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When to DIY vs. When to Call a Pro: A Handy Guide for Jobs Around the House

Have you ever found yourself knee-deep in a DIY home project and wishing you’d never started? If so, you certainly aren’t alone. While there are many projects around the house that you can successfully tackle yourself, there are some you should steer clear of. So, before you go any further, put down that hammer and find out when to DIY and when to call the pros instead.

Call a pro: Plumbing, electrical, gas & structural 

Plumbing, electrical, gas and structural work (like taking out a wall) should always be left to the pros if you don’t have the experience and qualifications. Getting it wrong can be dangerous and can cause a lot of damage. These undertakings might also require permits.

DIY: Cosmetic work

When it comes to cosmetic updates around the house, this is where you can really go all-out and have some fun. Not only are these easy tasks to tackle, but they can also go a long way in increasing the resale value of your home (or simply increasing your enjoyment of your space!). There are so many resources out there to guide and inspire you, too, from YouTube videos, to books, to blogs.

Projects like painting, installing click-together flooring, and fixing cracks and holes in the wall are low risk, high reward. The worst thing that can happen is that you must redo something, or hey, call in that pro to fix it.

DIY: Lighting updates

Replacing light bulbs, sconces, and even light fixtures are simple DIY jobs. There are a lot of helpful resources out there too, like step-by-step YouTube videos. Just always make sure to turn off the power before you begin!

But for anything else involving electricity, as we mentioned, call a pro.

DIY: Bathroom improvements

Looking to update your bathroom? There are do-it-yourself items you can tackle in this area of the house, like switching out the vanity, installing a new toilet, replacing faucets, updating your cabinet hardware, and simple tiling. However, for anything that involves plumbing, call a pro.

Call a pro: Installing new windows

Replacing your windows can help you reduce your energy usage and really update your home’s curb appeal too. If you’re spotting signs that your windows are nearing the end of their lifespan, or you simply desire a change, you’ll want to leave this task up to the pros. This is a large investment that requires careful installation and skill.

But there are still some things you can do yourself, like installing new curtains, blinds or roller shades, freshening up the trim, or replacing screens.

DIY: Stair touch-ups

If you find yourself eyeing your stairs and wondering what you can do to breathe new life into them, good news: replacing treads or caps, sanding and repainting, and staining are all manageable DIY jobs!  You could even try your hand at installing a stair runner if you so desire – there are some creative ideas out there to inspire you.

DIY: Kitchen improvements

Dreaming of updating your kitchen with some of the latest trends? There are plenty of impactful DIY projects you can tackle in this space, like refinishing cabinets, replacing handles and hardware, installing a backsplash, and switching out your faucet. You can even take on more complicated tasks like updating your island with more modern material like concrete, wood, or epoxy. These small changes can make a big difference.

Call a pro: Countertops

When dealing with stone countertops like quartz, marble or granite, you’ll want to call in a pro for any measuring, cutting, and installation. Getting this wrong can result in glaringly obvious mistakes – plus a very sore foot should something go wrong! Yikes

There you have it–while there are some definite DIY don’ts, there is still a long list of jobs around the house you take on. For these endeavours, roll up your sleeves and enjoy the process (and the results!). It’s never really about the destination, so enjoy and embrace the journey to improving your home with your own hands!

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