Do It Yourself or Leave it to the Pros?

couple painting room in house

In today’s world, when you can practically look up how to do any project online, it’s tempting to want to do it yourself, but it isn’t always the best choice. Attempting to do a home improvement or repair project on your own can often times end up costing more time, money and problems than it’s worth. Here are some tips to determine when to do it yourself, and when to leave it to the pros.

Home improvement projects you can probably do on your own

While everyone’s level of skill and ability is different, these home improvement projects are simple enough for nearly everyone.

Cosmetic improvements
This includes painting, wallpapering, wood staining, installing adhesive carpet tiles and replacing the hardware on cabinets and drawers. Before you start, check out tutorials on YouTube for useful tips and tricks.

Minor plumbing jobs
Almost anyone can snake a clogged toilet, and most people can handle fixing a minor faucet leak, changing a shower head and even installing a toilet. Again, when it comes to DIY projects, YouTube is a wonderful plumbing mentor.

Minor electrical work
Don’t try to rewire your home on your own (unless you’re a licensed electrician), but you may be able to successfully install new light fixtures and change the light switch plates.

Install tiles
Thinking about a new backsplash for your kitchen, new tiles for your bathroom floors and walls, or new floors for your kitchen or entry way. You’ll need to do research on how to lay your tiles and how to use a notched trowel to spread your tile adhesive in horizontal strokes. If you’re not comfortable with the installation of your new tiles, you can still save a few bucks by removing your old tiles with a hammer and chisel before calling in the experts to install your new ones.

Questions to ask before tackling a project on your own

Before jumping into a new home improvement project or repair, here are six questions to ask yourself.

Have I done a project like this before?
If this isn’t your first time doing a project like this, you can probably handle it. If it is your first time, you may still be able to do it, as long as you’re prepared for the extra work and focus it will involve.

Do I have a reliable resource to turn to with any questions?
It’s best to be prepared in case you run into trouble mid-project. Get that contractor friend on speed dial or stop by your local hardware store for some expert advise.

Will this project involve any structural framing?
It’s best not to tackle projects which involve cutting through walls, as you run the risk of cutting through engineered lumber and trusses, which can then cause severe damage to the stability of your home. If your project fits into this category, have a pro do the job or ask them for guidance before you begin.

Will this job involve any electrical, plumbing or HVAC work?
Here, too, you run the risk of messing up structural elements of your home. If your project involves cutting through pipes and wires, it’s probably best to leave it to the pros.

Do I have the resources to complete this job?
Many homeowners are eager to start a project on their own and save on pro prices, but they neglect to consider how much time and money the job will take. It’s best to make an estimation of how much the supplies and tools for the job will run you, and how many hours of work you can expect it to consume. You may find the DIY route is not as desirable as you believed it to be.

Will this job risk personal injury?
Don’t risk your safety on a project that should really be left to the pros.

Paying for a home improvement project

Whether you decide to DIY or call in the experts, a home improvement project can cost a bundle. Consider tapping into your home’s equity with a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) through Partner Colorado to help pay for the project. Increasing the value of your home is one of the best investments you can make.