french door front door with view from living room

Home Projects 101: Should You Hire a Pro or DIY?

With a budget in one hand and a hammer in the other, many homeowners strike out on DIY missions that they end up regretting doing themselves. These projects sometimes feel like exciting ways to put a little elbow grease into your home; sometimes, they instantly feel like a chore. When is it appropriate to hire out?

During your decision-making process, you must consider whether saving that extra money is ultimately worth it. Considering the common pitfalls of home projects, complex jobs may actually cost you more when all is said and done. 

So when is hiring a pro worth it? Here are a four things to consider:

Put safety first. Always. 

Some things simply aren’t worth your safety. Will patching your own roof save you some money? Sure. Falling off the roof due to inexperience and lack of the right equipment? Not so much. Weigh the risks, and determine if the true cost is worth it to you.

Take an honest look at your skill set.

On that same note: It’s time to take a long, hard, look at your reflection. There’s no room for bruised egos or pride to get in the way — just be honest with yourself about what you can do or learn to do. There’s little more frustrating than getting halfway through a project only to realize you’re in way over your head and need to call in a professional. That’s the worst of both worlds — you’ll have exerted effort and still have to pay the final bill! It’s better to carefully research, read reviews and think through your projects before deeming yourself handy enough.

brown front door against white home


Compare costs.

At first glance, it appears that DIY-ing the project will save you money — maybe even hundreds or thousands of dollars. However, one important component you need to consider is how much TIME the project will cost you. In other words, what’s the opportunity cost? Remember, your “free” labor doesn’t come free; it is traded for valuable free time, sleep time, or working hours. Is it worth your time and effort to save that money? The answer will depend on the project scope, your specific capabilities and your schedule. 

What’s the intended longevity?

Will the outcome of your project live on for decades (think built-in bookshelves, bathroom plumbing, and exterior decks) or is it something you’ll likely tackle again in a few years (like painting interior walls, cleaning ductwork, or caulking around windows and doors)? This answer may push you one way or the other. After all, you don’t want to deal with the ramifications of a poorly done job for the next 15 years. If the project is something you want done, but is one you don’t feel requires a “lifetime” investment, then perhaps it’s something you can take on yourself. 

You may be wondering: Should I DIY my door installation, or hire a professional?

Here at Door to Door, we do not offer door installation. Additionally, Door to Door is not responsible for the work of third part companies. Whether you decide to take on the door by yourself or hire a handyman, you can find detailed installation instructions here.

man in blue shirt and hat installing a door


A few more notes about our doors...

Installation ready?

Our doors aren’t quite ready to install once they are delivered. Currently, Door to Door does not offer pre-finished doors. For the best results, our unfinished wood door units should be finished or primed and painted on all six sides immediately. You’ll want to use a good quality oil base or acrylic latex paints. Do not use a water base primer. If painting, higher gloss paints will offer better protection than flat/low gloss paints. If you’re staining, follow the stain manufacturer's instructions for finishing the door. For a step-by-step guide to finishing/staining our doors, as well as care instructions, click here. And for additional tips on door painting best practices, check out this blog post.

Size and specs?

If you do plan on hiring a professional to install your door, note that our doors are considered full size. If someone asks you for an “actual unit size,” you would tell them it is full size. For example, a 2/0 by 6/8 door is 24” x 80”. Beveling of doors is available at reduced width 3/16”. Specifications are available on the product page of each door.

Ready to explore your options? Peruse our entire collection of doors here to find one that suits your style.