Do It Yourself (DIY) vs. Hiring Pros: The 5 Questions to Ask Yourself - Black Diamond Coatings

Find the right product

We are committed to your success! This short quiz will help you find the right product to fit your project’s needs.

Where can our products help you?

Use our innovative indoor and outdoor home products for people like you, who expect more.

What is your surface?

  • Tiles

    Including both floor and wall tiles intended for use throughout the house, especially kitchen and bath areas. The most common tile material is ceramic, but porcelain, glass, marble, and granite have also become popular indoors.

    Close
  • Grout

    Most traditional grout is a mixture of water, cement, sand, and optional coloring. These grouts based on natural materials are porous, making them susceptible to stains and damage caused by water, liquids, dirt, mold, and bacteria. There are some grouts that are Epoxy-Based though; they are non-porous, easily cleaned and stain-resistant, so they do not need to be sealed.

    Close
  • Stainless Steel

    Stainless steel is an alloy steel that is resistant to rust, corrosion, and heat, making it a popular material in kitchen appliances and backsplashes. There are a number of different types of stainless steel that differ based on the included metals and amounts.

    Close
  • Carpet

    A floor covering made of woven material. Carpet can be made from all-natural fibers like Wool, but they are most commonly made from modern, synthetic blends of Nylon, Polyester or Olefin.

    Close
  • I'm not sure

    Although our DOMINATOR line of sealers work on bare concrete, the surface does not have much color to enhance, thus more often than not the most desirable finish is the natural look of the AQUA X-11.

    Close

Grout

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent cursus mauris quis urna euismod feugiat. Quisque non odio est. Quisque pharetra dignissim magna, sed sagittis eros egestas a. Praesent vulputate eget mauris vel tempus. Nunc quis tellus diam. Nullam eu urna pellentesque quam tincidunt efficitur. Donec consequat sagittis tellus id dapibus. In placerat ultrices ex, vitae pretium ante pretium in. Maecenas pellentesque ex vitae magna fringilla pellentesque. Pellentesque quis eros a lorem lacinia elementum non in dolor. Etiam eu commodo tellus.

Close

What would you liking to do with your --selected-value--?

Are the --selected-value-- polished or glazed?

  • If your --selected-value-- is polished, we do not recommend sealing your surface…

Would you like to enhance the color of your tiles?

  • If your is polished, we do not recommend sealing your surface…

  • If your is polished, we do not recommend sealing your surface…

  • If your is polished, we do not recommend sealing your surface…

Do you want to add shine or a matte finish?

What is your surface?

Scroll through the thumbnails for each surface listed and click on the (i) icon for more information to help decide what type of surface you have. Please don’t hesitate to call and chat if you are unsure.

  • Concrete Pavers

    Decorative pavers cast from cement come in a wide variety of looks and sizes that can sometimes mimic natural stone or brick. They can be porous or dense, depending on the manufacturing methods and aggregate used. Check with us if you’re uncertain about your surface.

    Close
  • Decorative Concrete

    Also referred to as Stamped or Stained, Decorative Concrete is either poured like a traditional slab and then treated with additional decorative touches before the concrete dries – adding texture, dimension and color; or, it can be created as an overlay on an existing concrete surface. Porosity can vary, depending on post-installation treatment.

    Close
  • Bare Concrete

    This is the standard concrete of your Driveway, Sidewalk, or plain patio slab. Broomed finishes can be porous or dense (e.g., higher strength mixes are denser); smooth troweled finishes typically make the surface denser; and a polished concrete surface can be very dense and should be treated like Natural Stone.

    Close
  • Natural Stone

    The most popular Natural Stone surfaces include Flagstone, Fieldstone, and Bluestone. Natural stone can vary in hardness and density, so be sure to check with us if you’re using something less common.

    Close
  • Travertine

    A type of Natural Stone, Travertine comes a in a wide variety of soft, natural colors; this stone is very dense.

