Worth It: The Dividing Line of DIY vs. Professional Projects

Worth It: The Dividing Line of DIY vs. Professional Projects

When contemplating an update to your space, the thought of saving money is attractive whatever your budget. Thusly, the thought of “I could do that” creeps to the front of your mind. Maybe you have a spouse that thinks they can fix anything. Maybe that's your father-in-law. And if he happens to be a general contractor then sure! Let him fix all the things. If he just suffers from visions of grandeur, you're probably right to hire a professional. But what's really worth DIY-ing and what worth the extra expenditure? Here are a few:


Starting off strong and focused, this one is actually a swinger. It can go both ways. Depending on the type of conversion you're doing you will need a professional or your own two hands. The super popular snap-in-place wood or laminate flooring is a DIY-er's best friend. The main selling point of this product is that you can install it yourself. But if the store you're buying from offers free installation, uh what is there to even debate?

Tiling or carpet, on the other hand, could be self installed, but so much can go wrong. Mixing concrete to the right consistency, pouring it level, using just the right amount of concrete… the list goes on. Same goes for refurbishing wood. You could wind up with uneven spots from sanding, to the stain. Hire a professional. Real hardwood floors are very attractive and durable. They deserve proper care and maintenance.


If you're knocking down walls, that is definitely something you can tackle. Given whatever is surround your life at the moment, taking a few dozen whacks at a wall with a sledgehammer might be just the therapy you didn't know you needed. That being said, there are still some rules.

Light demolition like pulling up floorboards, fixtures, tile, moldings, cabinets, or appliances (bathtubs) can definitely be done without doing damage that will result in the addition of another expense in the form of a repair. Always expect to be sore the next day as you're not a professional and you don't use these muscles this way on a regular basis. Maybe treat yourself to an epsom salt bath afterward.

Structural demolition on the other hand (knocking out those walls) should ALWAYS be done by a professional. You don't want to hit something you weren't supposed to and be on the hook for MAJOR repairs. Leave it to someone who has knowledge and experience in what they're doing.

Sweat The Small Stuff

If you want a simple revamping of your space by updating its style on a cosmetic level, then have at thee, friend! Add backsplash to the kitchen or bathroom. Replace the wallpaper or change the paint. Put up a chair rail and some textured wainscotting. Get new fixtures for your sink or overhead lighting. There are plenty of ways you can update your home in minor, but noticeable ways and groves of stores with supplies and professional advice to help you and your vision succeed. So give it a whirl!

Use Your Head With Utilities

Gas, Electrical, Plumbing. These are all ALWAYS AND FOREVER jobs you DON'T tackle without a professional. Pipes can burst, power can spark, and gas can leak. Unless you yourself are trained and certified to handle such jobs, call a pro.

Increasing the value of your home is always worth doing. Doing it the right way – with pros or yourself – and weighing your home improvement needs properly will pay off in the end.