Home repairs: To DIY or not to DIY?

Household 3 min read

Owning a home means that there’s always something to fix, improve, or just add a touch of your own personality to. And now is the time to do it, while the weather is perfectly goldilocks—not too cold, not too hot.

The thing is, home improvements can be expensive, if you hire the pros, or time-consuming, if you do them yourself. Or both, if you take on a project yourself and butcher the whole thing or, even worse, hurt yourself.

So which projects are good candidates for channeling your inner Joanna Gaines, and which are better left to the experts? Taking time, money, skill and safety into account, here’s our list of DIY do’s and don’ts to consider this spring.

DIY Do’s

1. Update the kitchen sink

Swapping out that old sink for one that’s more modern is almost as easy as brewing a Keurig. Swing by the home improvement store to pick out the sink of your dreams. Most new sinks come with installation instructions on the packaging, so follow those. Don’t rush through it. Make sure all the waterlines are connected correctly—but not too tightly—to avoid any leaks. Turn the water back on, and if you’re dry, you’re all right! Adding a nice backsplash to complement your handy plumbing work is something you can DIY, too.

2. Put in new floors

Installing wood flooring or its perfectly acceptable knockoff, laminate, is a big but not overly complicated project. You’ll need a few important tools, like kneepads and a circular saw, which is easily rentable from a home improvement store. Measure the room, make the purchase, remove the old flooring, and put down the new. Then, find your thickest, most slippery socks, and go sliding around your fresh new floors before moving the furniture back in.

3. Painting

While painting is possibly the most setup- and cleanup-intensive of home DIY projects, it’s also the simplest. Pick a wall, pick a color, throw down floor and furniture covers, tape off the edges, and start rolling away. Depending on the size of the room, painting can be time-consuming. But the cost savings between having pros coming in and doing it yourself can be around 400 bucks!

DIY Don’ts

1. Remodeling the bathroom

Swapping out a sink or a shower door is one thing, but a full bathroom re-do is a lot to bite off and chew. Reworking plumbing, securing wall tiles, installing tubs and showers so they don’t leak or descend into the wall … it’s a big project and something worth being proud of, but so is saving up the money it costs to do it right by hiring an expert.

2. Paving your driveway

Unless you have a cement mixer hanging around your house, paving your driveway is definitely a project you’ll want to hire a contractor for. Even with the mixer, there’s a lot to be considered here, like securing the permits, working around underground utilities, and maintaining an even slope. The one thing you most certainly can do with this project, though, is write your name or place your hands in the cement before it dries. Just because you didn’t do the work doesn’t mean it’s not yours for marking.

3. Roof repairs

Even if you had Spider-Man’s ability to cling to surfaces, repairing or replacing your home’s roof is best left to the experts. An amateur job can lead to leaks and all sorts of water damage, mold, and terrible drafts during the colder months. In some cases, your homeowner’s insurance may even cover the cost of roof repairs. Keep this job simple by keeping it a DIY don’t.

A final DIY do? Life insurance

Speaking of insurance, one project that’s a breeze to do yourself is purchasing life insurance. You’re putting all of this time and effort into making your house a home, so make sure to protect it. Not having life insurance can leave your family in a tough financial position—one that could cost them the home you worked so hard on.

Take a few moments today to check out your life insurance options. It’s the easiest DIY project you’ll do all spring.

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