DIY vs. Professional Maintenance: Which is Right for Your Grand Rapids Property?

Mar 28, 2024 | Owner Education, Property Management Education

Maintaining a rental property is sometimes as easy as sending out your trusted vendors and service providers to take care of a leak, a broken appliance, or a toilet that won’t flush. Sometimes, it’s a more complicated repair that requires planning and budgeting. Maybe a new furnace is needed or a new roof. Perhaps a sewer line has ruptured and you don’t have time for the planning; you know you have to respond right away.

As a Grand Rapids rental property owner, you are tasked with keeping up with the maintenance of your rental property. You want to ensure it stays in excellent condition and compliant with all safety and habitability laws. 

A lot of landlords are interested in making their own repairs. They believe that doing it themselves in a DIY fashion is the best option when it comes to saving money. That may not always be true, however. There are several other factors to consider when deciding on the maintenance method for your rental property. 

We’re taking a look at the pros and cons of DIY vs. professional maintenance to help you make a more informed decision on what is best for your rental investment property in Grand Rapids.

Why DIY Maintenance Might Work for Grand Rapids Rentals

One of the most significant advantages of doing maintenance work yourself at your rental property is that you won’t have to pay for someone else’s labor. The cost-saving aspect is definitely attractive, especially if you don’t have a lot of money in your maintenance reserves, or you’ve struggled to save what you should for potential repairs. 

When you make your own repairs, you’ll only really pay for any materials and supplies that the job requires. This is an especially important advantage, especially for small-scale maintenance tasks such as replacing air filters, replacing lighting fixtures, or even painting walls. You don’t necessarily need a professional to take care of these things, and you can save a lot of money by doing them yourself. 

Taking a DIY approach to maintenance also means that you have complete control over the scope, timeline, and details of the job. You can work on it at your own pace, and you can make sure that you use the materials that you want. You can also ensure that everything is done to your satisfaction and that you can make adjustments to meet your expectations if things don’t go as planned.

There are some downsides to the DIY path, however. One of those is that you probably don’t have the expertise that a maintenance professional has. If you’re inexperienced, it could take you longer to get the work done. Mistakes could be made. Your tenants could be displeased that you keep coming back to fix the same thing. 

Taking care of your own maintenance may also be time-consuming and frustrating. Those mistakes that you make could be more expensive than you realize, resulting in a more costly repair than it would have been if you had simply hired professionals right away. 

Certain maintenance tasks require skills or knowledge that only professionals should undertake. It would be best if you also considered the opportunity costs of spending time doing property maintenance instead of focusing on finding new tenants or building relationships with your current ones.

Remember that you’re repairing a tenant’s home, not your own. Tenants pay you rent, and they expect to have maintenance issues taken care of right away. If you have a full-time job or other responsibilities that keep you from responding for a few days or even a few weeks, you’re likely to find some unhappy tenants when you do finally arrive to do the work.

Investing in Professional Maintenance and Repair Services for Grand Rapids Rentals

Professional MaintenanceProfessional maintenance is an excellent option for landlords who are looking for convenience and expertise. When you want to save time and prevent costly mistakes, you’ll put together a list of preferred vendors and contractors who you can count on to take care of minor and major issues quickly and correctly. These professionals have the tools, skills, and experience necessary to handle any repair or maintenance task properly and efficiently.

Another advantage of professional maintenance is the warranty or guarantee that you receive for any work done. This gives you peace of mind that if something goes wrong with the repairs or maintenance work done, the professionals you hired will come and fix the problem.

One disadvantage of professional maintenance is the cost factor and the lack of control over the type of materials used. Hiring professionals is often more expensive than doing it yourself, and you may not like the type of materials used. 

Still, we believe it’s almost always better to trust the expertise of professionals.

Developing relationships with plumbers, roofers, HVAC techs, electricians, cleaners, landscapers, and pest control providers is essential. When you provide them with regular business and treat your vendors well, you will easily be able to get them over to your rental property when something needs to be fixed. You won’t have to wait to get on their schedule or beg for them to come and triage an emergency repair. 

Grand Rapids property managers can also be a great resource for you. We have excellent relationships with vendors and contractors, and we also access their best pricing because of the volume of work we’re able to provide them. 

The decision around whether to do the repair work yourself or hire professionals will depend on several factors, including your budget, time, and skills. When you want convenience and expertise, professional maintenance is the way to go. That’s what we believe, and we’ve been successfully managing and maintaining rental properties in Grand Rapids for years. 

It’s not just convenience and expertise; it’s also about risk management. You don’t need to take on the added liability of a repair that isn’t quite right or a tenant who is ready to break their lease because their repair request has been ignored for weeks. 

Let’s talk about the best path forward for your maintenance needs. Please contact us at Short South Realty Group.