Trust Hardware Blog

How to Decide When to DIY and When to Hire a Professional

Trust Hardware has been going through some exciting updates lately: we’re now in 3 locations, and that means more puppies for each location! Roscoe does his best to keep the pups in line, but he can’t be everywhere at once. We’ve had to adapt and find ways to keep Stanley, Walt, and Red safe and out of trouble, and we thought we’d share our best tips with you. Here’s some helpful information if you’re trying to pet-proof your home.

Kitchen

  • Keep foods out of reach. Many foods that humans enjoy are toxic to pets. Plus, the packaging can harmful, even if the food itself isn’t.
  • Use childproof latches to keep your pet out of your cabinets.
  • Keep trashcans covered or inside a latched cabinet.

Bathrooms and Laundry Room

  • Put medications, cleaners, laundry supplies, and any other chemicals on high shelves or in secured cabinets.
  • Keep the toilet lid closed to prevent drowning or drinking of harmful substances.
  • Check for and block any small spaces or nooks that your pet could get stuck in (i.e. inside cabinets and behind washer/dryer units).
  • If you have a kitten, make sure they haven’t jumped into the dryer before you turn it on.
  • Make sure your dog doesn’t chew on towels or stray socks; they may be particularly tempting but can lead to gastrointestinal problems if swallowed.

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Grilled Banana Boats

 Your grill doesn’t just have to be for burgers; don’t be afraid to get creative with unique recipes! One of my favorite childhood memories is eating banana boats cooked over the fire on family camping trips. One of favorite adult memories is discovering that I could do the exact same thing quicker and easier on my grill.

Never heard of a banana boat? That’s ok, they’re simple and easy to make. The banana acts as a “boat” for peanut butter or chocolate or whatever tasty toppings you can come up with.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Ripe bananas, one for each person (or 2, they’re just that good)
  • Filling: peanut butter, Nutella, marshmallows, Biscoff spread, etc.
  • Toppings: chocolate chips, pecans, peanut butter chips, you get the picture
  • Aluminum foil

Now for the assembly:

  1. Get your grill heating while you craft your banana boats; they won’t take long at all.
  2. Cut each banana lengthwise following the curve, making sure not to cut all the way through (leave the flap of banana peel attached, you’ll need it later).
  3. Cut out about a third of the banana, creating a hollow space for your fillings. Feel free to eat this part, no banana should go to waste!
  4. Now stuff it! To overflowing! Smear the banana with your choice of filling, then place your toppings inside. I’m a chocolate lover, so my favorite is Nutella with chocolate chips. The rest of my family usually does peanut butter, marshmallows, and chocolate chips. The possibilities are endless!
  5. Replace the strip of banana peel back over the fillings and wrap foil tightly around the banana. If your fillings poke out the edges of the peel that’s perfect, just make sure everything’s securely inside the foil wrapping.
  6. Grill your banana boat over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the banana softens to your liking. (You can also bake it 15 to 20 minutes, in the event of cookout-ruining weather).
  7. Unwrap your banana boat, grab a spoon, embrace the messiness, and enjoy! The banana and toppings will be gooey and delicious, the perfect dessert for any occasion.
How to Decide When to DIY and When to Hire a Professional

 DIY projects can be a great way to improve your home and save money, but it can be hard to decide what projects are good to DIY and what’s better handled by professionals. Here’s some factors that can help you make that decision next time you’re considering DIY-ing your home.

Time and Patience
Do you have the time and patience to dedicate to this scale project? Even if you have the knowledge to complete it well yourself, it might not be worth it depending on what else you’ve got going on. If you can only devote a small amount of time each day to the project and it would end up taking weeks, it might be better to hire a professional. On the other hand, if you’ve got plenty of time to commit to a project or don’t mind the long timeline, go ahead and DIY!

Know-How
Are you familiar with this kind of project? How much time will it take you to learn any new skills needed, and do you feel confident in your ability to learn them sufficiently? Some projects are easy to learn via internet tutorials, while others are best left to professionals trained in that field.

Cost
Get a quote from a professional and see the cost difference between hiring and doing it yourself. Consider whether it’s worth it to you to save money vs time and effort.

Consequence of Mistakes
What happens if you make a mistake? Would it be dangerous or cause damage to your house? If the consequences are more than just visual effect, it might be better to hire. Another factor to consider here is the value of your home. If you’re thinking of selling anytime soon, any small errors can be a turn-off for potential buyers.

Enjoyability
Do home renovation projects seem like more of a chore or a fun activity to you? Do you take pride in seeing the finished project that you completed yourself? If so, DIY may be the way to go, even if it takes more time and effort to learn how to do something and fix any mistakes you make.

Permits
Does this job require a permit? These can be a hassle to obtain on your own, and may be a sign that this level of work is most safely done by professionals with specialized knowledge.

Safety
Can you safely do the work yourself, or is it best to hire a contractor for safety reasons?