If you’re a homeowner, knowing what home improvement projects to take on yourself and which to leave to the pros is important because understanding where to draw the line can save you a lot of money. In other words, taking on tasks that don’t take a lot of technical expertise allows you to save by avoiding hiring a contractor. On the other hand, letting the experts handle the more difficult jobs means you won’t have to worry about paying someone to fix your problems if you screw something up. 

It’s easy to give in to temptation and overreach your abilities. After all, Youtube videos make it possible to take on all kinds of projects that would’ve seemed impossible a few years ago. Unfortunately, many improvement jobs, especially ones involving plumbing and electrical wiring, are a little too complex to rely on a simple DIY video. You need to decide what to do based on an honest and objective appraisal of your knowledge and experience, your willingness to spend weeks working on a task that requires you to give up your weekends, whether you’ll need permits you can’t obtain without being certified, and, of course, whether the cost to do it yourself would be greater than if you hired a pro.

Jobs you can do

Painting is one task that just about anyone can handle with the right equipment, a few cans of paint, and a little patience. It’s also one of the best ways to add value to your home without spending a ton of money. It may be relatively inexpensive, but don’t try to do it on the cheap. Buy paint rollers as well as paint that contains primer to save time and the need to do it all over again. Emphasize neutral colors if you’re putting your home on the market. Don’t underestimate the need to do the job right. Take your time and pay attention to detail. And don’t forget to wear appropriate clothing you won’t mind getting paint on. Always adopt that mindset no matter what kind of project you’re involved with (remember, loose clothing can be dangerous if you’re working with power tools). 

Easy-to-install backsplash and flooring

Kitchen upgrades can help you add substantial value. One of the easiest DIY improvements is to replace a worn and dingy-looking backsplash with one made of penny tile, which can be applied with mesh sheets and doesn’t require a tile cutter. If you’re interested in taking on a DIY flooring project, consider using peel-and-stick flooring, which can be applied directly to a surface such as concrete without applying a messy adhesive. This allows you to get creative and use distinctive colors and patterns without a lot of expertise in cutting and laying tile. 

Go pro

A good rule of thumb is to bring in a professional if your renovation plans will require work involving electricity, gas or plumbing. These are jobs that need to be up to code, and which may be quite unsafe, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. The other problem is that you can do a lot more harm than good. The potential dangers of working with electrical wiring and gas pipes - namely electrocution and explosion - are self-evident. If you mess up the plumbing, you’ll be spending time and money on a hefty repair bill before you ever get around to your renovations. 

Structural work

Structural changes can be dangerous as well, and should be left to a professional. It may seem easy enough to knock out a wall, but where and how you do it can be catastrophic. It may be especially tricky if you’re working on an older home that might have been renovated in the past. You don’t want to risk damaging a load-bearing feature you thought was a non-load-bearing wall. 

Big ticket items

Carefully inspect your HVAC unit, plumbing and roof before putting your home on the market. If your roof is past its useful life, then you should replace it before you sell. Anything less cut and dried will require additional consideration into the level of repair, cost, market conditions, comparable sales, and how quickly you want to sell. 

Think carefully

Your home is your largest asset. Take great care when deciding whether to take on a home improvement project or hiring a professional. Making the wrong decision can set you back financially and throw a wrench into your plans to upgrade and sell your home.

Article provided by Bret Engle from DIYGuys.net

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