Watching HGTV and other do-it-yourself shows may convince you that your next home improvement project is simple enough for you to handle… but is it? The shows can make some projects look much easier than they are. Sometimes it is a good idea to evaluate whether the next project on your list would be better handled by a pro.

In order to determine if this particular project is DIY or Pro-worthy, ask yourself the following questions.

  1. Assess your skill set. Do you have the knowledge to handle the project?
  2. Consider the necessary supplies. Do you have the tools required to get the job done?
  3. Is it worth your time? Don’t forget to factor in your time as part of the project’s expense.

The rule of thumb usually is if it is a cosmetic fix then DIY may be a viable option. If it requires permits, specialists, or anything structural, electrical, or plumbing-related, then a pro is the better option.

Some examples:

Walls – if you’re just painting with only the minor filling of nail holes and taping off of baseboards and ceiling, then DIY. If more extensive wall repairs are needed then hire a pro.

Floors – minor repairs such as of filling in scratches with a retouch crayon are easy DIY. More extensive projects such as installing hardwood floors or carpeting are better handled by the pros. Windows and Doors – any project that involves an opening to your home is best contracted out to skilled professionals.

DIY projects can be fun but if you’re not sure about your skill set than start small. Paint a room before you tackle the whole interior. Plant one tree or bush before you start landscaping the whole yard. If you find you can’t handle a project then hire a pro. It’s always better to have it done correctly and look nice than to spend your time frustrated with a poor end result.