    Close
  • Aggregate

    Aggregate (or Exposed Aggregate) surfaces can include a variety of additional materials pressed into cement-based pavers – pebbles, glass, shells, and more; or traditional exposed aggregate concrete exposes the aggregate mixture through a chemical process.

    Close
  • Clay Pavers/Fired Bricks

    This includes clay-based bricks, Chicago brick pavers (also called Burnt Clay) and Saultilo Tiles, which are unglazed clay tiles. If your “bricks” are primarily sand lime or cement instead of clay, please give us a call for specific advice.

    Close
  • Faux Stone

    Also known as Synthetic, Manufactured or Veneer, Faux Stone is typically used as stacked stone to mimic popular natural stone colors, textures, and patterns, but they are instead made from molded concrete. Polypropylene (plastic) faux stone tiles do not need to be sealed.

    Close
  • Mulch

    Mulch is used to conserve soil moisture, inhibit weeds, and increase the visual appeal of landscaped area. The most common types are Pine Bark, Pine Straw, Cypress Bark and Rubber Mulch.

    Close
  • I’m not sure

    Although our DOMINATOR line of sealers work on bare concrete, the surface does not have much color to enhance, thus more often than not the most desirable finish is the natural look of the AQUA X-11.

    Close

Grout

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent cursus mauris quis urna euismod feugiat. Quisque non odio est. Quisque pharetra dignissim magna, sed sagittis eros egestas a. Praesent vulputate eget mauris vel tempus. Nunc quis tellus diam. Nullam eu urna pellentesque quam tincidunt efficitur. Donec consequat sagittis tellus id dapibus. In placerat ultrices ex, vitae pretium ante pretium in. Maecenas pellentesque ex vitae magna fringilla pellentesque. Pellentesque quis eros a lorem lacinia elementum non in dolor. Etiam eu commodo tellus.

Close

What would you like to do with your --selected-value-- surface

  • If your outdoor surface is --selected-value--, we do not recommend sealing your surface…

What type of finish would you like on your surface?

Please note that different surfaces will naturally produce different amounts of gloss. Darker and smoother surfaces will produce a much higher gloss than lighter, more porous surfaces.

  • High Gloss/Wet look

    This finish will add a high sheen and will provide your surface with a color-enhancing wet look (as if you sprayed your pavers, concrete, or stone with water).

    Close
  • Low Gloss/Satin Look

    This finish will add a low sheen and will provide your surface with a color-enhancing wet look (as if you sprayed your pavers, concrete, or stone with water).

    Close
  • No Gloss/Wet Look

    This finish will not add shine, instead it will provide your surface with a color-enhancing wet look (as if you sprayed your pavers, concrete, or stone with water).

    Close
  • Natural Finish

    Although our DOMINATOR line of sealers work on bare concrete, the surface does not have much color to enhance, thus more often than not the most desirable finish is the natural look of the AQUA X-11.

    Close
  • I'm not sure

    Although our DOMINATOR line of sealers work on bare concrete, the surface does not have much color to enhance, thus more often than not the most desirable finish is the natural look of the AQUA X-11.

    Close

Grout

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Praesent cursus mauris quis urna euismod feugiat. Quisque non odio est. Quisque pharetra dignissim magna, sed sagittis eros egestas a. Praesent vulputate eget mauris vel tempus. Nunc quis tellus diam. Nullam eu urna pellentesque quam tincidunt efficitur. Donec consequat sagittis tellus id dapibus. In placerat ultrices ex, vitae pretium ante pretium in. Maecenas pellentesque ex vitae magna fringilla pellentesque. Pellentesque quis eros a lorem lacinia elementum non in dolor. Etiam eu commodo tellus.

Close

Are your joints between 1/8 of an inch and 4 inches in width?

Please note: In joints narrower than 1/8 of an inch, the sand does not have enough room in the joint to create a strong bond. In joints wider than 4 inches, there is too much surface area

Do you have at least one inch of depth in the joints?

