600 at this point.  To add ANOTHER $500+ to the project??? 

We have about $775 in the home improvement fund.  You do the math....hiring someone really isn't in the budget.  But it needs to get done, and if we do it and run into a problem or it comes out cruddy....I will be unhappy.

Yeah....I am being a baby on this. 

I think in the end we will do it ourselves just because of cost.  That said, it is unlikely we will be able to do it before my mother-in-law comes in 3 weeks.  Our schedule is just too tight.  That is a bummer.  But it is what it is.

What would you do?  Suck it up and hire someone.....or DIY?


  1. I would DIY but I would definitely wait until you feel like there is time. I hate feeling rushed during a project and then it doesn't get done as well too. I know you would like it done as soon as possible because we are women it's what we want! But it has been nine years what's a couple more weeks or even months. Good luck!

  2. If the money isn't there, it isn't there. And I definitely wouldn't go with someone condescending. That's a surefire sign that the person is more caught up in ego than in quality work.

  3. DIY... but do it when you have time. And give yourself ample time so that you do the best job you can do. Sure, the other guys have the tools, experience and knowledge to do it in one day, but you dont, so dont rush yourself into getting it done in that same timeframe. I would've been ticked off if he damaged the ceiling without asking. The nerve.

  4. I would DIY it. Floating a ceiling isn't too difficult, just time consuming. To me the most difficult part is texturing and painting. Painting is very difficult to me - I am too much of a perfectionist!

  5. I would hire a professional. When you start to look at your time. The $275.00 is nothing compared to the fighting, raising your arms above your head for hours. I charge $30.00 to hem a two layer bridesmaid dress, it takes me less than 10 minutes. Why because I have the tools, the set up and the skill. Also you will get a job you like instead of a messy job you are not satisfied with. We have remodeled 4 houses and flipped them for a profit, every project we did ourselves was a nightmare, we did it but a nightmare. Look at what your time is worth. Every $10.00 tool you go buy and every trip to the Lowes costs money. Have the professionals eat that not you.

  6. I think that if this is a project you really need to do now (and only you can assess that) then it makes sense to hire a professional for the reasons that Out My Window mentions. If I were in your shoes I would interview many more people and select someone who seems to be qualified (check references) AND has a good attitude. Keep talking to tradesmen until you find one that meets both these criteria. Our experience lately has been that there are a great many qualified people who are looking for work and willing to take jobs at a fair price. Good luck!

  7. I guess a lot depends on G-man and if he thinks he can do a good job on it. It might take a bit longer but I'd go with DIY if possible.

  8. Hi there Mysti! I've seen your comments on a number of blogs I follow and have spent the morning reading over your blog. Can I add you to my blogroll?
    Now, IMHO, since you're not moving now I would be tempted to DIY. I have to get my condo ready to sell in a couple of years and will try to do some things myself. This job doesn't appear to be "too" difficult:)

  9. Hi Jane...I would love to be added to your blog roll...thanks!

    To everyone....we are leaning towards DIY, but since we won't be doing the project for a little while, we are trying to find a professional that can do it for less. If we can't...then we will do it ourselves. There is NO WAY it will be done in the next 3 weeks, and as long as Bossy doesn't damage it may have to wait until after the 1st of the year.

  10. We DIY some things and others we hire. Do you happen to attend a small church or have a local one you can call?

    Sometimes smaller type churches are an expert in finding good contractors that do good work around the church but aren't overly expensive. We have used a few that ours has suggested when asked and they've worked out really well.

  11. I love to DIY as much as possible, so that would certainly be my vote. I was able to replace my garbage disposal and sheetrock my walls by watching videos on YouTube, DIY Network, and other home improvement websites. Do a bit of research, capitalize on whatever skills your friends and family may have, and have fun! I'm learning more about crown molding now so I can start doing that myself instead of paying thousands to snarky contractors. Good luck!