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Fireplaces and Mantels Education Center


DIY vs. Professional Install

There are many pros and cons to hiring a contractor for a job vs. doing it yourself. The major concern for consumers when facing these decisions is almost always money. However, it is very important to weigh all of the advantages and disadvantages first. We know cost is very important, which is why we urge you to continue reading. The information below will allow you to make the most informed and educated decision in regards to hiring a contractor for your project or taking on the challenge for yourself. 

Experience

DIY - Unless you have done a similar project in the past, the contractor will always win in the “experience” category. The only time this would not fall true is if you were to find yourself an unqualified or dishonest contractor, which is why finding a qualified professional is important. Do-it-yourselfers must also be aware that installations of this kind must conform with all local codes, permits and inspections. Contact your local gas provider for more information. 

Contractor - A good contractor should be able to tell you about other jobs, similar to yours, that they have done for other clients. This experience should save you time and money by getting the job done right the first time. If, for any reason, the job is done incorrectly, any reliable contractor should be responsible for fixing his mistake at the cost he quoted you, as long as there is no question the contractor or his employees were at fault. 

Hiring the Right Person – Both time and money can be saved and a great deal of frustration can be avoided by taking the time to find a reputable company or licensed professional to do the work. One good way to know you're getting a qualified professional is by referral from a friend or family member. The web is also an excellent resource for locating a professional. Here are a few examples of websites that will help you to find a licensed professional in your area: www.nficertified.org, www.handyman.com and www.angieslist.com 

Guarantees

DIY – There is no guarantee for a do-it-yourselfer and average people typically will not take out an insurance policy on themselves for the job. It is important to realize that without the experience of a licensed professional, you are taking on all of the responsibility for any future issues resulting from an improper installation. We suggest that all gas hearth products be installed and serviced by professionals who are certified in the U.S. by the National Fireplace Institute (NFI). 

Cost of Mistakes 
- If you are going to do the project yourself to save money, do it right the first time. The cost of hiring someone to come out and fix your mistake will often be more expensive than the cost of hiring a professional to do the job the first time around. 

Finished Product Comparison – Side by side, how will your finished product look compared to the finished job of a professional? This is another important factor to consider before coming to a firm decision. Also, please keep in mind that there may be certain aspects of the job that you must hire a professional to do. Please see below. 

Please note that installations of gas heating appliances may require the services of any and/or all of the following: licensed contractor, certified Installer, plumber, and electrician. We recommend that a licensed professional do all gas line installation and electrical work. In some states, like Massachusetts for example, it is required by law that a licensed plumber or gas fitter do the installation in any and all circumstances. Local code has authority so it is very important that you “do-it-yourselfers” make sure to adhere to these regulations and codes – including permits and inspections. 

Contractor – Licensed contractors should carry insurance, not only on themselves and their employees, but also on the quality of the job they do. For example: A roofing contractor should guarantee that your roof will not leak after the job is completed for an established period of time and should return to repair any issues without charging additional fees, if the quality of the job fails to live up to the agreement. 

Time

DIY - Without the experience, a do-it-yourselfer is bound to take more time than a contractor would to finish the same job. The consumer does save money but usually at the expense of time. If the job is small and time is not an issue, then this can be justified as a reasonable trade. Consumers must ask themselves the following question when estimating overall costs: How much is your time worth to you? 

Contractor - For larger jobs, the time factor involved becomes crucial. Again, how much is your time worth? When a contractor provides you with a quote, they will also quote you an approximate lead-time for completion of the job. Keep this in mind when you are considering doing the job on your own. Remember that saving time can equate to dollars not always accounted for in your original cost analysis. 

Trouble shooting questions? - As a customer of ours, please feel confident that you can reach out to our certified installers at any time during normal business hours and we will do our very best to accommodate all of your fireplace needs. Whether they be technical in nature, or not, please call us! 

Lastly, we encourage all of our customers, whether using a hired professional or DIY, to thoroughly read their product’s manual before the installation process begins. It is our belief that an informed consumer has the best opportunity to make intelligent decisions when it comes to getting the most out of their purchase. We hope you do the same and enjoy these products for years to come!

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