Please note: When there is not at least one inch of depth in the joint, there will not be enough sand present in the joint to create a strong lasting bond.

  • If your is polished, we do not recommend sealing your surface…

Do you have a base underneath the pavers that allows for good drainage?

Proper sloping and drainage should be used as necessary. Polymeric sand is not for use on constantly wet or submerged surfaces. Click here for more info.

  • If your is polished, we do not recommend sealing your surface…

Do you have any areas where water runoff is present?

A large amount of water in one concentrated area from water runoff has the ability to wear down the sand over time and can even cause wash-out.

Not sure?

Get in touch with one of our product experts who will be able to help you find the right product.

USA Flag Icon
Photograph Icon

We're here to help...

Get in touch with one of our product experts who will be able to help you find the right product.

USA Flag Icon
Photograph Icon

Coming Soon!

The OBSESS brand of cleaners. For advance access and special promotional pricing at launch, please enter your email address.

Shop All

Receive your recommendations

Get your print-ready recommendations delivered to your inbox and stay up-to-date with our latest releases, how-tos, and secret sales.

USA Flag Icon

Your Result

Your Results

Result Product Image Result Product Image Result Product Image

Low Gloss Sealer

Wet Look, Low Gloss Paver Sealer

  • Fast drying
  • Professional Grade
  • Screatch & Stain resistant
  • Color enchancing
Result Product Image Result Product Image Result Product Image

Low Gloss Sealer

Wet Look, Low Gloss Paver Sealer

  • Fast drying
  • Professional Grade
  • Screatch & Stain resistant
  • Color enchancing
Result Product Image Result Product Image Result Product Image

Low Gloss Sealer

Wet Look, Low Gloss Paver Sealer

  • Fast drying
  • Professional Grade
  • Screatch & Stain resistant
  • Color enchancing

Don’t forget to check out the Coverage Calculators available on the individual product pages, to find out how much to order.

Search Results

Products

0 results View all

Category

Pages

FREE Shipping over $35USD within the contiguous United States! Orders by 1 PM ship SAME DAY from Florida!

0

Your Cart is Empty

by Heather Warren 7 min read

1 Comment

Disclosure: This article contains links that we think are helpful to you, while allowing us to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

I’m sure you know the Do It Yourself, or DIY term, and what it entails.  And you probably do a lot of projects yourself if you’re reading this post.  Have you ever heard the WTC term? I didn’t until recently when I heard it mentioned on a podcast.  I thought it was an interesting way to describe people who would prefer to just "Write the Check" (WTC) and have a professional contractor do the work for them.  It really got me to thinking – what kinds of projects should you even consider doing yourself versus hiring a contractor? Even if you’re the handiest, most willing person on the planet, what constitutes a project beyond your skills?

With that said, most of us aren’t the handiest person in the world.  This article is for you.  

Self-Assessment – Be Honest

  1. Do you have the time to complete the project?

This is the first question.  If you’re like me, you regularly underestimate the amount of time anything takes to complete.  I’m chronically late because I always think I can get ready to go more quickly than I actually can.  With that said, it’s important to know whether you can truly make the time to complete the project without having it drag on forever.  For a DIY home improvement project, can you handle the mess if it’s inside your house and it takes weeks (or longer) to complete the project?  Typically, professionals can complete projects more quickly as they are focusing on completing your job. You, on the other hand, may have work or family commitments that eat into your available time.

  1. Do you have (or want to learn) the skills for the job?

Do you love to watch a how-to video on YouTube and pin every how-to post on Pinterest?  If so, then you have the DIY aptitude. Please don’t be the person that reads the instructions after the piece of furniture has been incorrectly assembled.  Or worse, don’t be the person that uses the chemical, then reads the directions after it didn’t work correctly! If you don’t like to be coached ahead of time, then please write the check!  

