Everyone has their own line when it comes to deciding whether to tackle a job themselves or call in a professional to get the job done.
A project I’d have no problem doing myself would scare the heck out of some people, but on the other hand there are other projects I wouldn’t go near while others wouldn’t think twice about them.
Obviously one of the main benefits of a do it yourself project is that you can save a good deal of money.
Since you’ll be doing the labor yourself (or hopefully you have a buddy or two to help you out) all you have to pay for are the supplies.
Of course, if you bite off more than you can chew you might end up having to call in a pro to undo the mess you made.
In that case you could actually end up spending more than you would have if you had just called the pro to begin with!
As a homeowner I’ve learned that there is always something breaking down, and it usually happens at the worst possible time.
Some DIY Projects I’ve Done Myself
Between my wife and our two daughters it’s not surprising we’ve had our share of drains clogged with long hair. Liquid drain cleaners are a complete waste of time, so I just whip out my snake and power drill and I can make quick work of most clogs.
That doesn’t even include the time my son tried to flush away a miniature plush soccer ball. That time I needed to use an auger like the one used in this video.
More Plumbing Adventures
I’m not a big fan of plumbing projects. They can get very messy and you always end up twisted into some crazy position trying to get into a tight spot.
But when we bought our first house the bathroom sink was absolutely disgusting. I ripped the entire thing out and installed a whole new vanity, sink, faucet, water lines, and trap.
It looked a thousand times better when I was done and it wasn’t all that hard.
I painted every room in our old house at least once. I’ve painted all of the rooms in our new house too. Plus I’ve helped friends and family paint too.
But painting is a lot harder than most people realize. You need to take your time and be very detailed if you want it to look right.
I’ve gotten better at spackling and sanding cracks but I still have room for improvement. My wife says my drywall repairs look fine but I’m never happy with them.
New Kitchen Floor
With the help of my buddy Jim, I laid down new vinyl tile on my kitchen floor.
The old floor was not exactly perfect so we had to lay down a fine coat of self-leveling underlayment before we could put down the tile.
I was very proud of the way that floor came out.
Doors And Windows
No, I haven’t actually installed a new door or window yet since my house doesn’t need them. But I have installed dozens of venetian blinds as well as door knobs, a dead bolt, and a peephole.
The dead bolt was especially tricky since it involved a lot of drilling and chiseling.
Minor Electrical Work
I confidently swap out light switches, receptacles, and light fixtures. Electricians charge a fortune for simple jobs that can be done in under 15 minutes!
Cement Step Repair
This one I’m not too proud of. There was a crumbling concrete step in our backyard and I thought it would be a piece of cake to fix it.
Let’s just say that trying to smooth and level the cement before it dries is a lot harder than you would think.
It came out looking like a maniac did it. Oops.
Many of my neighbors pay a landscaper to mow their lawn for them and they pay at least $30 a cut. If they have the lawn cut twice a month that’s $60 a month.
I don’t mind mowing my lawn myself as it saves me money and gives me a good workout in the process.
My other landscaping projects include building a 32 square foot raised garden so we can grow our own tomatoes and basil, and ripping out a bunch of boxwood bushes in our front yard.
A local landscaper wanted $250 to remove those bushses!
When I Called in the Professionals
While being able to do small and mid-sized jobs yourself is great, you have to recognize your limits and be prepared to call in a pro if a job is just too much for you to handle.
Here are a few examples of where I needed to get some professional assistance…
Yea, I don’t have access to a dump truck or paver so I skipped this job.
In addition to laying down new asphalt in our driveway we had them lay down new paver stones in front of the house.
I would be willing to install a paver walkway myself but they gave us a great price because they were already doing the driveway so I just let them do it.
Obviously this is a huge job and since I’m not a big fan of heights doing it myself was not even a consideration.
I don’t mind minor electrical jobs where you’re basically just removing wires from one fixture and screwing them to a new one. But if it involves accessing the main circuit panel or running a new electrical line I call an electrician.
New How Water Heater
When our old hot water heater died it was time for a new one. It seems like a simple enough job and I could probably do it myself but the thought of screwing something up and flooding the house scared me so I wisely left it to the pros to install.
As you can see I manage to complete quite a few jobs around the house myself, but I recognize there are times when I need to call in an expert.
What about you? What kind of projects have you done around your house? How did they come out?