Should you do it yourself, or hire a contractor? This might not even have been a question a generation or two ago. In our grandparents’ time, most families had a skilled tradesperson such as a carpenter, plumber, electrician or bricklayer to turn to for assistance. The small neighborhood hardware store had few options, and the suppliers who carried fixtures and materials catered primarily to skilled contractors. But the increase in large home improvement retail centers allows today’s homeowner easy access to materials and product options to update your home and increase its value.