When to DIY and When to Call the Pros: A Guide for Homeowners

Navigate home repairs with confidence. Learn when to DIY and when to call professionals. A homeowner’s guide to effective and efficient solutions.

Homeowners Repair Guide

Maybe you’re installing something? Perhaps something needs repair? Whatever the case may be, you need to facilitate a home improvement project. 

What you’re wondering, though, is whether to do it yourself or call in a professional. That depends entirely on the circumstances. That’s why, in this article, we’re going to help you differentiate. We’re going to help you decide when to DIY and when to call the pros. 

When to DIY and When to Call the Pros

Projects That Are DIY-appropriate

There are a number of projects that you can do yourself. These include projects such as the following:


Looking to paint your cabinets? Maybe you want to stain your wood front door? If so, you can most certainly complete the job on your own. Any painting or staining task can be completed by the average homeowner. 

Just be sure to do all the proper prep work and research the best paint or stain for your needs. If you make mistakes, the damage done won’t be too costly to repair. 

Simple Appliance Replacements

Maybe you’re getting a new refrigerator. Perhaps you’re installing a new dishwasher. Odds are, you can get the job done without professional help. Most appliances are simple to install. At most, you just need to connect a water line to a water valve. This is as simple as screwing on an attachment and visually checking to ensure that it doesn’t leak. 

Keep in mind, though, that some appliances are not suitable for DIY installation. For instance, HVAC systems are far too complicated to install by the typical DIYer.

Faucet/Shower Head Replacement

A great many plumbing projects should be left to the pros. However, there are some simple projects that the average homeowner can carry out. One such project is the installation of faucets and shower heads. 

Most faucets and shower heads come with straightforward instructions for installation. If you do install them incorrectly, there isn’t much damage that will be done. You can use trial-and-error until they’re installed correctly. 

Flooring Installation

The average DIYer is capable of carrying out most flooring installations. Some flooring materials are easier to install than others. Vinyl tiles, for instance, are very easy to install. Carpet is fairly easy to install as well. 

If you’re going to install your own flooring, make sure to read up on the process. It requires precise measurement and placement and can be messed up if you’re not careful. 

Projects You Should Leave to the Professionals

It’s always tempting to do home improvement projects yourself as a means of saving money. However, there are some projects that are best avoided by DIYers. These include, but aren’t limited to, the following:

Complex Plumbing Installations

You may be able to install a new shower head. You may even be able to install a new toilet. Let’s say that you need to put new pipes in your home, however. This can be a highly challenging endeavor. If you get it wrong, you’re going to be dealing with water leaks, the likes of which can cause thousands of dollars of damage to your home.

This is why, when it comes to complex plumbing installations, you should leave it to the pros. They’re trained in the installation of plumbing entities and will ensure that everything is installed as needed. 

Electrical Work

There’s very little electrical work that a homeowner should be doing on their own. Sure, you can install a new light bulb. However, when it comes to installations and repairs, the job is best left to a professional electrician. 

Doing electrical work has the potential to be extremely dangerous. If you’re not sure of what you’re doing, you could receive a shock, the likes of which could be fatal. Plus, because electrical work is complex, it’s easy to do it incorrectly. Therefore, an attempt to save money by doing your own electrical work could actually end up costing you money in the long run. 

Removing Walls

Let’s say that you want to give your existing home an open floor plan. To accomplish this, you need to remove the walls. You’re considering doing this on your own. Unless you have extensive experience doing so, however, you should think again. 

This is an intensive project that involves the demolition of a large portion of your home. If you do it wrong, you could do thousands of dollars worth of damage. This is why it’s best left to the pros. 

Installing Siding

You might also consider installing the siding on your home. It seems simple enough, after all. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as it appears. It’s much more than just hammering nails through panels. It requires precise placement, not to mention the installation of the underlying protective materials. 

If you make any mistakes while installing the siding on your home, you could leave your home vulnerable to water damage. This could end up costing you thousands of dollars’ worth of damage. This is why it’s best to hand the project over to a pro. 

Basement Waterproofing

Waterproofing a basement can be expensive. As such, you might attempt to save some money on it by doing it yourself. The problem is that basement waterproofing is complex, and if you mess it up, you could end up spending thousands on damage to your home. 

So, whether you need to install a sump pump, drain tiles, or some other basement waterproofing entity, call up a pro. 

DIY Isn’t Always the Best Option

While DIY might save you some money from time to time, it’s not always the best option. If the project is complex or potentially dangerous, it’s always best to bring in a pro. Doing so will keep you safe and, ultimately, save you money. 

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