When to DIY Versus Hiring a Professional Contractor

When to DIY Versus Hiring a Professional Remodeling Contractor - Sebring Services

Remodeling always sounds like a fun and an adventurous project. Regardless of the room, you can probably already muster up ideas on changes you would like to make or improvements that you can envision. Maybe you are already experienced with renovations, maybe you are not. Regardless, there is a simple way to determine whether you should DIY or hire a remodeling professional. Below, you will find some common renovations that are easy to DIY as well as some things that are better left to a professional.

When to DIY Versus Hiring a Professional Contractor

Typical DIY Upgrades & Improvements:

Painting Walls/Cabinets

Painting isn’t always fast and easy, but it’s one of the simplest ways to improve a space aesthetically. If there is a particular room that is being held back by wallpaper or aging colors, why not freshen up the space with a new coat of paint? Make sure you use painter’s tape and trending colors, such as neutrals. You can also paint kitchen or bathroom cabinets after they have been removed from the hinges and sanded thoroughly. Sanding ensures the paint will stick to the grain of the wood and not wear off over time through contact.


Fixtures/Mirrors/Accessories

Some of the easiest improvements that also look the best are adding accessories and changing out fixtures. Sometimes decorating even transforms a space and makes it look better without requiring an expensive remodel. If you have old fixtures such as lights, toilets, faucets or even dated appliances, consider replacing them and watch how the appeal of the room changes. Replacing damaged or outdated mirrors is another way to improve a bathroom or spare bedroom.

Laminate Flooring

Very few flooring types are easy to install but laminate floors fit the bill as a promising DIY project. If you are handy with a saw and have a full day to dedicate to each room that requires new flooring, you may just want to give this one a shot. It can save you a lot of money. Be sure to run the boards vertically with the widest part of the room and always stagger the boards so that they don’t connect at the same spot in each row.

Built-in Space

Building entertainment centers, window seats and built-in cabinetry is one way to dramatically enhance a room without having to spend thousands of dollars on your remodeling project. Built-in space is both aesthetically pleasing and it provides more storage and brings added functionality to your home.

When to DIY Versus Hiring a Professional Contractor Sebring Services

Upgrades Best Left to a Professional:

Electrical & Plumbing

Some plumbing jobs require just a few minutes of time but you have to know what parts you need and how to turn off the water supply. If you’re an experienced plumber, you know the parts needed for a quick plumbing fix like the back of your hand. It is best to consult with a plumbing professional if you can’t immediately look at the job at hand and know which supplies are needed and how you intend to fix it. The same can be said for electricians except that it is never a good idea to DIY an electrical project. There are codes and regulations that must be followed and working with electricity can be very dangerous.

Cabinets/Countertop/Flooring Installs  

Installing new cabinets, countertops or flooring is generally pretty complicated. Of course, there are always certain types of floors or countertops that are easier to do yourself, but consulting with a professional is a smart move if you feel it’s beyond your capabilities. For instance, laying tile, hardwood or carpet is rarely a possibility for DIY projects.

Structural ChangesWhen to DIY Versus Hiring a Professional Contractor

Taking out walls, repairing the foundation or doing other structural changes is not wise when you are not an experienced professional. Homes have load-bearing walls and other concerns that need to be evaluated by a licensed contractor.

Hazards

Anything that involves a potentially hazardous situation is a major concern that is best left to a professional. Issues such as mold, lead paint, asbestos, polybutylene piping, old wiring or other concerns should never be repaired by someone who is inexperienced.


Sometimes a remodeling project is just beyond your DIY capabilities. It is okay to consult with a professional and for some projects, it is the right thing to do. Knowing when to DIY and when to hire a remodeling professional is important to getting the job done right and in a safe manner. If you have any questions on renovations download our free Remodeling 101 Ebook or contact us.

Do It Yourself or Hire A Pro?

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About the Author:

" We are very passionate about educating homeowners.From design ideas to hiring a contractor, we hope this bloghelps you in the process of remodeling your home. "~ Bryan Sebring

30 Comments

  1. Tyler Meredith April 15, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    It’s interesting that one should never attempt to DIY an electrical project. I didn’t realize the dangers that are involved with electrical work. I’ll have to make sure I hire the right contractors for the project ideas I have for my home this summer.

