Changing out the leaky faucets in your master bathroom doesn’t look so hard. After a couple of hours watching tutorials on YouTube and a trip to the hardware store, you are feeling pretty confident about this do-it-yourself project. However, once you get started, you quickly realize that the faucets aren’t the only improvement needed in the bathroom—your plumbing looks pretty outdated, too. That’s a bit more than you planned for.

There is a big difference between sprucing up a room with a coat of paint and tearing down an entire wall, and that difference usually lies in skill, experience, knowledge, and training. How do you know if you can handle a project yourself or if you should hire a professional?

Some simple DIY projects that many people decide to take on themselves include:

  • Painting
  • Basic landscaping
  • Adding storage to a closet, laundry room, or mudroom
  • Installing new light fixtures
  • Resurfacing or painting cabinets

Other more complex projects that may require a professional include:

  • Tearing out carpet and installing floors
  • Tearing down walls
  • Exterior painting
  • Roof repair or replacement
  • Replacing heating, cooling, electrical, or plumbing systems
  • Installing new windows or doors

Even with this list as a basic guide, it can still be challenging to know if the next project on your list is perfect for your capable hands or better left to an experienced professional. Here are a few questions to ask to find the answer.

Do I have the confidence and knowledge to do this safely?

There is a first time for everything. Homeowners shouldn’t be afraid to try something new, but it’s important to understand what the project entails and how that lines up with your ability to carry out the project safely. Do your research. Read books, watch videos, and talk to professionals to see if you feel you can replace your kitchen counters on your own without causing any harm to yourself, those helping, and your kitchen. If you still have questions, bring in a contractor for a quote. Comparing the costs of a DIY or a professional job can help you make the right decision.

Do I have the time to commit to this project?

While you may have plenty of knowledge and experience, it’s equally important to know if you have the time. Will the bathroom sit there half painted for a month, or can you complete this project in a weekend? For the sanity of the rest of your household, it’s critical you know how long essential areas will be unavailable. If going the DIY route means water will need to be shut off or kitchen appliances unusable for an extended period of time, consider if hiring a professional will cut down on the time for those inconveniences.

Do I have the necessary equipment?

In the beginning, tackling a project yourself might seem like the less expensive option, but a lot of that depends on the tools and equipment you need to complete the job. If you have to purchase or rent tools, will that outweigh the costs you save by sidestepping a professional? If you do have to buy power tools, such as new drills, saws, sanders, routers, or impact drivers, do you know how to safely use them? Also, remember that equipment isn’t just about what you use—it’s also about what you wear. If you will be working with power tools or hazardous chemicals, you may need specific protective covering for your hands, eyes, and even lungs. These costs can quickly add up and often don’t make financial sense if you only plan on using these tools once.

Every DIY project is subjective to the person taking on the majority of the work. If you have the skills but lack the passion, there is a higher risk of the project going unfinished. If you are excited to take on a new project, you might burn out quickly if your skills aren’t up to the task. Flooring Masters & Professional Remodelers can help you achieve your vision. For a free consultation contact us today. However, if you have even the basic skills, enthusiasm, and a commitment to safety, planning and completing a simple DIY home improvement project can be very rewarding.


Article by Danny Knight, Fix it Dads
Photo by Pixabay


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