When it comes to making home improvements before selling or after buying, the decision to do it yourself or hire a contractor can be difficult.

On one hand, you can save money by doing it yourself, but if you don’t have a lot of time or help, the entire project may take a lot longer than planned. If, however, you hire a contractor, you will wind up paying more money, but the project will probably be completed more quickly.

The first question you must ask yourself when trying to decide whether to do it yourself or hire a contractor is, how skilled are you at making the necessary repairs?

It’s important to know which aspects you will be able to do yourself and which ones will need to be completed by someone else.

For example, many people are great at laying flooring and installing kitchen cabinets, but they still have to call someone else in to handle the plumbing and electrical.

Knowing your limitations will help you save money because you’ll be able to figure out just how much everything should cost in the end.

So when should you do it yourself? The answer to this question depends on several factors.

First, figure out how soon you need the renovations completed. Can you make time in your life to complete projects. Is there another reason you might need to get the renovations done quickly? Perhaps you just purchased the house and would like some updates done before moving into your new home

In this case, you may want to consider finding other people to help you. If you are unable to do this, then it’s probably time to call a contractor.

If, on the other hand, you are comfortable living in the home while completing the renovations, you may be able to take your time doing the work. What it comes down to is how much time you have and whether or not you are actually losing money by taking longer.

If you are purchasing properties to rent, you probably want to move tenants in as soon as possible. In this case, hiring a contractor would probably be the best option. If you are unable to afford one, doing the work yourself may be a viable option. You will, however, wind up making mortgage payments without getting any money in return.

If you decide to do the work yourself, you’ll need to figure up how much the materials will cost. Begin by working up a budget so you can decide what types of materials to use. Go with what you can afford. Spending more may be preferable, but if you really can’t afford it in the end, you’ll find yourself out a lot of money.

When hiring a contractor,  ask around for recommendations from friends, family and co-workers. Speak with a few of the contractors that were recommended. Review what exactly you would like do and obtain estimates. Comparing costs is a great idea. As a general rule, three different estimates complete with detailed drawings and specifications are usually sufficient.

If you are still unsure about whether or not you should do it yourself or hire a contractor, compare the overall costs of both. This is a great way to see how much money you’ll spend and how much you’ll save.