According to a survey by Liberty Mutual Insurance, almost one-third of Americans are planning a home renovation project in 2015 and 7 of 10 plan to do part of the job themselves. If you’re fairly handy, taking on a DIY project can help you save money, but even if you’re good with your hands there are certain improvements you should probably leave to a professional. Below, we’ve shared a list of the top 3 projects to DIY and the top 3 projects to leave to a pro, courtesy of U.S. News and World Report.
- Landscaping: Landscaping can turn into a major project but there are a few simple steps you can take to add some curb appeal. Start by removing dead plants or trimming unhealthy ones that may bloom later in the season. Then, add a pop of color by planting easy-care perennials in a front garden bed or place potted annuals on your porch.
- Seating: If you have the urge to hammer something, try building some multipurpose outdoor furniture. “Boxy, bench-style seating is a great option for cutting your teeth on carpentry.” It’s pretty simple and there are plenty of resources and videos online. This type of seating can update your front porch or deck and “give you a more personable outdoor space.”
- Painting: Interior painting is one of the easiest but most impactful DIY projects. The right paint can “make a space look larger and more finished” and update the look of your home.
Not to DIY
- Outdoor pathways: This might seem cheap and easy (darn you, Pinterest!), but there are important things to consider before taking on this project. One, using less expensive materials to save a buck could lead to cracking (and replacing) later on. Two, ensuring a level underlayment is critical. If you aren’t using the proper tools and knowledge to level the walkway, even the best materials will crack.
- Retaining walls: Retaining walls are difficult to install correctly. If you want your wall to last, you will benefit from enlisting someone who understands the intricacies of installing the wall (and engineering involved).
- Large landscaping: If you’re planning on planting medium-to-large size trees, bring in a landscaping expert to ensure they get the proper care to help them take root.