You’re capable of amazing things, and the accomplishments and journey getting there can make for the best memories. However, remembering and respecting that you have limitations is also important, so sometimes it’s best to call a pro. Here’s a look at five situations when you should call a professional when tackling a home renovation.


A renovation can be a fun and rewarding experience. Doing it yourself can save money, allow for project and work time flexibility, and often give you equity in your home if your project is successful. But knowing when to DIY or call in a pro can sometimes be tricky. As we pour through various home-DIY-inspiration tweets to retweet each day, we usually come across a tweet or two from DIY’ers who realized they probably should have called in a pro.


With that inspiration, here are some situations where we think you may be able to do it yourself, and when we advise calling in a pro.


Kitchen Remodel

What to do yourself:

You can usually tackle basic or simple renovations like:

  • Painting or replacing cabinets
  • Replacing certain types of countertops (laminate or wood)
  • Adding a backsplash
  • Replacing your appliances or faucets

What to call a contractor for:

However, here’s when we suggest calling a pro:

  • Anytime you’re dealing with moving electrical or plumbing (you may need a permit for this)
  • Adding or moving a natural gas line
  • Installing heavy stone or solid surface countertops
  • Moving or removing walls
  • Anything you do not have the skills or tools for


Bathroom Remodel

What to do yourself:

Depending on your skills, here are our suggestions:

  • Retiling or grouting your floors
  • Retiling around your tub or shower
  • Toilet replacements
  • Replacing your vanity or mirror
  • Painting, adding trim or crown molding

What to call a contractor for:

These are the items we’d suggest calling a pro for:

  • Anything that involves the electrical or plumbing
  • Removing or replacing a tub or shower stall
  • Total bathroom remodel


Deck or Patio Addition or Repair

What to do yourself:

While they may seem straight forward, remember that some localities require permits for certain work. So check with your local code enforcement office about building codes in your area. Depending on your skill and tool set, here are some things you may be able to tackle yourself:

  • Adding a basic on-ground or platform deck
  • Creating a patio
  • Slightly raised decks no more than 4 feet above ground
  • Replacing wood treads
  • Staining or sealing a deck or patio

What to call a contractor for:

What would we suggest calling a pro for? It’s pretty simple:

  • Decks more than four feet off the ground
  • Decks located on steep slopes
  • Patios that require grading



What to do yourself:

Painting is one of the easiest jobs to do yourself. Here’s when we would save our money by doing it yourself:

  • Interior walls or ceilings
  • Furniture or cabinets
  • Staining decks or patios
  • Touch-ups on your home’s exterior

What to call a contractor for:

Here’s when we’d call in the hired guns:

  • Painting of areas more than 8 feet high
  • Whole house exterior painting



What to do yourself:

Basic landscaping is fairly easy to do yourself, notice we didn’t say “clean.” Also remember that anytime you dig, you need to call your local utility companies to mark your service lines. Here’s what you may be able to do yourself:

  • Planting & spreading seed
  • Basic yard maintenance or laying sod
  • Building a small planter wall or flower bed
  • Installing a small planter irrigation system or drip system

What to call a contractor for:

Again, consider hiring for jobs like:

  • Major leveling and earth moving
  • Building large retaining walls
  • Installing whole-yard irrigation systems
  • Complete landscape redesigns
  • Installing electrical for landscape lighting

This is a celebration of you. After all, you love yourself too! The things you can do may amaze you, but you may just need a little help. Well here’s the good news: the DIY Tax Blog has relevant and helpful resources throughout the year, tailored to you. So if you like this article, hit the share buttons to send it to your social network. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter to get more articles like this posted directly to your timeline or newsfeed!