I’m all in favor of cutting back wherever it makes sense and I know that homes usually require much of your time, attention and money but in this article i’ll share with you several reasons why it’s actually cheaper for you to outsource your next home improvement or repair project to the professionals. It may sound counterintuitive, but I promise it’s not.
Economies of Scale
If you think back to your economics class you learned about efficiencies and economies of scale, this principle basically said that at some point there is a maximum output with a minimal cost. If you think of a “U” shaped curve, the bottom of the curve is where the efficiency takes place. Everywhere before and after the bottom is an inefficiency. In other words, this is where you are spending more money than you should, you are also producing less than you could.
So what does this have to do with you and your next home improvement project? Well since it’s not your specialty, you are likely producing outside of the bottom of the “U”. The good news is that hiring out a contractor who is specialized in your particular need is likely operating much closer to the bottom of the “U” and can offer much more reasonable prices.
Another term you probably learned from economics, but think about this: what are you foregoing by taking on this project? Maybe you could be working in your area of specialty and making money, but instead you are trying to figure out something that will take you several more hours (or potentially days or weeks) than it should. This is particularly true for those that charge a larger hourly rate than the contractor would charge you.
Maybe the opportunity cost isn’t a financial loss, but maybe it’s not being able to spend time with the family or go out on an excursion you’ve been wanting to do for some time. What are you foregoing by taking on the next project?
Time is a big deal, and something you won’t ever get back. Time is especially important in the home improvement space because things tend to take so much longer than you initially estimated. When you can’t figure something out then you end up looking through video after video on youtube or you end up running to Home Depot for advice or suggestions. Before you know it, you’ve lost half a day and you’re still not any closer to finishing than you were when you first started.
This is how I felt when I began a drywall hanging project in my house. I didn’t think it would be anything difficult but I ran into some problems with cutting angles and then the entire project became more difficult. I lost so much time trying to figure things out that in the end, I would have made more money by hiring out the project to a contractor and bringing in money through what I do best. Frustratingly enough, I still ended up calling my local drywall installer to finish the job I started. It definitely wasn’t as cheap as I thought it would end up being, and with the time I spent on it as well, I was well over budget.
I know i’ve been guilty of this in the past but i’ve purchased tools in the past thinking that I might use them again, knowing that I it would be a slim chance. Tools are expensive but you still end up purchasing them, just to use them once and then store them in the garage or basement for years until you clean out that space for more junk.
Tradesmen have everything they need to do the job efficiently and quickly. In fact, a lot of times they don’t even purchase all the tools that you and I would buy, they already know the work-arounds to our problems because they’ve already encountered them and figured out a way to push through it.
Sometimes the most frugal thing you can do when it comes to home maintenance and repair is to spend the money with a trusted and reputable contractor. Experience in a trade is a skill that trumps most things. Hire a contractor so he can make his money doing what he/she does best and you can make even more money doing what you do best. It’s the most financially sound thing you can do!