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To DIY or Not

With home prices soaring and limited inventory, a lot of people are sticking where they currently live, or are buying homes in less-than-move-in-ready condition. So general contractors are seeing an increase in home renovation projects.

But not everyone can afford, or wants to afford, a hired professional. So what home design and renovation projects are worth doing yourself?

P.s. Emily Henderson has already done a great job with this list here!

Photo by Milivoj Kuhar on Unsplash


As a previous post of mine noted, replacing lighting is extremely impactful to a space and can be pretty inexpensive (and moveable if you rent or sell and decide to take it with you!)

Its definitely a great DIY project if you are familiar with your wiring and you have updated electrical (no knob and tube). If things are a bit more complex or your wiring is older, then its best left to a professional

Tile Work 

This CAN be a great DIY project in some cases. Namely, if you have patience (in other words, no rushing!) AND you aren't looking to achieve any intricate patterns. I suggest learning on a simple subway tile project in a space you don't mind taking your time (a kitchen backsplash you can work with overtime or a hall bathroom you don't use everyday).

However, if your tile goals are lofty (herringbone in an expensive handmade tile), then its likely best left to a professional unless you are ok taking lots and lots of time (and some lost money on ruined tile).

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash


This one might seem silly. Most people can paint. So its a great way of saving money. However, if you are a sloppy painter, hiring a professional isn't as pricey as you might think.

But if you are up for a little prep work to get the job done right, this is a great way to save money!

Wallpaper Removal 

This can be extremely expensive to hire out. However, unless you have had experience with your walls before that suggest removing the wallpaper would remove the walls too (can be difficult in plaster situations), then this is a great DIY project that just takes a lot of elbow grease!

Roofing and Siding 

Once you get in a groove, this can be a DIY project. However, its not an easy project to do solo and can take a long time for an inexperienced laboror (all the while leaving areas unexposed to elements). We suggest hiring professionals on this one. However, take the time to work with them and learn how to install sections of siding and roofing shingles in case you ever need to make a repair - that will be a great way of saving money in the future!


Most townships won't even let you do your own major plumbing, but light plumbing can be learned! Learning how to uninstall and install a new toilet or vanity/sink without moving any fixtures in the wall can be a great way to save a few hundred on a bathroom project!

Photo by Aaron Huber on Unsplash


If you are doing a major home project like a bathroom or kitchen remodel, doing your own demo is a great way to save money as long as you can do two things - 1) be careful about capping electrical and plumbing and 2) be capable enough to take down major jobs such as demolishing tile (jackhammer!) and cutting down major wall components.
However, even doing the light end of the work will help you save a few bucks that could be used towards light fixtures etc in the future!

General Contracting 

This is one the easiest and best ways to DIY a major renovation. If you hire out an entire job to a GC, you will pay a premium, sometimes a rather large one, for the design work and simple cost of overseeing a project. Hiring out your own subcontractors (for example, finding an electrician, a cabinet company and a doing your own design work) will save you thousands on a big project.

Even if you hire out the design work to an online design company, you can still oversee the project, manage material delivery and find subcontractors to keep your costs much lower.

Have you had an experience DIYing that went well or not so great? Comment below!


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