YouTube and many manufacturer’s websites have excellent how to videos for so many remodeling projects and other home improvement work.  If you can take the time to learn how to complete your project, you can potentially save a lot of money on the project. Be thoughtful about what you can truly learn and accomplish.  Some projects are best suited for a general contractor, licensed electrician, or plumber. For example, you may be able to change a simple light fixture, but rewiring a cathedral ceiling chandelier may be too difficult (or dangerous).

  1. Do you have (or want to rent or buy) the tools for the job?

You know that the upfront savings of doing a project yourself can quickly be zapped by the tools that you had to buy to complete the project.  How many times have you justified the need for that fancy tool thinking you’ll use it again in the future, while it just takes up precious space in your garage or shed?  So, really think about the tool – the cost and whether you can use it again. If it’s really expensive, then the chances are high that renting it is an option. However, if you want to buy the tool, then really think about the quality of the tool and how much use it will get.  Most of the time, you get what you pay for, so don’t buy the cheapest tool unless it’s intended to be used for a job or two.

For large and small equipment rentals, companies likeThe Home Depot, can offer the use of a pressure washer, stump grinder, saws, paint sprayers, air compressors and so much more.

  1. Can you physically handle the job?

Some projects require lots of heavy lifting, which can lead to back injuries.  Wear a back brace if you want to take on that patio paver installation and plan to visit your chiropractor potentially.  Some projects can be dangerous. Don’t be a statistic. Prepare yourself with the proper equipment or hire someone that specializes in that type of work. 

Do you have enough family or friends to help you with projects that are more than one-person jobs?  If you’re climbing a high ladder, you need to have a spotter. If you’re installing a wood beam, you need at least one other person to help hold the heavy wood.  If not, consider hiring a handyman to help you. Sometimes two brains are better than one on projects, along with that extra set of hands.

If you have always been a DIYer, but your body can’t take the pressure any longer, you may have to accept that you need to be a WTC person now on some projects.

  1. Do you like doing DIY projects?

Do you like the personal satisfaction of completing the job yourself?  If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands of people in a home improvement Facebook group that loves to share your “fixer-upper” projects, then I know you love DIY projects!  The joy of completing the projects is worth the sweat equity (and back pain).  

YouTube, HGTV, the DIY Network, and so many amazing websites have given us all so much more knowledge than in generations past. You can feel more confident changing your flooring after watching a how-to video.  The key is whether you enjoy completing these types of home improvement projects! If you remember Tim, the Tool Man, Taylor from the Home Improvement sitcom in the ‘90s, enjoying the projects are half the battle!  

If you want a little fun in your day, enjoy this compilation video of some hilarious Tim Taylor silliness.

 

Types of Home Improvement Projects You Can DIY

  • Flooring – you can definitely rip out carpet and replace it with hardwood or tile. If you have patience, you can do it.  We installed hardwood floors in our dining room. If I had that project to do again, I’d find a babysitter for my kids as little kids and hardwood glue are not a good mix.  Think bare feet with glue on them walking on hardwood floors…. That equals using lots of  Goof Off and elbow grease, then lots of  hardwood floor polish to bring the shine back!

  • Plumbing – you can replace faucets, garbage disposal and even a toilet. If you’re remodeling a bathroom, you need a professional plumber to move water lines.  Keep in mind that some houses have unique circumstances that will be beyond a YouTube instruction. If you think it might be beyond your skills, don’t risk a plumbing leak!
  • Landscaping – you can do many landscaping projects yourself if your back and knees can take it. Taking out some ugly bushes and replacing them with beautiful new flowers can improve your curb appeal tremendously.  Planting that ten-foot-tall tree might be best left to the professional landscaper though. 
  • Pressure Washing – you can definitely handle doing your own pressure washing if you get the right equipment. The electric powered pressure washers are ok for very light pressure washing on furniture, pool cages, some fences, and on some exterior home cleaning.  But you’ll need a stronger pressure washer (at least 3000 PSI) to really clean concrete and pavers. I also recommend using a scrubber to thoroughly clean these types of surfaces without leaving the obvious DIY lines. Then seal those surfaces so that they are easier to clean the next time!
  • Painting –this is one you can do, but it just depends on your level of patience! High ceilings and two-story houses are probably best left to the professionals.  Buy high-quality paint and prime when needed, use good quality roller pads, and prepare the area with painter’s tape to make it easier to clean up.

