DIY or Hire: When to Call the Pros for Home Projects

When it comes to home renovation and redecoration projects, there are plenty of advantages when you take the DIY route. For one, you’ll save on labour costs. For another, you’ll be able to learn and develop valuable skills. However, there are still some things that definitely require professional assistance. You may think that you’re saving money or that the project is simple enough, but there are times when hiring the experts is truly the best course.

So how can you tell if it’s better to DIY or hire? Here’s a list of some home projects that you can do on your own and those that need the help of the pros.

Interior Painting: DIY

Giving your home a fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest DIY projects to undertake, especially if you’re working with simple colors. All the supplies you’ll need are easy to find, and there are a lot of videos you can find online to show you the best techniques. There are even paint calculators that tell you how many litres you’ll need to fully coat an entire room so you won’t run out of paint halfway through. The best thing to remember is to work from top to bottom, ending with the trimmings like baseboards and window borders.

Landscaping: Hire

Simple gardening like repotting flowers is definitely something to DIY. However, if you’re looking at a full landscaping project, it’s best to hire professionals. Landscaping companies know how best to use the space you have to make a truly beautiful garden. They can also give you various options when it comes to the kinds of plants and trees to use, depending on where you live. For example, a beautiful garden design in Perth may not necessarily work somewhere nearer the coasts of Victoria. Hiring a professional will make sure that everything planted in your garden will thrive long after the project is completed.

Electrical Work: Hire

If you’re only screwing on a new bulb to replace a busted one or changing the drive belt in your washing machine, then go ahead and do that yourself. You can also replace old-style fuses as long as you use the same gauge of fuse wire. However, most electrical work is actually illegal to DIY in Australia. Everything that involves direct electrical and wiring work, even replacing a switch or a power point, actually requires a professional license. You can buy as many electrical appliances and accessories as you want. You can’t just install them legally without the aid of a licensed electrician.

Leaking Taps: DIY OR Hire

Here’s the thing: check first with your local water authority if you’re allowed to work on your own plumbing. If you are, then you can DIY simple problems like small leaks on your taps and pipes. Remember that depending on where you live, the regulations that state how much you can DIY about your home’s plumbing will differ. What’s more, if the leak keeps happening, it’s probably a sign of a much bigger issue. In this case, hiring a professional plumber will be the best solution to make sure that the problem doesn’t recur or get worse.

Installing Baseboards: DIY

It will make you flex your handyman muscles a bit more than painting, but installing baseboard mouldings is definitely a DIY project. Using caulk or glue instead of nails makes the task a whole lot easier, not to mention a lot safer. The proper height of baseboard mouldings can also make a room look larger. You don’t even have to do tricky miter cuts for those 45-degree corners. Just use decorative straight-cut corner blocks, align, and fit. Remember: measure everything first before cutting to shorten your work time.

Installing Vinyl or Laminate Floors: DIY

Vinyl and laminate flooring are quite appealing for a number of reasons. Not only are they easier to maintain, they are also available in a variety of designs and colours that mimic natural timber, stones, and other more expensive options. The key is to make sure that the floor is as clean as possible before installation, since any piece of debris can lift the floor and cause less-than-perfect results.

HVAC Installation: Hire

This is a no-brainer. Installing a new HVAC system requires professional help. Regular maintenance checks and servicing should also be left to the experts. You can do some maintenance works on your own, like cleaning your air-conditioner’s louvres and filters. Otherwise, call a professional.

The next time you’re tackling a home project, consult this list and see if it’s worth doing it yourself or if it’s best to leave it to the pros.

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