DIY...Or Not

When we begin to think about home repairs and renovations, we instantly want to do as much of the work ourselves as we can and save some money. But is it really cheaper when you spend time and energy ruining a project and then pay to have it fixed, there's not much savings. The idea of hiring somebody to do the work and forking over that kind of money may seem excessive though, but there are certain home projects that may not be DIY.

Exterior doors: If you want to remove an existing door and install a new one, you're looking at a sizable project especially if it's a patio door, but it's still doable. If you need to cut a new hole in the side of the house, though, consider getting an expert.

Garage doors: It might be cheaper to install a new garage door...of you have the proper tools, time and expertise. If you're good at reading directions and are confident in your abilities, go ahead. Of you'd like less hassle and a door that goes up on the first try, you might want to hire a professional.

Roofing: With the proper tools and plenty of time, most types of roofing can be installed yourself. If you'd prefer not to call someone in the middle of the project to fix it, or you just don't have the equipment and energy, call a roofer.

Storage buildings: We put together a small shed a while back and it was fairly easy with three people, just time consuming. For larger buildings, definitely have a team put them together. The money might be worth the time and save you from a headache.

Water heaters: Gas water heaters are more difficult to install and jacket than electric. If you have a gas water heater in your home, you'll probably want an expert to take care of it.

Carpet and flooring: Depending on what you're installing and how much experience you have, replacing your flooring yourself can be a great way to save some money. But if you're not sure what's underneath your existing flooring or you've never tacked a project this expansive before, leave it to the pros. That's less expensive than buying more so they can fix your mistakes.

Kitchen cabinets and countertops: These require precise measurements and accurate fit. If this is your forte, give it a try. If you've always hated math and couldn't tell level with a level, skip this one and hire an expert.

Plumbing: Do you know how to shut off the main water valve? Do you know where the main water valve is? If not, you probably won't know how to proceed from there. That's the time to call a professional. If you do, find a great DIY plumbing book and the proper tools.


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