Do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvement projects are all the rage these days. Online tutorials and social media influencers have inspired many people to try their hand at home repairs. If you can fix it yourself, you can potentially save yourself some money. However, not all home repair projects are created equal. Sometimes, the amount of time, effort, and risk aren’t worth the hassle. Plus, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could damage your home.
When should you attempt to repair your home by yourself? When should you call a trained professional? Here’s a comparison of some common home projects and expert recommendations for each.
When to Hire a Professional
If it feels daunting to complete a home repair on your own, remember that you can always turn to local professionals for assistance. No matter how big your project might be, a trained expert can help you turn your house into your dream home.
Here are some projects you should leave to the professionals, and what you’ll pay for each:
- Hauling away junk. If you have any big items that need disposing of, including old appliances, furniture, carpeting, or anything that’s too large to feasibly remove it yourself, then hire someone to do the job for you. Not only can they professionally dispose of these items for you, but you won’t have to risk life and limb doing the job yourself.
- Roof maintenance. Although you might DIY basic roof maintenance, leave roofing repairs to the professionals. Costs vary, but local roofing contractors provide free estimates and are happy to answer your questions or make recommendations.
- Solar panel installations. Eco-friendly upgrades like solar panels are not only great for the environment, they’re good for your wallet, too. DIY installation is tempting, but hiring an expert ensures safe, proper installation. You’ll pay more up front, but you’ll get a tax credit. You might even qualify for a $0 down payment. The average cost of solar panel installation is $12,558 after tax credits.
- Repairs that require purchasing expensive tools. As Forbes says, “DIY doesn’t mean doing everything yourself.” A cracked foundation or structural changes require an engineer. If a “simple” project means you’ll purchase a $200 drill that you’ll only use once, consider the amount of time and money it will cost you.
- Interior redesign or decorating upgrade. Decorating might seem like something you can handle on your own, but an interior design professional can help you see your space in a completely different light. They’ll be able to make suggestions based on your budget, whether that includes remodeling your kitchen or creating a 3D model of your living room so that you can plan where to set new furniture.
When to Do It Yourself
These days, homeowners have a wide variety of resources readily available at their fingertips. That makes it easier than ever to complete simple home improvement projects and repairs without having to spend money on contractors. The following projects are perfect examples:
- Painting and wallpapering. Adding a new coat of paint or wallpaper freshens up your home. Choose your colors, mask your floors and furniture to protect them from paint splashes, and clean the walls before you get started.
- Faceplate upgrades. With starting prices at pennies per plate, updating your home’s faceplates is another affordable DIY task. If you’re painting the walls or adding a backsplash, grab a screwdriver and remove the old plates first. Once you’re done, installing the new plates only takes a few minutes.
- Wainscoting. According to This Old House magazine, “Shoulder-height wainscoting brings formality and elegance” to your home. With the right tools, you can easily install wooden boards and panels by yourself, saving thousands. Even if you don’t own a saw, you can order pre-assembled wainscoting that arrives ready to be installed.
If you have the time, money, and skill, completing a DIY home improvement project can be a rewarding experience. However, tackling a home repair project by yourself isn’t always the wisest idea. Sometimes, it’s best to leave repairs to the professionals. As a general rule, renters should contact the landlord or property owner about any repairs. If you own your home, check with your homeowners association first to see what they’ll cover and what, if any, renovations are prohibited. Regardless of your current situation, if there’s any chance you could damage your home, lose a rental deposit, or decrease your property value, you should hire a contractor. Your money and time are valuable, and you’ll sleep better at night knowing that your home repairs are in good hands.
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