Do It Yourself or Hire a Professional?

To celebrate National Home Remodeling Month in May, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers recommends that home owners consider the safety risks, time delays and hidden costs before attempting do-it-yourself (DIY) home improvements.

According to the 2011 American Housing Survey (AHS) from the HUD/Census Bureau, home owner do-it-yourself (DIY) projects accounted for 37 percent of all home remodeling projects performed nationwide from 2010-2011 but only 18 percent of all remodeling spending. DIY home improvement projects tend to be smaller, require less technical training and expertise and cost less, with 50 percent of home owners spending less than $950 on these projects. At the same time the median spending on professional remodeling projects is close to $4,000.

One of the most expensive remodeling projects is a kitchen addition, with half of these projects costing more than $27,000. Very few homeowners attempt or manage to add a kitchen on their own. The AHS data show that more than 80 percent of kitchen additions are done professionally.  Replacing roofing is also largely outsourced to professional remodelers, 82 percent of these projects are completed by professionals. Home owners also tend to hire professionals when it comes to home improvement projects that require technical training and, often, a professional license.  Close to 90 percent of all remodeling projects that involve adding or replacing HVAC system are done professionally. Almost two thirds of projects that replace internal water pipes, electrical system, major equipment and appliances are completed by professionals. Not only that home owners might not have the right tools and knowledge to complete these projects, but many warranties become void by improper installation.

Home owners are more adventurous and successful in finishing smaller projects. About half of all plumbing fixtures replacements are completed with no professional help. More than half of all bedroom and recreation room renovations are completed by home owners as well. These tend to be smaller projects, with half of them costing less than $1,500 and $1,600, respectively. Professional bedroom and recreation room renovations are bigger in scope with median spending of $5,000 and close to $7,000, respectively.

For additional tips and considerations before taking on a DIY home remodel read the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Remodelers press release

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12 replies

  1. This is a great article. The statistics are telling, and what I take away from this is that homeowners are, by and large, pretty smart when it comes to not biting off more than they can chew. Speaking of that, I would be interested to see statistics on how many home improvements began as DIY projects by homeowners who ended up calling a professional for assistance, and which types of jobs these were. My business, CraftPro Home Improvements, gets a lot of calls from homeowners who started to finish their basements but when it came to the drywall they quickly learned that it takes a professional to hang and float an entire basement. You can visit our website’s blog for our article on basement finishing ROI. Also, I’m sure interior painting jobs top the list of DIY projects. This was a great read, and very informative. Thank you!

  2. I met a family who always solve any problem regarding home. Recently they renovated their kitchen without calling any professional. One of the big reason is here that two of their family are expert in remodeling and other related stuff. But we should be careful before starting any project. If we are not enough expert then should call professional which is the best option.

  3. Do it yourself. If you hire someone each time you need something done you’ll never get the experience nor the fun out of it. It also leads to a set of skills not everyone has.

    -Rocko Barbieri

  4. Roofing is an area that should be left to the pros – regardless if it is a repair or a full replacement. Homeowners should be made aware of the dangers that are present while navigating their roofs and the fact that roofers are experienced in safely walking a roof.

  5. here’s some easy DIY ideas to improve your home


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