10 Times a DIYer was Smart to Hire a Pro

DIY Home Improvement

Get the most out of your DIY home improvement projects. Image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

We love diving into DIY projects at home. Even if you’re a total novice when it comes to DIY, anyone can tackle simple projects to enhance their home. No matter how experienced you are at working on your own home, though, there are times when it might be smart to bring on a professional to assist you. Here are the top 10 reasons you might need help:

1. Your DIY Project Uncovered Hidden Problems

Your home repair was supposed to be a quick fix. After researching the how-tos and assembling the right tools and materials, you dive into your project. Only to find it revealed another problem. Contact a professional when the situation you uncovered appears to be beyond your ability. Do the same if it’s just something you don’t want to deal with yourself. Your hired pro can advise you on the best solution to the new problem and if there are other issues lurking around the corner.

2. Your Friends and Family Have Favor Fatigue

We love our friends and families but, let’s be honest, we may have asked one too many favors this year. While you may be excited about tiling your bathroom floor, your closest friends may not be ready to spend their weekend that way. Last-minute cancellations and no-shows derail a DIY project. The day you counted on the help of friends and family can be awfully lonely. If your job cannot be accomplished by you alone, it may be wise to get an estimate from a professional, especially if your project must be done within a specific timeframe.

3. Your Home Repair Project Requires Tools That You Don’t Have

Some home projects require tools and equipment that you won’t need again. So, understandably, you’re hesitant to add that cost to your job. You may be able to rent the tools or equipment that you need, but you’ll want to do the math. See if it would be more cost-effective to hire someone to do that portion of the work (and bring their own equipment).

4. You Have a Deadline

We have the greatest intentions of completing a DIY home task quickly. But when it’s not your 9-to-5 job, life can get in the way. Your project may be set aside as other, more pressing priorities appear. If there is a deadline to complete the work, it can make sense to hire a pro to handle all or part of the job.

Living Room DIY Project

Take control of your DIY home improvement budget with professional help. Image: Hanohiki/Shutterstock

5. You’re on a Tight Budget

As a DIYer, there is pride and savings in doing the work yourself. If you have a limited budget for a home improvement, though, you may actually save money by hiring the right professional for the job. All home projects can suffer from “project creep,” which is when your budget and scope grow as the project drags on. Hiring a contractor or designer can help you keep your budget under control.

DIY Laminate Flooring

Decide which DIY projects you may want to outsource. Image: Elnur/Shutterstock

6. You’re Not Comfortable With Your Skills

Did you see a DIY project on TV that you’d love to do in your own home, but the skills required are out of your comfort zone? Home improvements are not the best way to try out new skills. Inexperience can end up costing you more than hiring a specialty contractor to complete the work. The right pro helps you figure out what aspects of the project you can handle yourself and what is best left to them.

7. You’re Stuck on Your DIY Project

Not sure what to do next? It’s totally common for a DIY project to stall because of indecision or the sudden realization this is beyond your skill set. It’s possible to hire a professional to take on part of your DIY project and hand it back to you to finish.

8. You’re Fixing Another DIYer’s Mistakes

Well, this is awkward. That gorgeous built-in media cabinet that sold you on your new home turned out to be a structural nightmare. There may be no quick-fix for some of the well-meaning DIY fails in your home. Plus, trying to DIY your way out of them may make things worse. If the problems you need to correct are electrical, plumbing or structural, a professional can help you fix them the right way.

Your DIY project can help or hurt you when you sell your home. Image: ImageFlow/Shutterstock

9. You’re Selling Your Home

If you are fixing up and repairing things at home before you sell it, you’ll want to be honest with yourself about your abilities and experience. Home buyers will be less open to decorative DIY projects that are very personalized to your taste. A buyer’s home inspector will be going over your home carefully, so every repair needs to be done perfectly.

10. You’re Procrastinating the Start of Your DIY Project

Have you been putting off a DIY project at home? It’s possible that you just don’t feel ready to tackle the job and that’s why you haven’t been able to start. Your procrastination could mean that it’s time to talk to a professional to see if this DIY project would be better for a pro to complete.

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These 4 Decluttering Tips Will Help You Through Your Next Spring Cleaning Project

It’s officially time to start spring cleaning. For many of us, that means that decluttering is at the top of the to-do list. With that in mind, we decided to bring you four easy decluttering tips that will help you make the most of your next spring cleaning project. Read them over to get a sense of how you can tackle this task from start to finish.

decluttering tips

Start by breaking down your spring cleaning project into manageable goals. Image: Tiko Aramyan/Shutterstock

Set manageable goals

Believe it or not, the first step to most successful decluttering projects doesn’t have anything to do with sorting through knickknacks. Instead of just diving right in, home organization experts agree that it’s best to write out a set of goals for your project. Create a to-do list of sorts that breaks the decluttering process down into a series of small, manageable steps.

As you write out your to-do list, keep in mind that you can make the steps to this process as general or complex as you need them to be. For example, rather than trying to clean out the whole house in one day, you could decide to tackle the kitchen one day and your living room the next. You can also break down each step into subtasks like “put away laundry” or “pick up stray toys.”


Sort your clutter into three boxes: keep, donate and throw away. Image: Photo Melon/Shutterstock

Use the “three box method”

Once you know what your goals are for this project, it’s time to start decluttering. It’s best to have a method in mind for how you’re going to sort your clutter before you officially get started. In this case, we recommend the “three box method.” It works like this: you simply sort your belongings into one of the three following boxes.

  • Keep: These are all the items that you still use on a regular basis. You don’t need to worry about putting any of these items away just yet. Just put them in the box for now and leave the organization for later.
  • Donate: This box will hold items that you don’t want or use any longer. However, they’re still in good enough shape to be used by someone else. They can be donated or sold.
  • Throw away: Sometimes an item is just at the end of its lifespan. In that case, it goes in this box to get thrown away.

Sort the items you’re keeping before you buy new storage tools. Image: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

Reorganize first, then buy

After you have all your items sorted, it’s time to focus on reorganization. We know that, at this point, it can be tempting to run out and buy lots of those fancy, coordinated storage containers that you see on Instagram. However, we’d advise against going out and spending money until you have a clearer idea of what exactly it is that you need.

To do this, start by focusing on the items in your “keep” box. The goal here is to make sure that every item in the box has a defined place to be kept in the room. Start by putting away the items that already have a set place and leave the rest until the end. Once you’re left with only the odds-and-ends that don’t yet have a home, go shopping for storage solutions. This way, you’ll have a much clearer picture of what tools you need to stay organized.


Finish each task completely before moving on to the next one. Image: LightField Studios/Shutterstock

Complete each task, completely

This is often the hardest step. Before you can move on to the next task on your list of goals, you need to make sure that you’ve finished your current task completely. This means finding a place for all those odds-and-ends, bringing any donations to their proper place and lugging any throw-away items to the trash.

We know that it’s easy to just leave those items for later, but that’s how they end up being forgotten. If you can, it’s best to deal with items right away. Get them out of the way and you can bask in the satisfaction of a job well done.

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