How to Choose the Right DIY Projects for Your Home

Updated November 16th, 2022

Doing anything DIY holds the potential for a great adventure — or great strife. In a post-pandemic world, many homeowners have realized the virtues of a good DIY project.

The primary advantage of choosing the DIY route over hiring a professional is the significant amount of money you can save. Compared to hiring a contractor for the same job, you can save around 50%-80% of what you would have spent otherwise.

But should you DIY all types of projects? The answer is no. Read on to find out how best to tinker about your own house, as well as to see which projects are best attempted DIY.

Should You Do It Yourself?

The first thing to do is create a roadmap of all things you should consider before embarking on the DIY project.

Some jobs are best left up to the experts. If you tinker around with complicated electricity, heating, and plumbing systems, you can do more damage than good. While your intentions are to save money, fixing the damage might end up costing you more than you anticipated.

So HVAC, tile work, installing cabinets, mold remediation, tree surgery, roofing, and asbestos removal are all tasks that professionals are better equipped to handle.

There are instruction manuals online on how to undertake the simpler parts of these jobs, like factory resetting appliances, fixing small tile work, and the like. However, anything beyond simple repairs and fixtures involves a lot of technicalities that you should not interfere with.

Assess Time Constraints And Suitability

The scope of the work and the time it will take you are both important considerations when thinking about a DIY project.

For example, delaying a project to just a few weeks before the holidays could potentially ruin your holidays.

Plus, there is a huge difference between projects that are sorted within a couple of days compared to those that will take weeks or months.

So make a realistic timetable with legroom for delays and emergencies, and follow it religiously to get the job done on time. If you are a novice in the world of DIY, begin with smaller projects such as repainting a small room, installing small fixtures, or replacing some appliances.

This is an effective form of risk management as well. Repainting the backyard, for example, can be a good means of practicing your hand at painting as compared to remodeling an entire master bedroom.

Similarly, installing smart features on pre-installed appliances is a safer DIY project than tinkering with the main temperature controls. If a contractor can get the job done expertly, safely and with far less time taken, you should hire one instead of taking on the job yourself.

Are The Rules Easy to Follow?

A smart DIY-er always keeps two rules in mind — “Keep One Extra” and “Measure Twice, Cut Once.” And when choosing a DIY project, make sure that you can apply these two rules to it.

The Keep One Extra is a very good rule for beginners in the world of DIY. Should you make a mistake while cutting, painting, or carving a certain material, you won’t have to waste petrol, money, and time to replace the item. Having one extra important material prevents delays, saves money, and mitigates any errors you are likely to make.

The “Measure Twice, Cut Once” is another strategy used by wise workmen. You will save yourself a lot of hassle, money, and trips to and from the store if you get into the habit of measuring several times before cutting something. For example, if you are restyling the curtains in your kitchen, make sure you measure and remeasure the fabric before you cut it.

If these two rules are comfortably followed in your DIY project, you can safely and certainly go ahead with it.

Calculate Collective Costs

Before undertaking any preparation or buying material for your DIY project, it’s a good idea to create an overall estimated budget.

Since you don’t know the price exactitudes, you may want to overestimate things and keep the budget slightly higher. It’s also important to assess the budget and compare it to contractor prices. The end goal is that the DIY project should cost you less than hiring a contractor.

However, if there is a potential of major errors and only a 10-20% cost decrease as compared to the fee a professional would take, go the latter route.

Since you aren’t accounting for labor costs, the material will be the bulk of your expenses. However, that is not the only component of your costs. You should also account for other expenses such as disposal fees, additional labor in case things go south, and permit fees for enclosures, decks, pools, and tools.

It’s also a good idea to spend more on the main material, and substitute others with second-hand material when it comes to DIY projects. Keep your eyes peeled for yard sales, hardware store discounts, and tool shops to get the best deals on supplies.

Talking about supplies, there are many stores out there with plenty of concrete options to choose from in case your DIY project requires concrete.

Get DIY-ing

Remember, the longer your planning, the better your outcome will be when it comes to DIY-ing.

When trying to choose the right DIY projects for your home, you need to first consider whether you should hire a contractor instead, how much time and expertise a project requires, whether the instructions are easy to follow, and whether you will actually be saving money by undertaking it yourself. Good luck!

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