DIY vs Professionals: Which Projects to Take On and Which to Delegate

When it comes to home renovation projects, it is important to know your limits.

Yes, on the one hand the more work you can perform yourself, in theory at least, the more money you stand to save. In practice however, this may not always be the case.

Work which has simply not been completed to a professional standard is not going to have the ultimate effect you planned for, and will likely need repairing or replacing by a professional.

In the very worst-case scenarios, the work could even be dangerous for you and your family. Here then is a list of home renovation projects, or elements that may make up an overall project, which are probably best left to the professionals.


This entry is first on the list because it is probably the most important. Do this yourself and first and foremost you run the risk of electrocuting yourself. That alone should show that this is one area that you really should leave to the experts.

If – and God help you if you do – need more convincing, around 6% of all house fires are started by faulty wiring – that’s around 24,000 fires a year. So if you play around with the electrics and you don’t know what you’re doing, not only are you putting yourself at risk but also your family.

So don’t do it.


A great way to quickly improve the aesthetic appeal of your yard – and improve your home’s value at the same time, is to install decking.

It can really turn a good yard into a great one by providing an easy focal point for yard designs, as well as somewhere nice to hang out in the summer.

Or at least well made ones can. Decking which is poorly installed is going to have the opposite effect. It may not be level, which can make it less fun to sit on in the sunshine when your drink keeps falling over. It will not stand up well to weathering, vastly reducing the lifespan of the decking.

Lastly, if the base is not well prepped and laid it is going to shift over time, which could cause the whole thing to collapse. And whilst good decking is a pleasure in any yard, a pile of splintered timbers is not going to do any good for anyone.

Pool Installation

Dig a hole, fill it with water and you have a pool. Simple, right?

No, of course not.

Building a pool requires a level of know-how that is simply not in the remit of the average homeowner performing DIY. It requires incredibly precise measurements during planning and all stages of excavation. It requires building to surprisingly exacting code and passing stringent inspections by local government building inspectors.

And all of that before we even come to the equipment and manpower that is involved here! Do you have heavy machinery like an earthmover in your garage? Probably not!

… but if you do, can I borrow it please?

Check out our post on how to extend your house as well.

Above Head – Height Tree Surgery

Arborists, also known as tree surgeons, have one of the most dangerous jobs going. Just think about it, their office is the top of a tree, their key piece of equipment is a chainsaw. That is not a recipe for a long and healthy retirement.

But they are professionals – i.e. they get paid to go up that tree with their chainsaw. So why the heck would you want to become an amateur arborist?

By all means, trim away at ground level shrubs and the low hanging branches of the trees in your yard. Do it carefully of course, but feel free to tackle it if you like and you know what you’re doing.

But anything above head height should be left to the pros. When you leave the ground, on a ladder for example, you are now working in an unnatural fashion that requires extra attention and balance – so don’t add a chainsaw into that mix!

Each year in the US there are around 30,000 chainsaw related accidents – some of which are described, I kid you not, as “catastrophic.” I don’t know what that means, and I don’t want to know what it means.

Still considering climbing up that tree with your chainsaw? Let me leave you with this nugget – the average chainsaw injury will require 110 stitches in the ER.

That Arborist is looking pretty good right now I bet.


Tags: ,

No comments yet. Be the first!

Leave a Reply

Get in touch

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes