If you are working to renovate your home or simply like to repair things as the need arises, you likely try to do as many jobs as possible around the house. Going down this path can generally help you save time and money and provide an excellent sense of satisfaction when you step back and look at what you have achieved.
However, not everything is appropriate for DIY. It is vital to know when it is safe and smart to do your own handiwork and when it is time to leave tasks up to professionals. Tackling the wrong jobs creates potential safety and insurance hazards for yourself and your family and visitors.
It can also end up costing you more time and money in the end if things need to be re-done by professionals anyhow. As a result, here are some pointers to help you decide when to do jobs at home yourself and when to hire a pro instead.
Jobs Appropriate for DIY
Happily, you will not be short on jobs you can do yourself. Without a lot of experience or qualifications or licenses you can handle things such as simple landscaping and floor or tile laying, plus painting and plastering. There is always a learning curve at the start with these tasks, as you need to pick up skills to get the job done well, but thankfully there are plenty of YouTube videos and other tutorials to watch and learn from.
When painting, take care as you learn to cut in around windows, cornices, architraves, and other finicky spots. Be sure to spend enough time on preparation, too, by washing walls or other surfaces before you begin, filling holes, taping up areas you do not want to get paint on, laying drop sheets, and so on.
Another job you might want to do yourself is light demolition. It is best to avoid doing demo work involving chainsaws and any electrical wiring, but you can safely remove many of the things in rooms yourself, rather than paying tradespeople to do it for you. For instance, take up carpet and floorboards, get rid of cabinets, doors, tiles, and moldings, and remove some fixtures and appliances.
Plus, why not go about purchasing materials and appliances, etc., and hiring or buying equipment for renovation jobs? Sourcing goods takes time and patience and knowing what you like. As such, it is the perfect job for homeowners to do themselves rather than leaving to tradespeople who may charge significantly for their time.
However, do be sure to check with experts such as your contractor, architect, engineer, and interior designer, where applicable, about quantities, sizings, material durability, and other features before you purchase items. They will know more information about what works and what does not and how to get dimensions just right.
Tasks to Leave Up to the Professionals
While you are busy with the types of tasks listed above, leave more technical jobs that require years of training and experience, not to mention licenses, to professionals to complete. For example, have an electrician handle electrical-based work. Do not handle live wires or try to “wing it” when it comes to dealing with electrical sockets, switchboards, and related fittings or equipment.
Let a tradesperson install your elegant new flush-mount ceiling fan or look-at-me chandelier, as well as PowerPoints and appliances. Leave replacing light switches and lead plugs up to a professional, too. Plus, let them run Ethernet or other cabling and repair faulty wiring. Heating and cooling systems should be installed by experienced tradespeople, too.
Another job you must leave to a licensed contractor is the removal of asbestos. This is a dangerous material and must be handled safely. Do not knock down any walls or ceilings if you don’t know what is behind or on top of them, particularly in older homes that are more likely to contain asbestos. Professionals must use specialized equipment to remove asbestos and are well trained in its careful extraction and disposal.
Leave structural work up to a builder, carpenter, or another experienced contractor, too. They know how to safely knock out load-bearing walls to ensure your roof or floor above will not collapse. It is also a requirement for qualified professionals to take care of building or repairing larger structures around a property, such as timber decks, patio roofing, pergolas, carports, garages, studios, and the like.
Some other jobs you should leave up to others are most plumbing tasks, waterproofing, roofing, glazier jobs, and trickier floor laying, bricklaying, and landscape design roles. As you can see, there are plenty of things best left to professionals, but you will not have to sit idly by, either, when maintaining and renovating your property.