Brooke Cribbs | Cribbs Style
Courtesy of Homes.com/Blog
We love DIY. But let’s be honest: Some projects should be left to the pros. Taking on do-it-yourself home projects is incredibly satisfying, if not empowering. But some projects are simply too complicated for the average DIYer considering that they can potentially impact the integrity, safety and resale value of your home. If you’re a homeowner, check out this list of the best and worst projects for DIY so you can decide which route is best for the next project.
Replacing flooring yourself can be tricky, especially if you’re a DIY newbie. There are a wide variety of flooring choices, but what’s most important is how they are installed. Something like luxury vinyl plank flooring is very forgiving for a person new to DIY.
But anything that needs to be glued down — like some wood, linoleum or tile options — may be better left to a professional installation.
The last thing you want is to have uneven flooring or inadequate protection from elements like heat, cold, moisture and even insects. This also includes installing carpet, since there are special tools and techniques that keep carpets tight and secure.
Best: Paint Projects
No “best and worst projects for DIY list” would be complete without mentioning painting. Perhaps the most popular choice for DIYers, painting your space is a budget-friendly project, especially given how impactful it is.Paint protects your space indoors and can shield your home’s exterior from the elements. But, even though it’s a simpler DIY project, doing it wrong could negatively affect your home’s look and even it’s sale value.
Follow these tips for a smooth paint process:
• Make sure you know what sheen of paint works best for the area you’re focusing on. For example, painting your bathroom will require a sheen and paint formulation meant for high moisture.
• Have the right supplies. Using the wrong kind of brush or roller can make or break your paint project. • Don’t hesitate to ask a professional or the person at the paint counter at your local home store for their advice.
• Grab a friend to help, but don’t forget to wear your masks! It’ll go by much faster with a trusted companion working alongside you.
Worst: Porches and decks
Lots of thought and planning are required for a successful porch or deck build. After all, the last thing that you want is for the structure to collapse and cause injury. Equally important is how it’s attached to your home and making sure it’s structurally sound so it won’t damage your property. This is why a building permit is usually required to construct them.
To maintain this high level of integrity calls for at least a basic knowledge of construction skills and materials, plus access to the heavy-duty tools required to do the job. For those reasons and their major implications for safety, we definitely recommend a professional for porches and decks if you’re newer to DIY.
Best: Backsplash Tile
Adding or changing backsplash tile is the perfect beginner DIY project because it’s a simpler way to learn the ins and outs of tile work. Usually, areas with backsplash are smaller compared to shower walls or floors and can be a little more forgiving if you make a mistake.
To make DIY backsplash even easier, there are peel-and-stick tile options available that require no thin set or grout. Some don’t even require a tile saw to cut the product. Easy peasy!
Worst: Electrical Work
Basic electrical work, like swapping out ceiling fans or lights, is doable for most new DIYers. On the other hand, rewiring your lights completely or adding new electrical systems to your home are complex tasks and are definitely something to leave in the hands of a licensed electrician.
Wiring fixtures can mean the difference between safety and peace of mind and an electrical fire that damages the home or worse, causes injury or death. If you’ve got your eyes on a more extensive electrical project, let the pros handle it.
Worst: Structural Changes
Any time you want to add on to your home or open up a room, this is definitely something to hand over to a professional. Depending on your project, you’ll need proper permitting and inspections to ensure the space is up to code.
Even if you want to remove a wall from within your home (they make it look so simple on HGTV, don’t they?), you need to know if it’s load-bearing (meaning, the weight of the floor above it or the weight of the roof line is literally resting on that wall). Remove a load bearing wall and your home could potentially collapse. So this is something best left for a professional.
Best AND Worst: Roof repairs
It’s helpful to know how to fix minor roof damage and to know proper safety protocols for working on your roof. That’s because not fixing your roof correctly could not only compromise its integrity but also put the inside of your home in danger of extensive damage.
Issues like a loose shingle are relatively simple fixes that you can typically DIY; plus, this type of proactive maintenance can extend the life of the roof. But for issues like extensive leaks, major storm damage or structural sagging, a roofing expert should be your go-to. They can diagnose the issue, give options for safe and sturdy repair and provide you with a ballpark cost estimate so you aren’t caught off guard (something we can’t promise if you try to DIY it).
The Bottom Line
Even though a professional might be a better option for your home project, it doesn’t mean the project is impossible for you to DIY. It just means that you need to take extra caution and care to understand the project scope and what the implications are if something goes wrong.
If you’re not sure about something, it’s always better to invest the money to have projects done correctly, so mistakes or overlooked issues don’t end up costing you even more later.
While DIY is meant to be rewarding, protecting your investment should always be your number one priority.
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Brooke Cribbs has a lifestyle blog called Cribbs Style (CribbsStyle.com), and she currently lives in Charleston, S.C. A wife, mom of two human children and three fur children, she enjoys all things DIY and organizing, and she loves helping others tackle the chaos of life.