When it comes to home improvement projects, some are perfect for the do-it-yourselfer, while others are better left to a professional. It is important to understand the level of effort and skill needed for each project you plan on tackling in order to ensure you have the right tools and knowledge necessary before beginning. Simple projects like painting or minor repairs can be done safely and with relatively little experience. However, more complex projects such as electrical work or plumbing should only be attempted by someone with the proper training and qualifications. Even seemingly harmless tasks like hanging a shelf can become complicated, expensive, and even dangerous if you lack the right tools or knowledge of how to do it correctly. Before attempting any home improvement project, make sure to do your research and learn when to DIY and when to hire a pro, and always exercise caution.
Before you start on a new type of DIY project, here are some tips that will help you sort out when to dive in and when to hire an expert.
YES – Painting
Painting is something almost anyone can do with a few simple tools and minimal cost. Just make sure to properly prepare the surface before you start, use quality paint materials, and properly clean up once finished. With a little patience and some practice, you can give your home a fresh look without breaking the bank.
NO – Plumbing
Unless you have specific training in plumbing and the right tools, attempting to fix a plumbing issue on your own can be very, very costly. Even a seemingly minor issue like fixing a leaky faucet can quickly turn into a major crisis if you don’t know what you’re doing.
MAYBE – Fixing Drywall
Fixing drywall can be a tricky task, depending on the issue at hand. If you have experience with basic home repair and construction and are comfortable working on projects that require a lot of patience and attention to detail, then you may be able to tackle small issues with your drywall such as patching holes or filling in gaps.
YES! – Updating Lighting Fixtures
Updating lighting fixtures is one of the best DIY projects that can make a big difference in your home and home value. From choosing the right fixture to wiring the system correctly, installing lighting fixtures doesn’t require complicated tools or skills. Just be sure to turn off the power before you start and follow all safety instructions provided by the manufacturers.
NO – Electrical Wiring
Electric wiring is an especially dangerous project that should always be left to a certified electrician. Working with electricity can be extremely complicated and even the tiniest mistake could cause serious injury or damage your home. It’s best to leave this type of job to experts who know what they’re doing and have the right tools for the job.
MAYBE – Installing Tile
Installing tile is a project that can definitely be done on your own, but it requires quite a bit of skill and effort. If you have someone who can guide you, or if you are willing to do a lot of research and learning about the process, then you may be able to do it yourself. Otherwise, it’s best to hire a professional.
YES – Putting Up Molding
Hanging molding is a great DIY project for anyone with basic carpentry skills. With some patience and a few simple tools, you can easily transform any room in your home. Even if you get it wrong, it typically will cost you just the amount you paid in supplies. All you need is the right type of molding, nails or adhesive, and some measurements – just about anyone can hang molding in their home!
NO – Removing Hazardous Materials
Removing hazardous materials such as asbestos or mold should always be left to an expert. Not only do you need the proper equipment and expertise for safely removing these materials, but it is also illegal in some cases to not hire a professional who knows how to dispose of the materials correctly. Taking on this type of job yourself can put your health, family, and home at risk.
MAYBE – Refinishing Wood Floors
Refinishing wood floors is a project that requires some patience, skill and the right tools. If you have experience being meticulous, then it could be a feasible DIY project. However, if you don’t tend to be patient, know that every imperfection will show with this project.
Not every project should be a DIY job. Always use common sense and know your limits before you start any job that could potentially put you or your family in danger if done incorrectly. Exercise caution and seek out experts when necessary to make sure the job is done right the first time.