Twinkle’s Tips: When to call a professional

By Twinkle VanWinkle, LIN Lifestyle Expert

Are you fantasizing about new flooring, crushing on shiny granite countertops or been caught wading in your neighbor’s new coy pond? Maybe it’s time for a home improvement project – before you get yourself into trouble. Thanks to Amy Matthews from HomeAdvisor for sharing these tips.

Before starting a new project there are several things to consider when deciding whether or not to DIY or hire a service professional.

Time:  A home improvement project can be time consuming, especially if completing it yourself. Large repairs and renovations can take weeks or even months to complete. When considering whether or not to hire a pro, decide how urgent the project is and whether or not you have time to fit it into your schedule.

Skills: Consider how much you know about completing the project or how much time you’re willing to spend learning. If it’s a small project, it’s possible to learn the skills needed need to properly complete it. If not, it’s better to call a pro. Getting halfway through a project and not being able to finish can add time money and stress to an otherwise simple task. In addition, if a project isn’t completed correctly, additional repairs may be required in the future.

Tools: Another thing to consider is whether or not the project requires the purchase or rental of additional tools. Also, if you don’t know how to correctly use them – how much is your insurance deductible?

Research: As with any project, research as much as possible beforehand. A resource like HomeAdvisor’s CostGuide is a great way to find out what the average cost of a project or improvement is in your area (and nationwide) is, to create a realistic budget. That way, you can make an educated decision when determining whether or not paying a professional may be more cost efficient than investing in tools and time.

Decision Time: If the project is too time-intensive for your schedule, requires skills you don’t have or aren’t comfortable learning, or the project requires tools you don’t own and have no knowledge of how to safely operate them, bring in the pros.

Amy Matthews, HomeAdvisor’s home improvement expert, recommends getting quotes from several pros before hiring anyone.

“Reach out to several professionals before making a hiring decision – you may receive some valuable insight along the way,” Matthews says. “There are prescreening sites such as HomeAdvisor, to make sure you end up with quality work at a reasonable price.”

Want more Help? Get more guidance about home improvement, maintenance and repair tips, find local pre-screened service pros, and have access to free emergency repair support and


Twinkle VanWinkle has more than 22 years of professional cooking under her apron strings, feeding thousands of friends, family and other folks. She baked apple pies for the “Oprah Winfrey Show” and has appeared on Food Network’s “The Best Of…” Along with producing dynamic lifestyle content for LIN Media, she is a mother, urban gardener, chef, musician and social media fanatic.

Find out more on or  Foodspotting, Tumblr and Twitter.  by Twinkle VanWinkle




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