Husband and wife planning home design.
DIY, Home Improvement

How-To Guide: When You Should Do-It-Yourself vs. Hire a Professional

Finding a house that meets all of your must-haves and nice-to-haves is an amazing feeling and turning that house into your home is a process you do over time. Whether you prefer to hire professionals or go the DIY route, these are some things you should consider before making that final decision.

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Finding a house that meets all of your must-haves and nice-to-haves is an amazing feeling and turning that house into your home is a process you do over time. In the era of “Do It Yourself” (DIY), many home buyers are looking for ways to make a huge impact on a smaller budget. However, there are times when it might just be better to leave some projects to the professionals. These are some things to consider when you’re deciding to either DIY or hire it out. 


The bulk of most projects, no matter their size, is the cost of labor. By paying for someone else to take on the project, freeing you up to do other things, you’re also paying for that person’s knowledge, skill, and time. As an added bonus, because you pay a professional, they may be able to reduce the material cost because they have a bulk discount rate wherever they purchase their supplies. Doing it yourself on the other hand, not only saves you the cost of labor, but you can also save by using the home improvement stores’ 0% financing and promotions or other sales as they arise. 


When you decide to take on a project it’s most likely after a lot of thought, research, and saving up the money. Hiring a professional means you’re at the liberty of when they can get you onto their schedule. Depending on the season and what it is you need, your wait could be weeks or months down the road. Taking on the project yourself, you can work on the project around your schedule and timeline. Which means it could take a little bit longer depending on work schedules and other functions, but if you’re ok with that, it may be worth doing it on your own. 



Home improvement projects can be as simple as switching out the hardware on cabinets and door knobs to more complicated projects like a room addition. Some home improvement stores offer workshops where they teach things like how to tile. Even searching on YouTube and Pinterest you can easily find step-by-step tutorials for many home improvement projects. As you do more DIY projects, you gain more skill knowledge that builds with the more you do. The more you do a project, the faster you naturally become. Hiring a professional means you’re paying for their skill based on years of experience and training. 

Tools and Equipment

Even if you don’t have the right tools or equipment, you may be able to borrow from a friend or neighbor, or even rent them. Before you purchase a tool, consider if it would be a good investment for future projects. Having the right tools and equipment to complete the job correctly makes a world of difference. 

The Value of Your Home

Not all projects will add a huge return on investment (ROI), but some may be just for an improvement for your taste and decor style. Some projects can have a great ROI, like exterior renovations or kitchen remodeling for example, however, before doing a project ask yourself if it could ruin the value of your home.

This is especially important if the project you’re thinking of doing requires any permitting. Not having the proper permits and approvals could cost you more down the road; requiring you to hire a professional to fix whatever it is that was done incorrectly. Also, consider if the project requires altering the structural integrity of the home, such as anything dealing with the foundation, roof line, and moving walls, and if the answer is yes, consider hiring a professional. 

While there is a sense of pride from completing a project yourself, it’s important to pause to make sure doing it yourself is the best decision. If after you consider all of the factors– cost, time, skill, tools, and the value it will add to your home, then go ahead with the project and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Otherwise, it may be money well spent to hire a professional.

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Brooke has a lifestyle blog called Cribbs Style and currently lives in Charleston, SC. This wife, mom of two almost tweens, and mom of three fur children enjoys all things DIY and organizing. When she’s not helping others tackle the chaos of life, she’s either working out, at the beach, or just enjoying time with family and friends.

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