Watching an advert for a DIY store you can easily believe that all you need to do to transform your house is stroll in, choose a paint colour or wallpaper pattern, add some accessories and go home and execute the plan. You might have googled a few decorating tips, but anyone who has hung wallpaper will tell you simply googling for advice is not going to give you the solution – and painting certainly takes a lot more planning than you first thought.

So, when is it a good idea to give it a go yourself and get a beautiful makeover for a room or even your whole house, and when is it time to call in the professionals? We have highlighted a few areas and decorating tips you might want to consider before making up your mind.

Cost – it is first for a reason, we all know that budget is a big factor in any work on your house, even decorative. Paying for a professional will incur the cost of the materials as well as their hourly rate. If it is a big job it may take a few days or weeks to complete and the costs soon mount up if you are not careful. Make sure you get a few quotes to look at and do some due diligence to make sure they are a well-regarded decorator. 

Doing it yourself will save on the cost of labour, that is for sure, unless you really mess it up and need to call them in anyway that is! But assuming you do an acceptable job you will only need to buy materials. One thing to bear in mind here though is whilst you will need paint and wallpaper etc. for a professional or yourself, if you do the work yourself you will also need to buy brushes, rollers, cleaner, masking tape, dust sheets, gloves, a wallpaper table, paste, perhaps even a ladder. A professional will already own those things. If you don’t do much decorating it could be a big outlay for items that will then be kept in the shed or garage gathering dust.

Time – Painting a room requires time, you need to prepare walls, perhaps strip wallpaper or sugarwash them down and prepare wood by sanding it first as well as covering furniture and carpet and taping up the edges. Then the actual painting requires an accurate touch, when you are an amateur this is bound to take longer to do and you certainly want to try and achieve a great finish. 

A paid decorator will not only prep everything and finish it to a great standard (in theory if you have hired a good quality one), they will do it a lot faster than you can. But having them in your home may impact on home life and if there any delays they will be beyond your control. If you do the work yourself, you can work to your own schedule. However, it may take up precious weekend and evening time that you could be using for something more fun or worthwhile with your family.

Skill – do you have any? Some people are naturally good at practical skills such as painting and wallpapering and you will know if you are someone who is in that class. In fact, you are probably not reading this article as you will be on your way to the DIY store to buy paint already. However, some of us feel like we SHOULD be able to complete these household tasks ourselves, perhaps we grew up with practical parents who would decorate regularly or maybe we have friends who seem to have a real flair for interior design. If you can give it go, then do, but don’t feel like you have anything to be ashamed of if you choose to pay someone to do it for you. Outsourcing tasks that we are not skilled in is merely a sensible life choice and not everyone is good at the same things.

We can read all the decorating tips available to us to DIY the job, but you must also consider the skill of the decorator you choose and ensure they are up to the task required of them. If you want a room wallpapering then hire someone who specialises in wallpapering, for example. 

So, the main factors, assuming you choose a good decorator that is, are the fact it will cost more but take less time. And you know what they say, time is money! But if you have some DIY skills then why not give it a go, just make sure you plan and prepare before you go running in with the roller. 

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