USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - MONEY - Kelsey Sheehy

Sameer Pa­tel loves to DIY. He’s built a weight rack for his home gym, re­built a swing for his son and welded a fire pit for his back­yard. So when it was time to add gut­ters to his home in Tuc­son, Ari­zona, he was ready to do it him­self. ❚ “I had gone to Home De­pot, read a lot of posts and was de­ter­mined to do this my­self,” Pa­tel said. But the num­bers didn’t add up. ❚ Pa­tel es­ti­mated tool rentals and ma­te­ri­als (over­es­ti­mat­ing for the in­evitable mis­take) would run $652, still un­der the $800 quoted to him by a lo­cal con­trac­tor. ❚ But when he fac­tored in time – the project would take an en­tire week­end – and the scant like­li­hood he’d re­use his new­found gut­ter knowl­edge, he called in a pro­fes­sional. ❚ “Even though I’d save money with this project ... I was never go­ing to do this” again, Pa­tel said. “I don’t plan on start­ing a gut­ter in­stall busi­ness.” ❚ When weigh­ing your own DIY project, run the num­bers, then ask your­self th­ese four ques­tions be­fore de­cid­ing whether to in­vest the el­bow grease or pass it off to a pro­fes­sional.

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