When To DIY Home Repair (and When to Hire a Contractor)

Should a Home Improvement Job Be DIY or Not?Many homeowners struggle to decide when they should complete a task as a DIY home repair and when they should hire a contractor. While hiring a contractor can be more costly up front, work done by contractors often lasts longer than work performed by an inexperienced homeowner. Homeowners are usually best off handling easy projects at first, and more complicated projects after many years of DIY experience. These tips will help you decide when you can complete a project on your own, and when you should hire professional help when you renovate your home.

Factors to Consider

There are many factors to consider when trying to decide whether or not to perform a DIY task or to hire a contractor. The experience of the homeowner is a huge element in determining if they're able to perform the renovation; meanwhile, the potential risk involved in the renovation may also play a factor. Some projects, such as roof replacement and foundation repair, are best left to professionals with the extensive training necessary. Meanwhile, other projects, such as electrical work, pose danger to inexperienced homeowners if done incorrectly.


Homeowners usually ease into home improvement projects, starting with the simplest tasks. Painting, hanging blinds, drilling screws into walls and making small drywall repairs are some of the basic tasks that many homeowners are able to perform almost immediately upon moving into their first home.

As homeowners become familiar with the materials and tools used to complete tasks, more advanced projects will follow. If you're a homeowner who has been making basic household improvements for the last several years, you may be ready to take on more advanced projects. Light installation and basic plumbing repairs, for example, can be performed by a homeowner with the right tools, knowledge and confidence in their own abilities.

Potential Risk

Some tasks involve a great deal of risk, either to the house or the person performing the work. These tasks are best left to professionals because the damage done may be much greater than the savings from performing the work as a DIY project. Examples of tasks that involve risk include:

  • Roof repair or replacement. An improperly installed or repaired roof can result in a leak that costs hundreds or thousands of dollars to repair. In addition, homeowners who perform their own roof work are at risk for falling off the roof.
  • Chimney repair. A poorly repaired chimney could be a fire risk, and a homeowner who climbs on the roof to repair the chimney could be at great risk for falling.
  • Electrical upgrade. Electrical box upgrades can put the homeowner at risk for electrocution and can also put the house at risk for an electrical fire.

When it comes to complex tasks, contractors have the knowledge to perform the upgrade right, and the safety equipment to avoid injuries, so more complex jobs are better left to the contractor.

Permitted Work

On complex home improvement projects, a good contractor can ensure that all the necessary permits are pulled and the work is performed up to code. Not only does this make your home much safer to live in, it also makes it easier when it's time to sell.

Contact A Contractor For More Information

If you're a homeowner trying to decide whether or not to take on a home improvement project on your own, one good way to gauge the complexity of a project is to discuss the job with a trusted contractor. During your meeting with the contractor, you'll be able to ask him or her questions about how the job should be completed, what kind of tools are required to finish the work and what safety gear is required.

Discussions like this can help you decide whether or not hiring a contractor to renovate your Torrance home is necessary. Your contractor can also give you a quote, which can help you decide whether or not the cost of hiring a professional is worth it.

Post a Comment