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Common Sense: DIY Projects – Do and Don’t

May 15, 2018

Every homeowner relishes the feeling of satisfaction that comes with completing a do-it-yourself project, not to mention the money you save not having to call in a contractor. However, it’s important to know where to draw the line and when to leave a home renovation job to someone who does it for a living. Some home upgrades are quite risky, even dangerous. You may have a great deal of experience with electronics, but most homeowners are better off letting an expert handle a project that can cause injury or damage to your home. There’s no shame in admitting when you’re in over your head.

DIY Projects – Do

If your family has trouble finding the light-switch plate in the den or living room, why not put in a new one that’s easier to see and more attractive? It’s an easy, low-cost way to upgrade a room that gets a lot of foot traffic. Many plates can be purchased for under $5. You can put in a bright, gold- or silver-colored plate that’s hard to miss even in the dark. Or you could get creative by adding a colorful decoupage pattern to an otherwise unadorned fixture. It’ll look great, and it won’t put a dent in your checking account.

Doorknobs usually don’t make much of a statement, but you can add a real dash of elegance to your home’s interior by upgrading those worn old knobs. Why not install a set of blue or lavender-colored glass or turquoise ceramic knobs that’ll get everyone’s attention? Or what about a set of vintage brass knobs that add an appealing classical look?

You can give your bathroom a bright new look by installing a new vanity, an upgrade that you can easily do over a weekend. You’ll increase your home’s value and add flair to a bathroom that probably could use some. Installation only takes moderate ability with a few tools such as a crescent wrench, channel locks, utility knife, level, drill, bucket, and stud finder. New flooring can also add value and tremendous aesthetic impact but be aware that some types of flooring require more skill than others to install. In any event, you’ll need a sturdy set of tools, including a high-performance framing hammer. Most homeowners spend between $1,424 and $2,464 nationally to install new flooring.

DIY Projects – Don’t

It can be tempting to launch into a renovation project after viewing a five-minute YouTube video, but you could find yourself in a tough spot once you dive into the wiring or plumbing. The risk of electrocution and fire should be enough to convince you that electrical work should be left to a professional. It often requires permits, for which you probably don’t have the expertise. Rerouting or extending wiring is a risky proposition for most homeowners, so don’t feel bad about hiring a contractor.

Plumbing is an area that should be approached with great care and planning. Fixing a leaky faucet or hooking up a dishwasher is one thing, but if you have to tear into the walls to get the job done right, you’re probably well-advised to call a plumber. One mistake could leave you with a leaky pipe or a flooded basement or bathroom, meaning you’ll face a hefty repair bill after the plumber gets you fixed up right.

Roofing is another risky project that’s best left to the pros. Roofing your house with shingles is a major undertaking, even though it’s not all that complicated. It is, however, too much for one person to try, which is why you always see crews of workers scrambling to get someone’s roof done in a couple of days. Remember, there’s no wiggle room; it has to be done just right to prevent leaks and water damage to your ceiling and walls.

Your home is your biggest, most important investment. You wouldn’t knowingly do anything to put it at risk. That’s why it’s so important to use common sense when determining what home upgrades to do yourself and which ones to farm out.

Content provided by guest blogger Danny Knight who is passionate about sharing his experiences working on DIY projects. He is the owner of, which shows off helpful DIY projects.