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Old 10-02-2013, 10:43 AM   #1
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How do you feel about hiring someone when the job goes beyond your skillset?


I'm referring mostly to things like electrical. I don't like to mess around with electrical as I feel like a mistake on my part could be costly. In my last house I almost did everything myself but brought in an electrician for running new outlets.

Do you often hire a contractor when need be or do you actively try to learn and power through?

I'm working on a project right now that I think could help DIYers in this situation, and so I'm curious if others are like me?

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Old 10-02-2013, 11:14 AM   #2
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How do you feel about hiring someone when the job goes beyond your skillset?


I know where to draw the line, and looking back at some of my projects, I ignored the line.

Roofing is one thing I will never do again.

There is no shame in having to call someone in when the job exceeds your skills.

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Old 10-02-2013, 11:16 AM   #3
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How do you feel about hiring someone when the job goes beyond your skillset?


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How do you feel about hiring someone when the job goes beyond your skillset?

I'm working on a project right now that I think could help DIYers in this situation, and so I'm curious if others are like me?
I'll invoke Harry:


The dividing line (for learning) is usually about the time the job can be left undone while the novice goes about doing X vs how long a pro would take to do X and keep the job moving along. Also of course the novice can watch and learn from the pro for the next time
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:25 AM   #4
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How do you feel about hiring someone when the job goes beyond your skillset?


I do just about everything myself, except heating and cooling. I don't have the tools or the knowhow.
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:32 AM   #5
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How do you feel about hiring someone when the job goes beyond your skillset?


I readily hire trades with skills I don't have, example; for finish work such as a good trim carpenter. I no longer can do the high or heavy work, so hire these items out. I hire day labors as often I know how and can direct others, but no longer can do. Most electrical I can do except for the attic crawling and I usually get a pro for entry service or major breaker panel work.
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Old 10-02-2013, 12:48 PM   #6
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How do you feel about hiring someone when the job goes beyond your skillset?


My wife and I built our current house almost entirely by ourselves. With one exception, the metal roof (I have no sheet metal skills or equipment), the few things we subbed were for other reasons: the foundation, because at my age I'm not interested in laying block any more; the HVAC, because I'm not licensed for that work; insulation, because a local company did it for less than I would've paid for just the materials.
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Old 10-02-2013, 01:55 PM   #7
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How do you feel about hiring someone when the job goes beyond your skillset?


Thatís great that you and your wife have built a house.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:52 PM   #8
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How do you feel about hiring someone when the job goes beyond your skillset?


Great replies! I fully agree. Sometimes hiring someone kills two birds with one stone, you get the job done AND you get to learn from the guy. Definitely makes it worth it in my opinion. Most contractors are very willing to have me tail them while work is being completed also.

My next question is, what's your "go to" way for finding a contractor to complete the work? The biggest issue I run into is that I don't have a trusted social network with any connections to contractors, not that that's always a safe bet anyways. Sometimes I feel like the best people to hire in these situations are smaller, single based contractors. Meaning, it's just them running their business, instead a team of 10 guys.

Do you use any tools when searching for contractors?

Last edited by CraigMCF; 10-02-2013 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:13 PM   #9
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How do you feel about hiring someone when the job goes beyond your skillset?


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My next question is, what's your "go to" way for finding a contractor...
With the assistance of the staff at the independent suppliers (lumber yard, plumbing, electrical supply, etc) that you go to for your materials.

"Hey Joe, remember that XYZ you sold me last month? Turns out it really is more than I can take on myself right now... can you suggest someone to help me get that done?"
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Old 10-03-2013, 12:00 AM   #10
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How do you feel about hiring someone when the job goes beyond your skillset?


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Do you use any tools when searching for contractors?
We have a local charitable organization that provides a day labor service. I have used them many times with great success.

When I need a skilled trades-person I have had excellent results via Craigslist. Many small and independent trades advertise their services there. Key is interviewing and checking references.
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:51 AM   #11
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How do you feel about hiring someone when the job goes beyond your skillset?


I have always been inquisitive so I tend to take on new material as a matter of recreation. This has worked to my advantage as I have had little to no money most of my adult life. Special equipment is the show stopper. If it is too expensive to acquire or infeasible to fabricate then I surrender to the pros. Sad part is I have a flair for finding the absolute worst "pros" in the area.
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Old 10-03-2013, 09:08 AM   #12
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How do you feel about hiring someone when the job goes beyond your skillset?


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Thatís great that you and your wife have built a house.
Thank you. It's something we always wanted to do. It is a log home, our second (first was 25 years ago and we did not build it). Neither of us was in a building trade - I am a retired engineer and my wife is an art teacher. We just have a boatload of DIY experience and live where homeowners can legally do just about anything themselves. We lived on the property in our RV for three years during construction.

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