DIY vs. Professionals: How to Choose the Right Option


At one point, every homeowner worth their tools may decide to save some money on renovations by dismissing the professional help and doing some of the projects themselves. However, the skill and experience that makes a trade isn’t just for show. Some of the home remodeling projects are more dangerous or demanding than others, and knowing where to draw a line often makes a difference between a successful remodel and money wasted. Let’s look into some of popular projects and decide whether to DIY them or call the cavalry.

Light demolitions – DIY all the way

Taking down unwanted cabinets, fixtures and mouldings, removing tiles and pulling up floorboards and carpets definitely fall unto your purview. If you start by taking things apart carefully, piece by piece, there’s little that can go wrong. Still, when it comes to old houses, you never know what you may find behind the walls. You can even invite your demolition-savvy friends and make a party out of it. Still, keep in mind that a team of amateurs will take much longer to do the same amount of work than a team pros.

Structural repairs – go pro

Thou shall not affect any structural faucet of thy home or, in other words, it’s highly inadvisable for amateur handymen to tackle the elements of the structure. Older homes will likely have structural damage that eventually needs repairing or upgrading by an architect or, in some cases, a structural engineer. Even more expertise is required if the house has been converted to a multi-family unit at some point. A professional will be able to tell the load bearing walls from those used for sectioning, as well as how to address the issues with minimum damage to the existing structure.

Supplying materials – your job

Purchasing your own materials, equipment and fixtures is not a demanding task, provided that you know what you’re looking for. Home depots, salvage yards, antique stores and flea markets are places where you’ll be able to find many kitchen fixtures, cabinets, bathroom fixtures, even tiles and doors. If in doubt, ask your architect and contractor to direct you to bargain-friendly places for flooring and kitchen fixtures, as well as what finishes and materials go together.

Asbestos removal – pros only

Asbestos is something no one wants to run into during their home renovation. Still, if your home was built before 2003, there is a chance that asbestos cement compounds were used for roofing, siding, wall cladding, insulation or thermal pipe shrouds. A regular home inspection may not find traces of this highly irritating fibrous material, so hiring asbestos consultants should be one of first things before a major remodel takes place.

Removing waste – pros are faster

Every stage of remodeling creates waste that often gets in the way. What is more, governments of highly-urbanized countries like Australia take construction waste management issue seriously. Under the Protection of the Environment Operations Act 1997 requires all ‘building and demolition waste’ to be transported to a place that can lawfully accept it. Without the proper knowledge and equipment, removal of debris and construction waste can take up valuable time that can be put to more constructive use. This is why many homeowners rely on companies for junk removal in Sydney to take care of their building waste.

Cosmetics detail – you’re the boss

Since they don’t impact the structure and neither need permits, cosmetic changes give the homeowners the most freedom. There are plenty of DIY resources available on-line or at above mentioned brick and mortar retail stores. In addition, home improvement blogs and YouTube channels provide an endless stream of DIY knowledge, whether you’re applying plasterwork, recreating ceiling mouldings or looking for tips on how to polish brass doorknobs and hinges.

When it comes to home renovations, there’s a good proverb – a jack of all trades is a master of none. While homeowners are welcome to take part in some lightweight remodeling projects, upgrading a home is a complex endeavor that often relies on professionals to do the heavy lifting.

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