General Information - Questions to Ask Before Starting a DIY Home Improvement Project

Many homeowners look to complete home improvements before listing their home for sale, but some projects may need to be done by a professional. MoneyTalksNews offers advice on six things to consider when determining if your project is a do-it-yourself job or not.  

1. Does the project demand extensive knowledge or skill?

There are a number of projects that should only be completed by professionals, including heating and cooling installation, major electrical work, repairs to the foundation and replacing windows. These require a specific set of skills and knowledge that the average homeowner may not possess. Some smaller-scale projects that can be done without the help of a contractor or handyman include painting, replacing and installing appliances and sprucing up your home's curb appeal.

2. If I mess up, will it be noticeable?

If you're making a small repair in a private or less-seen part of your home, you can likely do it yourself and accept the fact that it may not look perfect. But if the project is something major that will be noticeable by potential buyers, the source says to play it safe and hire someone who knows what they're doing.

3. Will I need special tools to complete the project?

Home improvement projects often require some use of tools, but if you don't already have them and can't easily borrow them, MoneyTalksNews suggests hiring a professional instead of purchasing them. The cost of buying tools that you may not use again could be more pricey than paying for professional services.

4. Will the savings be worth not having it done professionally?

When considering a home improvement project, it is important to think of how much you would actually be saving by completing it on your own versus paying for professionals. Getting rates from multiple contractors may help you determine if the time and money you would spend doing it yourself would be worth it.

5. What would a professional recommend?

If you personally know a contractor, the source suggests asking their opinion about the project and if they think you are able to complete it without any additional help. Knowledgeable staff at hardware stores may also be able to offer their opinion on whether or not your chosen home improvement project is DIY approved.

6. Am I putting myself in danger by DIY?

While many small home improvements can be completed without much risk, some projects, such as wiring, may be slightly more dangerous than simply painting rooms in your home. If the project seems the least bit dangerous, the source says to go forward with professional services.