DIY Home Renovation: When To Call A Professional


When it comes to home renovations, should you DIY or call a professional? The choice you make for upgrading the home will have implications on the time and money the project takes and also the quality of the results. As such, you should take your time and consider which direction you need to take.

Choosing between a DIY home renovation and a professional renovation is a matter of budget, and sometimes the confidence you have on your skills. Even with so much confidence, however, DIY home renovations projects should not be extended to all projects. Read on to learn more.

Common DIY Home Renovation Projects

various tools laid on on hard wood floor

Changing Old Fixtures

Changing fixtures in any part of your room is easy. You can remove those old glass pendants and replace them with shiny modern pendants. You can also remove old ceiling fans and have new ones with so much ease. As long as the electric wiring is in place, replacing these fixtures is a great DIY project.

Build Shelves

If you have a few corners that you feel look empty and you need storage shelves, you can make these corners more useful by installing shelves. Building shelves only require a few tools and beginner skills (as long as the shelves are not complicated).

Repair or Renovate Furniture

If your furniture looks old, you can carry out a simple DIY home renovation on a budget and give them a fresh look. You can do that by reupholstering the furniture, painting, and using adhesive contact paper to give the furniture new shapes.

Potted Plants and Flowers

Plants and flowers will add life to a rather bland space. You do not need a professional to choose and grow plants or flowers that can give life to your home. You can go for plants that are challenging to kill and those whose flowers and colors will match the interior décor in your spaces.

Painting Surfaces

You do not need professional skills to paint walls and other surfaces in your home. You can use different color accents for your walls and repaint the ceiling to make a statement.

Install Smart Devices

Most smart devices are easy to install – for some, you might require a professional. A smart thermostat or camera-enabled doorbell are some of the simple features that you can easily install. These smart devices will seamlessly integrate into the existing electrical wiring.

Hide Cords

If cords are running everywhere in your house, you can hide them with ease in a simple DIY home renovation project. You can do that by either using plastic covers the same color as walls or digging small trenches on the walls and re-plastering the walls.

Projects To Avoid for DIY Home Renovation on a Budget

home painting supplies on window sill

If a project is out of your scope of expertise, you need to make sure you hire a contractor that will be a good fit. It’s important to understand which types of specialty contractors are available to you.

Installing Large Electrical Equipment

Water heaters, dishwashers, and other large equipment with a lot of moving pieces are best installed by a professional. You might have to drill into your cabinet to make holes for the waterline. You might also need to change the position of water and electric lines, and much more. The complexities of these projects are best handled by a professional.

Wall Removal

Removing a wall is a great way of adding space to your home. However, removing a wall can interfere with the structural integrity of your home. If a wall is bearing a lot of loads, the ceiling might cave in. While that will cost you more in repairs, it is even worse because it can cause injuries to the homeowner.

Roof Repairs

Roofing is a task best left to experienced contractors. Repairing small leaks might seem like simple projects but there is nothing simple when it comes to roofing. In some cases, the problem might be more than a small gap in the roofing material. A professional can identify the trouble spot and rectify it the best way possible.


Waterproofing involves a lot of digging and directing water away from your home. It might seem like a simple task where all you do is dig trenches that direct water away. However, any task that involves digging anywhere close to the house might compromise the structural integrity of your home. Every year, there are fatalities as a result of trenches that caned in when homeowners did not finish the job they started. As such, leave waterproofing to the pros.

Electrical Work

Your home insurance, especially if you insure your home against fire, will require that a professional does electrical work. The main concern in electrical work is safety – if the installations are done unprofessionally, they might lead to electrical hazards that put the home and its inhabitants at risk. While there are lots of tutorials on YouTube, electric work should not be something you “toy-around” with.


Just because you know how you want your tiles to appear doesn’t mean you should tile your home. You can be there to supervise but if you have never done tiles, leave it to the professionals. A lot of measuring and cutting goes into tiling a room perfectly. You will have to go around fixtures and this is best not done as part of DIY home renovation projects.

“Permit Required” Work

If you need a permit to do any renovation work, you better leave the work to someone who understands their way around the project. If you do not understand why you need a permit or how to get one, you shouldn’t take on a DIY project. You not only risk being shut down when you renovate without a permit but also risk problems when you will be selling your home as you have to disclose any work done without a permit.


There are so many projects that you can DIY and a lot more that you should leave to professionals. Knowing which project to handle and which to leave to a pro will save you time, energy, money, and guarantee you quality work. If there is a project you have handled successfully more than once, DIY your way through it. If a project sounds complicated to you, leave it to a pro.

For more great home ownership tips, make sure to read the other blogs on Check This House.

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