When to Hire a Professional vs. DIY Repairs

As a homeowner, deciding whether to hire a professional or do your repairs yourself can be a tough decision. From small repairs to major remodeling projects, there are times to brave a DIY repair and when it’s time to call in the pros. Keep reading to learn when to DIY and when to save time, money, and your sanity and hire a professional.

What’s the Risk?

Before starting any project, consider the risk and cost of failure. Repairing an appliance or plumbing mishap might be worth DIYing, where a renovation involving electrical work or heavy carpentry, may not. Asking yourself the following questions will help guide your decision-making process:

  • How complex is the job?
  • Am I working with electricity or gas?
  • Can I financially recover from a mistake/repair if needed?
  • How much work is involved?
  • Do I have the tools to do it correctly?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to the questions, and the project isn’t too complex, DIYing is a go. If any of the answers to the questions are ‘no’, it’s probably best to hire a professional.

At What Point Should You Call In the Pros?

Whether you’ve run into trouble on a project or you’ve decided upfront that it’s best to call in the professionals, here’s some additional project considerations to factor in:

  • Are you short on time?
  • Do you have the skills and expertise?
  • Do you have the proper tools and materials?
  • What kind of access do you have to the job site?
  • Do you need multiple specialists to complete the job?
  • Will it involve working at heights?
  • Are permits needed in your area?
  • Will the job require special equipment?
  • What is the level of complexity?

For most homeowners, any repair or project involving gas or electricity is a clear indicator to call in a professional. But as discussed, for minor repairs such as appliance switch or faucet replacement, it may be a good candidate for a DIY.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Professional

When you have decided to hire a professional, it’s always best to obtain multiple estimates so you know you’re getting a fair price for the work. While there are notable pros to hiring a professional, such as experience and speed of completion, there are also a few cons. Here’s what to consider:

  • What’s the cost of the job?
  • How long will it take the professional?
  • Can the professional provide references and proof of insurance?
  • Will the job be completed to your satisfaction?
  • Are tools, materials and clean up included in the price?
  • Will you need to to purchase any customized parts or materials?
  • When will the job be completed?
  • Does the professional carry the necessary licenses and certifications?

Once you’ve weighed the pros and cons of hiring a professional, you can make an informed decision.

The Benefits of DIY

Repairing or remodeling a home can be a daunting task. But there are some distinct benefits to doing the job yourself.

  • You don’t have to wait for someone else to complete the job.
  • You can take pride in the quality of work you’ve done.
  • You can save money on materials since you can often purchase them directly.
  • You can acquire new knowledge to complete current and future projects.
  • DIY projects can make your home unique.

It’s also important to remember to consider your skillset when deciding to DIY or hire a professional. Taking on a project that is beyond your capabilities could result in a costly mistake that’s best left to a professional.

Prepare for the Project

Whether you decide to DIY or hire a pro, be sure to take the time to prepare and plan for the repair or remodel. Get multiple estimates, and if you’re hiring a professional, be sure to get a written agreement. Research online for tutorials, or take a class to ensure you have the know how to complete the project. Assess the gear and materials you’ll need and get a friend’s help if necessary.

Working Safely

If you’re looking to save money and take on a home repair or remodel, safety should take the highest priority. Use the proper protective gear; goggles, gloves, and breathing masks depending on the project. Be sure to have the proper tools and materials, and always practice ladder safety and working around electricity. Before beginning any project, always consult the manufacturer’s manuals, blueprints and permits to plan and comply with local laws.

DIY or Professional?

From small repairs to major renovations, deciding whether to do a DIY repair or hire a professional can be a tough call. While taking on minor projects can result in satisfaction and cost savings, for more complex work, it makes sense to hire a professional. Have a plan before beginning the project, and when in doubt, it’s best to contact a professional. This way, the job is done correctly and your family is safe.


Rather than taking a design-it-yourself approach, a professional contractor can save time and money and ensure the job is done right. Ultimately, the decision to hire a professional versus DIY repairs has to factored with safety, cost, time, and skill in mind. While it’s rewarding to do certain home repairs yourself, there are times when it’s best to trust the job to an experienced hand. Ultimately, whether you decide to DIY or hire a professional, make sure your home repairs are done right.

What are the benefits of hiring a professional for DIY repairs?

1. Improved Quality of Work: Hiring a professional will ensure that all repairs are done correctly the first time, as opposed to having to spend additional time and money in the future to fix botched repairs.

2. Professional Knowledge: Professionals understand the nuances of DIY fixes that the average person may not be aware of, such as the exact size and compatibility necessary for parts.

3. Safety: Improper DIY repairs can be dangerous, as the homeowner may lack the expertise to identify and eliminate potential hazards. Professionals are trained to follow safety protocols and take the necessary precautions to ensure a safe repair.

4. Time Savings: Professionals have the tools, materials, and knowledge necessary to get the job done quickly and efficiently, often in a fraction of the time it would take an amateur to complete the same repair.

5. Peace of Mind: Knowing that one is avoiding potentially costly mistakes by having a professional do the repairs will give a homeowner peace of mind.

What are the risks of doing DIY repairs instead of hiring a professional?

1. Injury: DIY repairs often involve working with hazardous materials and dangerous tools. This can lead to injury if the process is not followed correctly.

2. Property Damage: Without the proper skills and experience, DIY repairs can lead to further damage to the property being worked on.

3. Poor Quality of Work: Without the proper training and experience, DIY repairs can lead to a poor quality of work that will need to be redone by a professional.

4. Lack of Guarantees: Unlike hiring a professional, DIY repairs will not have any sort of guarantee of satisfaction.

5. Cost: DIY repairs may seem like they’ll save money in the short-term but they could end up costing more over time if the repair is not done correctly. This could mean having to purchase additional parts and tools as well as hiring a professional to fix the botched repair.

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