Renae Graves Realtor Midpoint Realty Blog

When to Call a Professional: Advice for Homeowners Who Like to DIY

Americans pride themselves on their initiative and proclivity for doing things themselves. That pioneer mentality is deeply embedded in the nation’s DNA, and it’s probably why so many Americans have embraced the do-it-yourself revolution when it comes to home improvement. These days, you don’t necessarily need a contractor’s background to make substantial upgrades to your home. Many people are able to learn enough from YouTube how-to videos and from the local hardware store to markedly increase the value of their homes.

However, there are some jobs that even the most enthusiastic do-it-yourselfer should think twice before tackling. Sometimes, saving a few bucks just isn’t worth the risk of damaging your home or yourself. 

Up on the roof

The roof is one of the most important features of any house, and should typically be left to a professional roofing company. The condition of your roof can have a lot to do with whether you’re ready to sell and how much you can expect to get from the deal. Whether you’re looking at repairs or an entire replacement, it’s important to get a number of quotes from contractors, bearing in mind that the average cost of a roof replacement can range anywhere from $4,900 to $14,100.

Electrical modifications

Switching out electrical components or jumping into a rewiring project may seem like a good idea at first, but unless you’re really sure about what you’re doing, it’s probably better to let an experienced professional handle it. The potential for serious injury (or worse) is just too great, and the margin of error is too narrow to take an unnecessary risk. Professional electricians go through many years of training to earn certification.

Replacing an electrical outlet may seem like a simple project, but one wrong move, and you could have a flash fire on your hands or make an unscheduled run to the hospital to be treated for electrical shock. If you’re contemplating doing electrical work yourself, remember that the more involved it is, the more likely it is that codes and building laws apply, which could lead to all manner of complications later on when your home goes on the market.


Bathroom upgrades are some of the most popular among DIYers because so much of a home’s value is tied up in its bathrooms. Putting in a new toilet (for an average of about $350) or vanity and repairing a leaky faucet may be within your ability and experience, but moving or rearranging plumbing can be a risky endeavor considering the damage you could do. A major remodeling project may very well require a level of expertise that an overzealous DIYer may be ill-equipped to handle.

One question you should always ask yourself is whether you have the tools necessary to take on a plumbing project. Some of the implements needed for such work aren’t usually found in a DIYer’s toolkit. Before launching into a project about which you’re unsure, always seek the opinion of a professional you trust and, preferably, with whom you have previous experience.  You can save yourself money and some serious headaches by getting an informed second opinion.

The main idea behind any home improvement project should be to add aesthetic value and functionality to your home for the least amount of money possible. That’s why so many homeowners are so anxious to take on project themselves, even those that may be beyond their capability. It’s essential to be objective and honest with yourself when making such a decision, especially when your project involves complex and potentially dangerous work.

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