5 Home Projects You Can DIY and 5 You Should ALWAYS Hire a Professional to Do
The Do-It-Yourself trend has taken off in a wild way these days. Maybe it’s because we all are spending more time at home. Perhaps it’s also because that gives us more time to scrutinise our living spaces and see what needs changing.
But how far should you go with at-home DIY Projects? We’ve gathered a list of what you should be able to safely do around the house yourself, but also what you should never try to save on and always hire a professional to do.
Go Crazy with These DIY Projects
With an old house comes old fixtures that may have gone out of style a long time ago. Invest in ‘modernising’ fixtures like doorknobs and door handles, curtain rods, socket covers, light fixtures and taps to bring your home back into style.
Paint or Stain Cupboards and Cabinets
Painting or staining a cabinet yourself can save you money, since the end result can look just as good as a newly bought one, for a fraction of the cost. Whether it’s in the kitchen or the bathroom, make sure the cabinets are clean before painting or staining them, to give these rooms a brand-new look
Pressure Wash the Exterior
Do your exterior walls look tired and worn? A quick fix is to grab a pressure washer or rent one if you don’t have one to hand. Going to town on the exterior walls can look as good as a fresh coat of paint. While you’re at it, you can also pressure wash driveways, walkways, and patios to breathe new life into them without needing a full remodel.
Paint Walls and Doors
Painting your walls and doors can be one of the biggest things you can do to change the feel of your rooms. If you’re bored of the same old, same old look, grab a tin of high-quality paint and a brush, and let your artistic genius flow. Choosing a neutral paint can make rooms feel more spacious. If you plan on reselling, this will also appeal to a larger range of buyers. It can take some patience, but all you need is a stepladder, some paint, some old clothes, and a steady hand.
Install Shelves and Hardware
Shelves and hardware can be picked up at any DIY shop. The good news is that putting them up is really easy, too. Furthermore, feel free to replace the front door and cabinet doors yourself to spruce up your home. These are small-scale, relatively safe, and easy projects that anyone can do at home with the right tools.
Projects You Should Hire a Professional for
Saving money by trying these next five projects yourself might sound tempting, but because of the safety risks involved in most of these, it’s better to go pro since they know exactly what they’re doing. Attempting these projects on your own – with no knowledge or training – will likely cost you more than if you were to hire a professional in the first place.
The ‘structure’ of your house is supported by the walls, floors, and the foundation the house is built on. Without a good, sturdy structure, a home can become unstable and potentially dangerous. Despite the fact that it may be tempting to demolish a wall, you may need planning permission to even do so – if your building is listed, for example. It’s best to put such structural issues into the hands of the professionals who have experience of getting the right permissions and completing the work.
A pro would also understand the layout of plumbing and electricity hidden behind the walls. Don’t tear them down without a plan, as there is a risk of damaging something structurally integral to the house or your flat complex. Some examples are beams, high-voltage cables, or pipelines.
Your floors, especially in an old home, may be more than meets the eye. This is because there may be subflooring underneath that needs to be removed or replaced. A professional can safely remove rotting subflooring, and also install that new hardwood floor you have your eyes on.
If your house is built on a foundation, get a professional to do any foundation-related work to ensure there are no safety issues down the line. You might end up paying more to fix these than you’d saved by going DIY.
Electrical, Gas and Plumbing Work
With electricity, trying to rewire things by yourself can lead to two scenarios. In the ‘best-case’ scenario, you may end up with faulty appliances and an uneven power distribution around the house. In the worst case, however, this can lead to industrial fires and electric shocks. Adjusting the electrical wiring in your home may require a permit to do anyway, so don’t run the risk.
With a high risk of gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning, we recommend leaving any gas issues to the professionals. This is one place you don’t want to compromise, as the health of your family is at stake.
For the aspiring at-home plumber, if you have a clogged drain or a leaky tap, these can be fixed easily and with no sweat. Avoid bigger installations or pipe fixing. Doing it wrong can lead to flooding, mould, and a lot of money spent fixing costly mistakes that would have been better off spent on a professional in the first place.
Asbestos and Mould Removal
Chances are that you’ve encountered asbestos ceilings at home before but weren’t expecting to. Asbestos inhalation can be a very real problem, accounting for 2,526 mesothelioma deaths due to past exposure in 2017. It is safer to hire a professional to remove it instead of trying it yourself.
Mould is also notorious for being harmful to health when ingested. Get a professional to remove it without a trace, as it has a tendency to spread when left unchecked.
If it’s just one or two, roof slates can be repaired without too much trouble by yourself. But for this, and any larger roof related projects, there is the issue of safety. One wrong move, on a slippery, rain-sodden roof, can send you tumbling in an instant. It’s better to be safe than sorry by hiring a professional. Plus, the job can be finished much quicker than you could yourself.
Small trees and gardening are fine to do by yourself to liven up your garden. But if you have any larger trees that you need removed or planted, a professional will be better able to help. This is especially because some root systems can lay flush with pipes and uprooting these trees or planting new ones yourself can disrupt the underground plumbing system.
Eyeing a pool? Keep in mind that installing one requires specific tools, training, and manpower. Leave the hard work of your pool to the pros and reap the relaxing benefits once it’s done.
Converting outdoor space into an extra room can turn into a half-done mess when done incorrectly. An expert will make sure it adheres to guidelines and is functional, insulated, and sturdy, but also that it fits in with the rest of the layout of your home.
And there you have it. There are a lot of cool DIY ideas floating around on social media, but it’s wise to know what you can do, and, more importantly, what you should stay away from. Hiring a professional means money spent on not only the work, but peace of mind as well.
Do you have any DIY hacks or DIY horror stories to share? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you.