Home Improvement Projects: DIY or Hire the Pros?

Homeowner installing tiles on wall as DIY home improvement project. If you’re like many American homeowners who found themselves stuck at home for a couple of years during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, you may have used the time to tackle some renovation projects around the house. Sprucing up your living space can give it a new look and feel—and it might even increase the home’s value. But when it comes to these home improvement projects, not all are created equal. There are some things you can DIY (Do it Yourself) and others that are best left to the professionals.  

Determining the Best Person for Home Improvement Projects 

Before you consider launching any renovation or revitalization efforts in your home, there are several factors to consider such as cost, time, and skillset or equipment needed to perform the tasks. Ask yourself if you have the time to research and shop for a project, let alone see it through to completion. What about the tools involved? Do you already have them? Will you need to buy, rent, or borrow them? If you buy them, will you use them again? Are you confident that you are capable of doing this adequately? 

Perhaps the most important thing to ask yourself, though, is what the repercussions could be if you didn’t get it right on the first try. Some mistakes are more costly than others (financially and otherwise). And if your only reason for DIYing something is to save money, consider that the project could be more expensive in the long run if you end up having to call in the pros anyways to right your wrongs. 

Try to DIY 

Finishing a project can feel so gratifying, and there are plenty of home improvement projects that even the most inexperienced homeowners can successfully do on their own. The key is to start small and limit your scope; don’t bite off more than you can chew. Just because you saw a married couple on TV knock down walls or watched a video tutorial on how to install hardwood floors doesn’t mean the projects will be as easy (or as fun) to execute. The most successful DIY projects tend to be the simplest. So, if you’re itching to DIY, here are a few low-stakes ideas to start with: 

  • Interior painting
  • Power washing your deck with rented equipment 
  • Replacing hardware on doors, drawers, and cabinets 
  • Installing shelves 
  • Tiling a backsplash 
  • Building a backyard fire pit 

Note: if you rent a home rather than own it, you’ll want to check the terms of your lease and talk to the landlord/property manager before changing anything. The improvement project you have in mind might be against the owner’s rules, but if you still want to liven up your living space, check out these renter-friendly DIY projects we corralled. 

Call the Professionals 

On the other hand, when it comes to any specialty task that requires a license or certification—like plumbing and electrical work—you’re better off calling the professionals. Overzealous homeowners often underestimate the safety hazards and the amount of physical labor involved in some home improvement projects. Not only do you risk hurting yourself (by falling off a ladder or blowing out your back, for example), but you also risk hurting others if something isn’t done properly. Call in the experts when it comes to projects like: 

Additionally, it should go without saying that any projects which involve architectural plans or permits and need to meet code requirements are best left to a professional.  

Whether you’re tackling a small project on your own, hiring an experienced professional to do a major overhaul, or keeping things as they are, homeowners insurance is critical to financially protecting you and your house in case of incidents. Questions about your policy? Contact TJ Woods today and one of our knowledgeable insurance agents will be happy to help you.