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When Is It Okay to DIY? When Should You Hire a Professional?

Posted by Ron Neal on Wednesday, August 15th, 2018 at 11:13am.

Should You DIY or Hire a Pro?Many homeowners like to save money on their home improvements by performing the work themselves. In addition, many homeowners enjoy performing DIY home improvements because they appreciate the feeling of satisfaction they get from caring for their own property. Still, some home improvement projects are best not left to the homeowner. Some home improvement projects can involve safety risks or are simply too easy to mess up. Homeowners who want to take care of their property and avoid problems when they sell must be aware of the differences.

Best DIY Projects

The best DIY projects are those that are easy to perform, involve little risk to the homeowner and are unlikely to result in serious damage to the property if they're performed incorrectly. In most cases, painting a room can be a great DIY job. However, not all jobs are as easy and straightforward as painting. Factors to consider when trying to decide whether or not to DIY include:


Home improvements like electrical work and roof work can involve serious risk to the person performing the task. The risk is especially high for homeowners who are untrained and who do not have the right safety equipment.

Risk of Property Damage

An untrained homeowner can do more damage than good when performing certain home improvement tasks. For example, repairs to the roof may lead to a slow leak that causes water to rot the joists of the roof. Over time, this slow leak can cause a pest infestation and even structural damage.


Some home improvement projects require permits to be pulled. In some areas, homeowners may not be able to pull their own permits. Homeowners must be aware of which home improvement projects require permits, and who is allowed to pull permits.


Tools for home improvement projects can be costly. Many of the most complex home improvement projects involve tools that homeowners don't own. Buying tools for these projects can drive up the overall cost of a home improvement project. Homeowners trying to save money by performing their own home upgrades must find out how much tools cost before deciding for certain which is less expensive.

Best Projects for Professionals

The best projects for professionals are those that involve complex systems, require a permit to be pulled, involve safety risk to anyone who performs the work or that could cause damage to the house if performed in correctly. There are also some tasks that involve such expensive tools that it would be inefficient for most homeowners to try.

Homeowners who aren't sure how complex a task is or whether or not permits need to be pulled can find out more by contacting contractors in the area. Meeting with contractors gives the homeowner the chance to ask questions and develop a better sense of what the project involves. Typical projects that homeowners hire professionals to complete include roof work, sewer work, foundation repair and electrical work.

Poorly Performed DIY Work Can Devalue a Home

When homeowners make their own repairs, they have to be careful to avoid making mistakes that can devalue the home. Failure to pull a permit, for example, can make selling the home more difficult. Often insurance companies won't insure a home with unpermitted work. Since most homeowners want insurance for their home, they may be deterred by the fact that they must make repairs before insurance can even be purchased. This makes selling the home difficult and can drive down the price significantly.

Contact a Reputable Contractor in Your Area

If you are a homeowner who would like to make home improvements and you're not sure whether or not you should do it yourself, contact a reputable contractor in your area. Your contractor can answer questions that can help you decide whether or not the scope of work is within your capability. In addition, a qualified Sidney real estate agent can advise you as to what work should be done by a professional and if the work may help you sell the home for more money.


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The Neal Estate Team

The Neal Estate Team is your #1 source for all of your Victoria BC real estate needs. Get in touch with us online or by phone at (250) 386-8181 to speak with a Victoria real estate buying or selling expert today. With decades of experience as a top selling Victoria REALTOR® and ranked in top 1% globally with over 4,000 transactions and $1 Billion SOLD, Ron Neal & The Neal Estate Team have the industry experience and market knowledge to help you make smart and informed buying or selling decisions. 

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