Renovating can be fun, as well as challenging, so it is important to know; when to DIY and when to call a pro. 

When we have settling into our routine a bit more, we are going to be looking at starting back up the projects around the house, as you may remember from my Pregnant and…NOT Nesting post, we are only part way through renovating the house. We still have three important rooms left along with replanting in the front and back gardens which is no easy feat and some we will be able to tackle ourselves while others we will have to call a professional.

However, it is hard to know where to draw the line and throw in the towel and get someone else to do it. With this in mind, I was thrilled when Cate offered to guest post as it meant I can get a bit more insight into what we can save money on by doing ourselves and when we NEED to call in a professional. Hopefully, this info will save you (and us) a lot of time, hassle and DIY mishaps!

cate profile picture for renovation guest postA Little Bit About Cate:

Cate is an Australian designer by day and a writer by night. Her fields of expertise could be summed up to interior design and decor. Her interests are, on the other hand, wide and ever-evolving. These days Cate is quite passionate about Scandinavian homes and dark chocolate.

————Guest Post—————-

Are some house renovations in order? Well, they probably are if you’re reading this – the main question is whether you have the wallet for it to be done completely by professionals while you sip your glass of lemonade, or not? In fact, even if you have the budget for it, there are many DIY options you can easily perform in order to save some money, and maybe even have some fun along the way. But, which activities are better to leave into the capable hands, though? We are here to tell you what you should consider doing yourself, and what to leave to the pros.

Plumbing & Electrical – PRO

electrical and plumbing renovations

Most states around Australia require a compliance certificate to carry out any plumbing work and that also implies to electrical – all electricians have to be certified. So, unless you’re changing a light bulb or a faucet – call the pros. There isn’t a YouTube video in this world that can teach you what people with years of experience know.  Don’t risk getting hurt or electrocuted – just search the web and find a pro.

Materials – DIY

materials DIY

This is a no brainer. You can purchase all of the materials, equipment and appliances alone. Tiles, cabinetry, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, doors—there are a number of materials you can pick yourself or salvage from antique stores and flea markets. Just make sure to consult your contractor on sizes and quantity before you purchase these items: many homeowners make a mistake of getting too much or not enough of something.

Structural Repairs – PRO

If the house was previously converted to a multi-family property, that will likely require repairs to the home structure as well. Prepare yourself for surprises if you’re working with an old home. There is an uncertainty when you start working on a home and opening things up because you’ll never know what you’ll find behind the walls, and that’s why it’s better to leave this to the professionals.

Tiling – DIY

Tiling, DIY renovation

If you’ve never done tiling before, this is your chance, as all you need to do is watch a few tutorials, and you’re all set. As a purely cosmetic part of the house, it is something you are legally entitled to do yourself – you get to choose the colors, patterns and size. Be careful though – uneven tiles that are badly cut or tiles that have been chipped or cracked will stand out, so be sure to have a steady hand and the right tools – and most importantly – patience.

Cleaning Debris – PRO

cleaning debris, DIY renovations

After the renovations, you’ll have your hands full with cleaning up the house after and a million other places to be. The last thing you’ll want to think about is how to get rid of all the junk and debris that has been piling up during the renovation. If you care about the environment, consider hiring someone like Pinkjunk, and letting the pros take care of your junk – not only will they load it and take it away for you, they’ll also sort it and recycle it.

Asbestos – PRO

This is something nobody wants to deal with during renovations. So when the problem comes up, it would be best to leave it to the pros! Not only because of the health hazards, but because most of the work requires permits. If you’re not sure, take a sample of it to NATA for testing, or some other laboratory to determine if it’s really asbestos. Approximately one-third of all homes built in Australia contain asbestos products. As a general rule, if your house was built before the mid-1980s to 1990, it is highly likely that it would have some asbestos containing materials.

Paint Jobs – DIY

paint jobs, DIY Renovations

This is also a no brainer. All you need is a brush and some paint and let your imagination go. Whether exterior or interior, you won’t need some specialized skills or equipment, just put on some old trousers and a shirt and get crazy. You can also invite some friends to help, order a pizza and some beer and have a paint party, or take them to lunch after as a token of appreciation.

Planning a renovation can be daunting, but once you get a handle on what things you can do yourself and what to leave to the pros, you’ll have a better understanding of the work that awaits. After that not only will the renovation go smoother, it’ll also be a lot more stress-free, not to mention you can save some money, too.

For more guest posts check out the Collaboration Index

Are you renovation ready? Looking at home DIY and what you can do yourself and when you should really call a professional and let the pros handle it.

28 comments on “Renovation Ready: When To DIY Or Time To Call A Pro?”

  1. We are currently having our kitchen remodeled and there was never a question that we would need a licensed professional to do the job. My husband and I know absolutely nothing about remodeling a kitchen.

  2. This is the story of my life right now. We just bought a home and there are times when I think I can do it myself and times I know it will never work haha

  3. I’m all about DIY decorating and smaller projects in the garden or around the house. It’s smart to know when you are beyond your expertise and need to hire in a pro.

  4. I definitely wouldn’t attempt electrical or structural work as a DIY project. Actually most of these I would hire a pro for as I’m a bit of perfectionist and want it done right the first time. I do admire those who brave the DIY projects.

  5. Although I love DIY I’m not very good at it. My first instinct is to call in a professional, so thats what I usually do. I do love trying DIY though, just depends.

  6. This is a great list! We do paint ourselves and when something comes up wrong like plumbing or electrical we will definitely be asking for a professional. I don’t know enough to fix myself.

  7. I’m not much of a DIYer, even when it comes to fun things like crafts or simple projects. So when it comes to whether or not to DIY, I will almost always call someone else

  8. I agree that abestos should be left to the pros for sure. After all it can be dangerous to do yourself right? Plus I am not great at DIY but its good to know what I can do myself and what should be left to the experts x

  9. If my husband had his way, every single thing done in our house should be left for a pro. I think that is a great idea if we were made of money, but we aren’t so we have to be willing to do somethings. Thanks for the tips.

  10. My husband tiled our kitchen and bath and he did a great job even though he had never done it before. I am not much of a DIY’er myself but if he wants to do it to save money I say go for it.

  11. My dad is a builder and he always did everything himself (even building all 3 houses we lived in)! I learned to DIY my way into anything, ha!

  12. Renovations can be so stressful and I think you have some commonsense ideas here about what you should really leave to a professional without then causing extensive and even more costly damage to your house!

  13. I love how you made it clear which projects you can try on your own and which to call a pro. So many people want to save money and do things that is so out of their wheelhouse. Great tips.

  14. I DIY so very little any more. There are so many experts out there. For example, I am sitting here working while a guy paints the stairwell. Granted, it is over 20′ high, but that is another story!

  15. I wish I was more confident in my DIY skills because I tend to not DIY ANYTHING. I am not creative enough and my work always ends up being pretty shoddy!

  16. We are time crunched people to the max, so DIY is for the small stuff for us. We actually just bought a new build house because we were tired of projects (although we did still do a few after we moved in).

  17. We DIY most everything. I grew up in a house, where my dad knew how to do it all. Thankfully I picked up a few things. Lucky for me, my husband would rather do it himself than hire it out. You never know what you are capable of until you try.

  18. I don’t DIY anything. Mostly because I am lazy, but we seriously hire people anytime we need work done around our house or yard.

I would love to hear from you so pop your opinion in the comments! Don't be shy.