When it comes to decorating your home, you essentially have 2 choices:
- Do it yourself (DIY)
- Hire a professional
Below I’ll discuss the benefits and pitfalls of each process.
The DIY method:
Ok, you’ve been putting it off for 6 months, but now it’s time. With a surge of energy, you decide this is the weekend you want to decorate the living room.
Let’s look at what that involves:
Clear the room: First things first, you need to clear all the shelves and cabinets, before moving all the heavy furniture out of the room. (Or at least into the middle)
Protection: You’ll now need to protect the floor and all the items you just moved in case of accidents.
I’m guessing you won’t have plastic floor protection or enough dustsheets, so you’ll likely use old bedsheets.
The problem with bedsheets, however, is they don’t have plastic backing. So, the paint seeps straight through.
Not to worry, you can just be just be extra careful!
Getting the paint and other tools: Next up, you’re in the car because you need to visit the local paint stockist.
Here you are met by hundreds of different paints and thousands of colours.
You go for a middle of the range paint. You’re not quite sure what’s best for the job, so you think it’s safer not to go for the cheapest option. But also, you don’t want to spend too much money on the trade stuff.
Whilst you’re there, you also need to buy all the tools.
Your thought process might be something like this:
‘’Roller, brush, tray…check…oh hang on…do I need filler? And caulk? And a caulk gun?
Oh, and then I’ll need to sand the filler down. Will I do this by hand? That’ll take ages. But an electric sander is expensive! Sod it, I won’t bother with the preparation. It’ll be ok.
But what about masking tape!? There are 30 different types here. Which one is best? Will the cheap one peel off the paint when I use it? Am I any good at cutting in?’’
Clothing: Next decision, which outfit do you want to sacrifice?
I mean, you’re almost guaranteed to get paint on it.
Completing the job: 3 days past schedule and 5 takeaway dinners later you’ve got the paint on the walls.
It looks ok.
The cutting in is a bit dodgy and there are some splodges on the woodwork, but nothing major.
It could do with another coat of paint, but by this point you just can’t be bothered.
You’ve only had 2 serious arguments with your partner, and only damaged one of the kids’ awards.
So, all in all not too bad.
Tidying up: Ugh, no. All that effort and now you’ve got to put the heavy furniture back!
Things can go wrong: Nightmare situation. Imagine you choose the wrong paint, and it starts cracking or reacting to the surface? Maybe you didn’t realise you needed a primer? You might end up having to hire a professional to fix the job. Meaning you’ve paid out twice!
Imagine you spilt paint on some furniture. Would you know how to safely remove it?
Lot’s of things could go wrong. Is it worth the risk?
Final reaction: You’re happy with the colour. It’ll do. However, you certainly won’t be rushing to decorate again anytime soon.
The ‘Hire a professional’ method
There are many benefits to hiring a professional decorator, here are a few of the main ones:
Convenience: A decorator can complete the job whilst you are at work. This minimises the disruption in your home.
Less hassle: The most strenuous thing you’ll need to do is choose the colour.
No driving to and from the paint shop and no pulled muscles from awkwardly reaching behind cabinets.
And no clearing up afterwards! You simply leave the professional to it.
Saves money: Contrary to popular belief, you can often save money by hiring a professional.
There are a few key reasons for this.
1.Professionals already have all the tools to do a proper job.
Think about it, decorators don’t drive round with a van full of tools for fun. You need all of them to do a quality job. Buying all the kit yourself would cost thousands of pounds.
2. Professional painters and decorators know how to pick the best materials for the job.
Understanding the best paints and preparation products on the market means the work will last much longer.
If you don’t want to be repainting again in 6 months, you need to choose quality materials.
Decorators know this…and as an extra bonus, they usually get cheaper trade prices!
3. Professionals not only work quicker, but they will finish on time. Every hour you spend doing it yourself is wasted free time, or worse, time you could be spending making money at work. Think about how much your time is worth to you. Does it make sense to essentially pay yourself to decorate your own home?
Professionals are insured: If an accident were to happen, then a hired professional will be insured. This means you don’t have to worry about damages skyrocketing the cost of your project.
Health and safety: There are risks with any form of DIY. Working at height is a big one for decorating projects. Whether you’re up a step ladder cutting in the ceiling or working in a more dangerous situation like over the stairs or outside doing the 1st floor windows. The risk is very real and must be considered.
Lead based paints also pose a threat. If your home was built pre 1978 lead based paints may well have been used. A decorator will know how to safely prepare surfaces like this. Do you?
The wow factor: Let’s face it, one of the main reasons you want to redecorate is to get the wow factor.
Whether it’s the smile on your daughter’s face seeing her new bedroom, or having guests compliment you on how great your living room looks.
It’s a great feeling.
Doing it yourself often doesn’t quite deliver these results. Afterall, you probably skimped on the preparation and didn’t give it that third coat of paint that it needed. Plus your cutting it was a bit rubbish.
It is all a bit underwhelming.
Compare that to a professional job and it’s a whole different story.
Professionals know that preparation is 90% of the job and they do not cut corners.
A pro will make your walls look so smooth they seem brand new again. The lines will be crisp and sharp. And the colour will be perfectly solid.
It looks like a showroom.
Final reaction: It looks amazing and you can’t wait to show it off to your friends and family.
You are already excited about the next project.
And as an extra bonus, it has probably increased the value and saleability of your home!