DIY Renovation vs Hiring Pros: How to Decide

Last updated on February 26th, 2024 at 12:44 am

It’s quite exciting when you decide to renovate and improve your home – after all, you’re enhancing both the beauty and value of your house, whether you want to live in it or sell it down the road. However, this can also be a challenging time as there are so many things to consider to ensure you get the result you desire. 

One of the most important decisions for any home improvement idea is whether to make it a DIY project or hire professionals. This is also a complex decision that includes lots of planning, researching, and shopping for tools and materials. Along with that, you need to consider the time, your ability to adapt, cost savings, and the desired outcome.

Pros & Cons of DIY

In most cases, DIY home improvement ends up being cheaper as it is you who is investing your time for that extra money you would have paid the professionals which can often add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars. If you’re doing a larger project, your savings can be substantial. You’ll also have more flexibility regarding the time frame and the execution of the work.

Another advantage is that you get to learn a new skill or improve your existing one. Thanks in no small part to the online research you can do and abundant resources found on YouTube, venturing into DIY has never been quicker and easier. By the time you finish your project, you’ll have amassed both knowledge and skills that you haven’t had before! 

On the negative side, you could potentially hurt yourself physically. DIY home renovation leaves a lot of room for error and if you’re not sure about what you’re doing, you can cause more harm than good, potentially even damaging the infrastructure of your home. With such mistakes, you could end up with quite costly repairs. Suddenly, the cost advantage you had upfront now puts you in a tight spot.

When to Try DIY

A good rule of thumb for opting to try DIY is to save it for smaller and simpler projects, especially if you’re a beginner. Good projects to tackle would be things like wall painting, installing floating shelves, putting up decorative wall panels or wallpaper, or upgrading your lighting fixtures.  

All these projects are mostly cosmetic work, with minimal expertise needed. If you’ve had some previous experience with home renovation projects, you might try some light demolition. Tearing down drywalls, and kitchen cabinets, pulling up floorboards or carpeting, widening the cased opening between your living and dining area, or replacing your front door should be easy to tackle. 

Another thing you could easily take on is purchasing the materials, equipment, appliances, tiles, kitchen or bathroom cabinetry, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, doors, laminated flooring, and even stuff you can find and salvage from antique stores and flea markets (if that’s your thing).

Whatever you choose to get, it’s still advisable you consult with an expert on how these materials and finishes can finally come together. Check with your contractor and architect about what quantities and sizing would be the most suitable for your kind of project. 

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When to Hire a Pro

When your home renovation becomes more extensive and complex, it’s time to hire professionals. Most people aren’t electricians, and trying to dabble with electricity by yourself could lead to more problems and even injuries.

You can always seek help from an electrician marketing company to ask for professionals who can do the job.

Likewise, messing around with load-bearing walls is certainly not a smart move.

Tearing down drywall is one thing, but when you start tampering with your home’s structural integrity, things can go wrong very quickly. This is particularly true for older homes as they usually have structural wear that eventually has to be upgraded by an expert – an architect, contractor, or even a structural engineer. 

If your construction activities include cutting into, demolishing, rebuilding, and underpinning a party wall, you need to hire an expert to serve a party wall notice to the adjoining property owner at least two months prior to construction such as a party wall surveyor

Plumbing issues should also be handled by experienced professionals. You might tackle minor problems such as trying to stop a tap leak, a running toilet or removing built-up grime, but if you need to replace a dishwasher, or old kitchen sink or reconnect some bathroom pipes, a professional would do it much quicker and safer.

Finally, there’s asbestos – something nobody wants to come across in their renovation, but it tends to turn up. Asbestos is not always detected during a home inspection, but once you find it, you have to stop all work until it’s safely removed.

And, rather obviously, this type of work isn’t meant for your average Joe. It’s an extremely hazardous material that needs to be tested for, and then professionally removed.


When you plan to do a home improvement project, it’s important you know the difference between a simple DIY job and one that should be performed by an experienced professional. By taking into consideration the time you would have to invest in the project, your experience, knowledge, and skill, as well as the difficulty of the job,

You can weigh the pros and cons, and make the most informed decision for your particular situation. There are plenty of things you can tackle, just be mindful not to let your ego do the talking when it comes to the big, important stuff.

Jimmy Miller
Jimmy Miller

Jimmy Miller is one of the leading experts in hardscape and outdoor living design. He has been featured in many national publications, and his work has been admired by homeowners across the country. When it comes to creating beautiful outdoor spaces, Jimmy Miller is your man.

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