When to Give the DIY Projects to a Pro

So you bought that fixer-upper and you’re thinking about doing all the work yourself. How hard could it be? You’ve watched the people do it on TV about a million times. But remember those people have professional contractors, tools, and a large budget to get their projects done.

Ask yourself about the following categories as a gage to know when to hire someone else. Hiring a professional could actually save you money in the long run.  


Do you know how to make the electrical wiring in your home safe? Is it possible that you aren't an expert plumber? Accidents happen, and when it comes to the dangerous stuff don’t test out your homeowner's insurance. 

Skill level

There’s a learning curve for any new skill. But it’s a whole lot easier to fix a mistake when you’re painting than when you’re building an addition. If you’re not confident in your abilities, it might be time to call in a professional.


Are you getting a mortgage for your project? Some require you to use a contractor or prove you’re capable. If you’re taking out a home equity line of credit (HELOC) for your project, do you really want to risk wasting that money on a project that’s above your pay grade?

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If your parents have been giving you tools every year for your birthday (even though you really wanted that new iPhone) you’re ahead of the game. But if you need to buy a couple of thousand dollars worth of tools, plus materials, it might not be worth your DIY efforts.


Professionals are, well, professionals. They’ve done this a thousand times and it’s probably going to take them weeks where it might take you months. So, redoing your kitchen might save you money--in theory. But if you’re eating out every night for half the year because you have nowhere to cook, you probably should have just found a professional to start with.