 

Types of Home Improvement Projects You Should Contract

  • Large tree removal – this type of work could easily damage your home or your neighbors, put you in the hospital and out of your own job while recovering, and potentially take down power lines annoying your neighborhood and the power company.
  • Driveway installations – unless you’re installing a simple dirt or gravel driveway, pouring a sizeable concrete driveway or installing a paver driveway is best left to the professionals. Besides any building code permits and knowledge required, there are many ways these installations are prone to error.  Concrete has to be mixed to a certain required strength, poured within a specified period of time and cured in a specific manner.  All things that are more challenging for a DIYer to accomplish. A small concrete patio is a different story and the savvy DIYer can certainly figure it out. Paver driveways, similar to concrete driveways, have to sustain vehicular weight so the base has to be properly graded with specific aggregate and sand used.  Besides that, driveways usually have a wide expanse, so it’s important to properly mix the pavers from the pallets to ensure a uniform look. Again, a small paver installation – go for it, you DIYer!
  • Electrical work – for changing electrical wiring and in most renovations, always hire a licensed electrician. It’s not worth saving a little money to end up electrocuting yourself or burning your house down.  Electricians are expensive, but the peace of mind will be worth it. 
  • Roof cleaning – I recommend leaving roof cleaning to the professionals. It’s dangerous to walk on a roof as the surface becomes very slippery when the dirt and mildew on it become wet.  It’s extremely difficult to hold a pressure washer wand while standing on a ladder, and you can imagine how that can play out! If you insist on doing your own roof cleaning on a two-story house, rent a cherry picker to lift yourself safely up above the roof.  You can hold onto the bars of the lift and then move the lift into place.    

 Summary

The key is being honest with yourself – your interest, skills, and abilities – when thinking about whether you should tackle a DIY project, or if that home improvement project is best left to a professional contractor.  Pin all the project ideas you love, then take a hard look at whether you really want to do it yourself or write the check!

Stay Inspired!

Heather

Heather Warren
Heather Warren

Heather Warren, the company's Vice President, has worked within the building products industry for more than 15 years. Since 2014, Heather has led the marketing and sales for Black Diamond Coatings. The company culture is shaped by Heather's philosophy to not be satisfied by the status quo. You'll find Heather working on a DIY project on many weekends and spending time with her family on their farm.


1 Response

Taylor Hansen
Taylor Hansen

September 10, 2020

I like how you mentioned hiring electricians to change electrical wiring during renovations. My wife and I want to renovate our basement this summer and we need to hire an electrician to do the whole basement. We’ll be sure to find one with good rates and has experience with renovations. http://www.sequimvalleyelectric.com/services

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.


Also in Resources Blog

How to Seal Grout
How to Seal Grout

by Jamie Embree 5 min read

Grout sealer is an essential step in any tiling project. After you’ve spent time and money on your backsplash, shower, kitchen counter, or tile floor, it's inevitable that water or other liquids will spill onto the porous grout causing stains and promoting the growth of mold and mildew. It’s important to know how to seal grout to help prevent stains by creating a moisture barrier, saving you time and energy in the long-run.
Read More
Choosing the Right Sealer for Your Project Begins with Understanding Your Surface
Choosing the Right Sealer for Your Project Begins with Understanding Your Surface

by David Warren 2 min read

Choosing the “right” sealer for your project begins with understanding your surface.  Even if you have pavers, it’s not always as simple as just saying that you have pavers.  This article gives some pictures and things to think about so you choose the product appropriate for your surface and the look you want.

Read More
How to Stabilize Pavers
How to Stabilize Pavers

by David Warren 5 min read

Read More