Homeowners – are you thinking about tackling that home improvement project yourself? If so, you’re not alone. America’s do-it-yourself (DIY) industry is soaring. According to Statista, in 2020 Americans spent over $450 billion on home improvement. However, not all home improvement projects are as simple as they seem. While you might think you could take a swing at that leaky sink or the paint job you haven’t touched since you moved in, some issues are best for professionals. But what jobs are these exactly? We’ll walk you through the most common DIY home improvement jobs (and when you should bring in professionals) below.
Aesthetic projects include painting, tiling, adding molding, floorboards, and other projects you take on to improve the look of your property. We recommend tackling these projects yourself:
- Painting: this is one of the easiest ways to dip your toe into the DIY pool. While you could employ a professional to do this, painting (whether it’s walls, furniture, or floorboards) is a quick way to give your home a new look at a fraction of the cost. In addition, it’s forgiving, and you can easily cover mistakes with another layer.
Consider employing a professional for the following:
- Crown molding: if you’re trying to give your home a fancier touch, employ a professional – this is one of those jobs where they use that math they taught us in high school (that many of us have forgotten).
- Tiling: as a general rule, if water is involved, we recommend speaking to an expert. Chat with a professional about any tiling improvements you want to make.
According to The Spruce, electrical projects are one of the best places for first-time DIYers to start. Electrician can be hard to find and expensive, and most electrical work is relatively clean and logical. Try your hand at DIY if you’re dealing with jobs such as:
- Replacements: if you want to replace a switch, move a socket or a ceiling light, take a whack at this task before calling a professional (especially if you’re replacing the light or switch with the same thing previously installed).
- Minor repairs: any minor electrical repair, such as a broken wire or similar, can be handled on your own.
However, we recommend calling in a professional if you’re installing electrics in any place with close running water (such as kitchens and bathrooms), installing a new circuit or probing in the local electrical supply stores service panel.
It’s a classic springtime staple – cleaning out all of your belongings in the spring and scrubbing the whole house down. However, not all cleaning tasks are created equal. When does a little elbow grease go a long way, and when should you call a professional? We break it down below:
- Standard deep clean: it might not be the most exciting way to spend a Saturday, but a deep clean is something that’s generally within a DIYers wheelhouse. Start by decluttering your home and then get out the cleaning materials – you’ll be here for a while.
- Cleaning windows: while washing your windows might seem like a pain, the payoff is enormous. Vacuum the sill and the tracks of the window and spray it with window cleaner. Squeegee away and enjoy the view!
Serious restoration jobs (think remodeling or post-disaster cleans) require you to bring in professionals. The experts at SERVPRO have broken down the situations when you should seek outside help below:
- After a major fire: consult a professional when cleaning up after a fire. In many cases, it may be too dangerous to enter your home after a fire event, so consult a professional from the beginning to ensure safety.
- After a significant leak: water is no laughing matter – too much of it can ruin your home, and we don’t just mean during the event. Water damage works in many ways, and excess water can manifest mold that’s hazardous for your home. Consult a professional after a major leak for a full assessment.
- After a natural disaster: hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods are all disasters that professionals should handle. If your property is affected, take a look at SERVPRO’s checklist and call a professional immediately to prevent further damage to your property (or yourself).
Plumbing issues come in all sizes and types, but one thing is sure – they can be disastrous for your home. So which plumbing issues should you try to fix, and when should you bring in a professional? Try your hand (or a wrench) if your problem looks like this:
- Dripping faucet: dripping faucets may seem like an inconvenience, but they can have dire consequences on your water bill. The good news? Fixing a leaky faucet is often as simple as replacing the O-rings. A thorough investigation, a few hours and a few trips to the hardware store should be all you need.
- Running toilet: another common household issue that isn’t inconvenient until it’s time to pay the bills, a running toilet is generally the fault of a worn-out stopper. Replace the stopper, and if things still aren’t right, call in your local professional.
Bring in professionals for:
- Water heater issues: sometimes fixing a water heater issue is as simple as relighting a pilot light or replacing a heating element. However, we’ve just run through the only two fixes you should attempt without a professional. Water heaters are a delicate business and require a certified professional.
Now that we’ve broken down what tasks you should attempt yourself (and when you should bring in professionals), it’s time to make your list. Happy fixing!