So you want to replace or remodel some stairs? And you’re wondering whether or not you should hire someone or do it yourself? That’s a hard decision. Of course, the most compelling reason to do it yourself is cost. If you do it yourself, you will only have to pay for materials, not for labor. But there are actually some compelling reasons to hire someone.
Here are a few points to consider:

1. Time

How much time do you have? Are you working full time somewhere else and are hoping to replace your stairs on the weekend? It depends on the project, but replacing stairs or redoing a banister can be quite a major project that can’t always be completed in one weekend. How long are you willing to have your house torn up? Stairs are pretty important. Many houses have bedrooms upstairs and the kitchen on the main floor. How will you get from one floor to the other? Is your family going to sleep on the main floor for a while? Or are you going to move out? Do you see how the stress of trying to save a few bucks DIY-ing it can really backfire? With an experienced contractor, the job will get done faster. It will. Stair contractors have a lot more experience and won’t have to trouble shoot as much as a homeowner doing this for the first time. Stair contractors are bound by contractual time constraints. In addition, they are able to work on your stairs full-time and during the week.

2. Your skill level

Have you done a project like this before? To get stairs put in right, measurements have to be perfect or else you are going to have to pay for a stair contractor to fix it in the end, anyway. It’s going to take more than watching a few YouTube videos to be ready to take on a big project like this. The less skilled you are, the costs and time involved only increase. The right stair contractor will already have all the knowledge and skill to get the job done. They will know all the building codes and all the tips. You will get great stairs with less of a headache.

3. Your patience

Are you patient enough to learn all the current building code as it relates to stairs, handrails, and guardrails before starting your project? If you haven’t gone through that process before, it may feel intimidating, frustrating, or even unnecessary. Yet, without the proper understanding & reassurance that your work is up to code, you will have difficulty if you ever need to sell your house. The safety of stairs is something most people won’t want to take a chance on.

As you can see, the whole idea of cost is quite relative. In some ways, doing it yourself will save you money—maybe. But the longer your project takes to complete or if you have to call a contractor to fix or redo mistakes, the costs are going to start mounting. Not having the use of your home or even just the upstairs of your home is also a cost. It takes its toll on the whole family.

Also, if you’ll be taking time away from work be sure to consider the following when deciding if it’s really a cost saving to DIY. What do you currently make at your regular job? Multiply this by the number of hours you expect the project will take, better still what a professional estimates it will take. This is how much money you’re not making while you’re DIY. When this is considered you may find your time is better spent elsewhere.

So, if you are wondering if you should call a contractor, the answer is yes. Call 2-3 and get some bids. Ask potential contractors for references. See pictures of work they have completed and talk to people who have used them. You will be happy with the results!