  2. Pancho Cham May 3, 2016 at 8:34 am

    Whenever I work on my home, I would prefer to do it myself, but I know there are times that I will need to hire a professional. I’ll be sure to hire a contractor if I have any electrical or plumbing problems, and that way they can be done properly be a professional. That can help me out and let me breathe easier.

  3. Pete May 25, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    This article provided some good general rules on DIY projects. We are DIY’ers as much as possible but can appreciate professional contractors when it comes to safety and making sure the project will be done correctly. The professional contractor will have the experience to offer the best options and technology. Thanks for the article.

  4. Marie Watson June 15, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Thanks for explaining when it is better to hire a professional remodeling contractor. It makes sense that you would want to hire someone with more experience to handle any structural changes in your home like a remodel, updating the counters, re-wiring etc. I would think that it is safer to hire a professional in these situations since there can be a lot more hazardous work that has to be done. It seems like it is always safer to hire someone with the right knowledge and experience.

  5. Jen Pack June 16, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    My husband and I are planning on remodeling our home this summer, so I really appreciate this information on when to take it into our own hands and when to hire a professional. I like how you point out that basic touch-ups can be handled on our own, but serious changes need to be left to a professional. I think that it is always better to be safe rather than sorry and always err on the side of caution and hire a professional. Thanks for the insights!

  6. Laurie June 20, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    There can be a lot of things that can be dangerous to attempt yourself unless you have had previous experience/been trained. Great tips on when to call a contractor and what are good things to try yourself. Thanks for sharing!

  7. Sarah Smith June 22, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    I found a crack in my foundation and need to get it fixed. Thanks for the advice about how any structural changes should be done by a professional. I’ll have to see about finding a good foundation contractor to either replace repair the crack to help use replace that part of the foundation.

  8. emily bennette July 14, 2016 at 10:27 pm

    I like that you talked about how you should leave structural changes to a professional. It seems like it could be dangerous to do anything to your foundation without fully understand what you are doing. A professional would also be able to get their hands on the proper equipment to make sure it goes smoothly as well.

  9. Sarah Smith July 18, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    My basement is unfinished and has no electricity. It’s good to know that the electrical must follow certain codes and regulations. Now I just need to make sure that I find a contractor that is within my budget.

  10. Kendall Everett August 4, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    Getting a plumbing contractor to help with some of your plumbing ideas would be wise. A professional plumber will easily have access to the tools and parts needed to get the job done. Asking the plumber how much experience they have with the specific need would be helpful in knowing who to hire.

  11. Steve August 16, 2016 at 4:35 pm

    Your article answers (or helps answer) the million dollar question, when to hire a professional. It’s harder than ever for people to pick up a phone and call a professional because of the amount of free DIY information on the internet nowadays. You’re right, a good rule of thumb is to call a pro if the job has any municipal coding involved.

  12. Gary September 29, 2016 at 10:53 am

    A great post! It’s really important to know the difference between a project that is safe and cost effective for you to do yourself and a project that needs to be handled by a professional. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Jon Lopez October 5, 2016 at 11:49 am

    I want to knock down a wall in my kitchen to open up my house a little bit. I guess that is the kind of work I am going to need to find a good contractor. My wife and I would really like to get this done in the next couple of months.

  14. Jon Lopez October 6, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    My wife really wants me to remodel our kitchen. I am not a handy person at all. I like how you said that professionals can handle the hazards that come along with that kind of work. I would not want to risk getting hurt. My wife will forgive me for getting a contractor when she has a nice new kitchen.

  15. Braden Bills October 10, 2016 at 9:49 am

    I want to have my home remodeled, but I don’t know what to do for it. I was going to do it myself, but now that I think about all the stuff to do, that would be difficult. I’ll start looking around for a contractor to help me out!

  16. Luke Yancey November 10, 2016 at 8:24 am

    I agree– it is true that you can sometimes fix the plumbing issue really fast, but like you said, it is better to call a professional. A good example is last year when I tried to fix a clog in the sink. I fixed it, but after taking everything apart, I realized that I had just created a leak! A plumber would have been able to fix the issue without causing other problems!

