Many home repairs and improvement projects are simple enough for nonprofessionals, but some require the special skills, expertise and tools of a hired contractor. While attempting a task alone may save money, a botched repair can cost homeowners more in the long run. Below is a list that can help homeowners decide between the “do it yourself” (DIY) method and hiring a professional:
Painting walls is an easy DIY project that almost anyone with a steady hand can do. Before painting a wall, every hole must be filled in with spackling paste; exposed areas can be protected with masking tape.
Repairing and cleaning wood or vinyl floors is a DIY job. Homeowners can use adhesive to repair vinyl seams and a brown crayon to fill scratches in wood floors. However, a professional should be hired to install hardwood floors and to restore floors that have been damaged by flooding or a house fire.
Incandescent light bulbs can be easily replaced with CFLs and LEDs. Installing outlet covers and switch plates is also a simple task. A professional should be called to install heavy fixtures, add new power outlets or for rewiring. Ignoring this advice can result in personal injuries or costly mistakes.
Easy projects for the homeowner include replacing faucet washers and toilet flappers, unclogging drains and installing new showerheads. A professional must be hired for moving or installing plumbing pipes and fixtures, to avoid the risk of extensive (and expensive) water damage.
With the necessary tools, homeowners can install a backsplash and replace cracked tiles on their own. It is recommended to hire a contractor to install tiles on large floors and walls. If water damage or mold behind tile is suspected, a restoration professional must be called.
Homeowners should not buy expensive tools they will use only once. Renting them or hiring a contractor who already owns those tools is generally a better idea. Moreover, planning ahead and knowing your strengths and weaknesses are important elements in the success of a DIY project.
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