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Which Home Improvements Can I DIY and Which Should I Leave to a Pro?

Which Home Improvements Can I DIY and Which Should I Leave to a Pro?

Going the DIY route can save you money, but it comes with a cost: Time (and sweat). Before you even consider whether you're capable of doing a project, think about how much time you have available to complete it and whether it's worth that time investment.

For example, if you want to replace all the cabinets and countertops in your kitchen but only have the weekends to do it, make sure you're comfortable having your kitchen an inaccessible mess for weeks or even months. Polishing wooden floors can also be a DIY project, but it's not only time-consuming, it's tricky and absolutely no fun (sand everywhere! Footprints and dust stuck in the finish!). On the other hand, many projects you can complete in a weekend or that can be more comfortably spread out over time are great for DIY. Examples are painting, landscaping, and finishing a basement.

Keep in mind also that while you might save on labor by doing a project yourself, the materials themselves could cost more than you think, especially since the pros tend to get better pricing. (Reuse centers, however, including architectural salvage stores, can help you save a ton on home improvement projects.)

Use Home Advisor to estimate the cost of a professionally done home improvement project and this calculator from LearnVest to calculate what an hour of your time is worth so you can decide from a financial standpoint whether you should hire a pro, even if you could do the project yourself.

Posted on Jun 29, 2017

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