  17. Jade Brunet November 29, 2016 at 6:11 pm

    I appreciate this information about when to hire a construction contractor. It is good to know that any situation that could be hazardous should be left up to a professional. Finding someone local would be beneficial in making construction projects to be carried out more efficiently.

  18. Lillian Schaeffer December 1, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    You pointed out that electrical work should never be done yourself. My husband and I are going to be renovating our kitchen, and we want to have some of the electrical work redone. We’ll definitely make sure to hire a professional to do that so we know that the work is done safely and correctly. Thanks for the great post!

  19. Siaosi February 8, 2017 at 10:43 am

    I want to have some contractors to be able to fix my kitchen cabinets. I need to get some custom pieces put in. I have a unique spaces. I want to make sure that the cabinets fit custom.

  20. Golan Azran March 8, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Very nicely decorated post, very informative. Thanks for sharing your knowledge on this subject.

  21. Caden Dahl March 8, 2017 at 10:07 am

    It’s interesting that you pointed out that electrical work has to follow codes and can be dangerous. My wife and I are converting some of our basement into a home theater, and there’s quite a bit of new wiring that needs to be run for that. I don’t want to break any regulations, and I don’t have the experience to do electrical work safely, so perhaps it would be best to leave that to an electrician.

  22. Jade Brunet April 14, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    It is good to know that one should hire a contractor when it comes to installing new cabinets, countertops, or flooring. Laying tile would be a complicated job to do by yourself. I have heard that finding a contractor is easy to do if you ask your friends and family members to provide you with some quality references.

  23. Mark Louis July 9, 2017 at 8:06 am

    This design is incredible! You most certainly know how to keep a reader. Your wit and your videos, I was almost on my own blog (well, almost … ha ha! Ha) was transferred to a great start.

  24. Kathleen Culpepper August 29, 2017 at 6:40 am

    Most of my tools are hand me downs from my dad. I don’t have a jig saw though so that’s the one I’d be most excited about! Of course I’d use it to make ALL of the things.

  25. Hazel Owens September 12, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    We are currently in the process of remodeling our home and do not have a professional contractor. I agree that we need one, especially when it comes to tearing down walls and other parts of the home. This can be very dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. We will definitely be looking into hiring a professional to help us with this.

  26. Dan Moller September 28, 2017 at 8:58 am

    My wife and I have been on the fence about remodeling our aging kitchen and old roofing. It’s been 7 years since it is last overhauled and I think it’s about time to have it again. Thanks for separating task that I could do on my own and tasks that I may need to hire a contractor for. Cheers!

  27. Cameron Bennett November 20, 2017 at 11:16 am

    I like that you mention that hiring a professional contractor to do your ensures that you have someone with the expertise to take care of structural changes and problems. My husband and I want to build a home next year and it’s important to us that we have a contractor to do our foundation. There’s no way we feel comfortable doing it ourselves, so we want to find a professional that we trust to do it.

  28. Gloria Durst November 21, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    I agree that its good to hire a contractor any time that you feel that you could be harmed by your lack of experience. Finding someone who has worked on similar jobs before would probably be helpful. My brother needs some equipment to repair his kitchen sink, so maybe he should find a contractor who can do it for him.

  29. Kiara Woodsland January 9, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    I like that you talked about how it can be wise to hire an experienced professional if there are any structural changes or foundation repairs that you need to do. My husband is looking to install a foundation for the basement of our new house. It’s important for me to make sure that he will choose the most appropriate option when it comes to installation. Since there are factors that needed to be considered and evaluated, I’ll make sure to let my husband know the need to hire a professional foundation contractor.

  30. Sharon Wilson-Smith December 18, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    I agree that it’s best to hire a professional when you’re inexperienced in handling a potentially hazardous situation such as lead paint handling. My husband and I are planning to have our house repainted. To be honest, we don’t know how we should handle paints because we both have sensitive skin, and we’re both asthmatic. We will make sure to hire a pro instead.

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