Should You DIY or Hire a Pro for Your Next Home Project?
There are several plumbing projects that you can most likely complete on your own, such as installing a new toilet or sink. For more complex plumbing projects that require working on hidden and underground pipes, it’s probably best to contact a licensed plumber. Water leaks or burst pipes can cause a lot of damage to your home, so the extra cost for a professional to do the job and prevent future issues might be worth it. If you do decide to tackle a plumbing project yourself, always remember to turn off the main water supply to your home before you get started.
When it comes to installing new light fixtures or replacing a ceiling fan, you most likely already have the tools you need to get the job done yourself. Just be sure to turn off any electricity to the area where you’ll be working, and follow the installation instructions provided. Due to the dangers associated with working with electricity, more complex electrical jobs are best left to a licensed electrician. If you have a job involving a gas line, you should also call in a licensed professional.
Landscaping and Fencing
There are many landscaping projects that you can take on yourself to immediately transform your home’s curb appeal, like planting a garden or installing pavers from the driveway to the front door. Just remember for any project where you plan to dig, be sure to call 811 before you start digging. 811 is the national number you can call ahead of time to have utility lines marked to prevent you from accidentally disturbing an underground utility line.
If you have trees that need to be trimmed or removed, it’s best to contact a licensed professional. Many factors go into tree trimming and removal, and if it’s not done right, it can lead to property damage or serious injury.
For fencing, the decision to DIY depends on the complexity of the job and whether you have the appropriate tools to get the job done. Get a few estimates from professionals, and then decide if you’d prefer to save on the labor cost by doing the work yourself. Also, consider the cost of any additional tools you might need to rent or purchase.
Home Modifications and Additions
From building a deck to knocking down a wall to create a more open floor plan, most home renovation jobs are best left to the expertise of a licensed contractor. Many of these types of projects will require a permit, and some permits require a licensed contractor to complete the work.
If your home is in a neighborhood with a Home Owners Association, it’s also a good idea to check with them before starting these types of projects, in case they have any special requirements. Also worth considering is the fact that, if you ever decide to sell your home, there will most likely be a home inspection that could find issues with a job that was not completed by a professional.
Cosmetic improvements such as painting, installing molding, replacing hardware, or putting up a backsplash can have a huge impact on your home’s appearance. These are the types of jobs you can most likely complete yourself. To help save on the cost for materials, shop sales for the materials you'd need to complete cosmetic projects. Also, check thrift stores and estate sales for items that you might be able to refurbish for a fraction of the cost compared to purchasing new.
If you’re thinking of installing new floors, the type of flooring and your skill level will determine whether or not you should hire a professional. If you’re looking to install a tile floor or hardwoods, it will take a greater amount of skill and time to perfect. There are many flooring options that are more ideal for DIY projects, such as laminate click-together flooring or peel-and-stick vinyl.
Making the decision between hiring a pro and doing it yourself will depend on your experience, budget, materials, time, and complexity of the job. With a few tutorial videos, and home improvement blogs, and other readily available resources, you can make upgrades to your home on your own without paying for the extra labor costs. However, in some cases, hiring a professional can be the safest and most efficient way to get a project done. Either way, many of these projects can increase the value of your home and will allow you to continue enjoying the home you love.