When To Do Home Improvement Projects Yourself (and When Not To)


Home repairs don’t have to be intimidating, even if you don’t have much experience with them. There are plenty of smaller projects that it’s easier and cheaper to tackle on your own. While the decision on when to hire somebody depends on the details of your plans and on what you’re comfortable with, these examples can help you decide where that line is for you.

Fixing Faucets: Smaller fixes, like tightening joints and replacing washers, might need to be done carefully but can be taken care of for low cost and relatively minimal time.

Fixing Cracks: Cracks can sometimes be a signs of larger problems, typically with the foundation, especially if they seem to keep sprouting up on their own. On the other hand, if your wall takes a hit and needs a bit of putty, that will be an easy fix to do and paint over.

Painting and Wallpaper: Even at its most stubborn, wallpaper will come off for anyone. Hanging it is doable, but can be a hassle. Consider your patience and whether you have more time or more money to spare. Painting, unless it’s truly on a massive scale, is a simple job once you’re clear on the prep needed.

Home improvement has made this Peppermint Grove standout as an elite house. (Click photo to view)

Home improvement has made this Peppermint Grove standout as an elite house. (Click photo to view)

Laying Floors: Plenty of wood materials, especially laminate, are easy to lay down. You might, however, want to hire someone if there’s a serious problem with the subfloor or concrete—leveling out an uneven floor can be a big job. Cracks and other foundation problems definitely need professional work.

Fixing Doors: Squeaky or worn-out hinges or loose screws are easy fixes, but you can also plane the edges of a tight and sticky door yourself without taking it down first. You can also replace broken and outdated doorknobs.

Caulking: This just takes some attention and a steady hand. All you need to do is clean out the old caulk completely, tape off the borders, squeeze with consistent pressure and then smooth the new caulk over.

A mixture of home improvements and the traditional house has worked perfectly here (Click photo to view)

A mixture of home improvements and the traditional house has worked perfectly here (Click photo to view)

Renovations that require permits: Permit and inspection requirements are a sign of major projects that might be more than you want to handle. Permits ensure that the team working for you will make sure the materials are good and the work is done properly – without any cutting corners. Make sure that anyone you hire has a good reputation and knows what they’re doing. If you're not sure who to hire, ask a local here 

Major utility adjustments: If you need to move or set up gas, electrical, or water lines in your house, you should at least consult a professional for larger-scale jobs. In many cases, the rule of thumb about permits and inspections will apply here.

Doing smaller jobs yourself can not only help save you money, it can start to build your confidence to work your way up to something bigger and better. Find your next project where home improvement will add value on Homely here. 

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