Doing up your own home is a great cost-saving measure and a fun project for those who enjoy working with their hands. However, no one, even those with some experience, should do it all. An electrician isn’t prepared for the reality of plumbing, and a carpenter can’t wire a home. You need to understand what is plausible and realistic for you and then plan for and budget when you need to bring the experts in.

With an intelligent combination of DIYing it and bringing in the pros for the rest, you can have a fully functional home for less.

What You Should Never DIY

To start knowing what you should never even attempt to DIY is vital. Attempting these parts of home building and renovation can result in a few disasters. You make a massive mess that costs even more, to clean up. Two, your finished project isn’t up to code, and you have to legally change it and pay money for professionals to do it anyway. Three, you get severely injured. Fatal injuries aren’t out of the realm of possibility.

Sounds serious, doesn’t it?
That’s because it is. A poorly built home is more likely to collapse on you and result in house fires, floods, and so on – if you manage to finish certain aspects of your home improvement. More likely, your finished job just isn’t up to snuff, and you’ll have to pay for it to be fixed anyway or risk a fine or, worse, an order for eviction. Properties that are unsafe to live in are illegal to live in.

That’s why you will always need to hire professionals for these jobs:

1. Anything to do with the structural framework of the home

From changing around walls to messing about with your foundation, it is off-limits. You need more tools and support than you’ll have, but getting these materials yourself is not cost-effective. Bring in a contractor and have these elements of your home renovation done by professionals. Since they are already on the job, you may want to bring them in to do the rest. For example, if you plan on an extension so your kitchen can be more extensive, hiring professionals for the entire job is better for your time and money.

2. Anything to do with the electrical

Poor wiring can lead to house fires and shocks. That’s why you will need a licensed electrician to do any wiring in your house – or to fix old issues if the previous owners DIYed it and left you with a mess. This is for legal and safety reasons.

3. Anything complicated to do with plumbing

While you can change out taps reasonably quickly, save the more complicated plumbing for the professionals. This includes if anything needs to be fixed if you’re changing the layout of your bathroom or kitchen, or adding a new bathroom.

What You Can DIY

Anything that’s for aesthetic purposes only can typically be done by yourself. Want to change out the doors or knobs? Easy to do yourself. Want to repaint your kitchen? It’s complex and time-consuming but very doable. Aesthetic updates make a huge difference to how a home feels, but now, how it functions makes it a typically safe use of your time.

That doesn’t make it easy. Thankfully, there are so many excellent resources to help you. The key to a successful DIY project, then, is to use these steps:

Fully flesh out your idea.

It’s hard to find tutorials and get specific advice or even the right products if you don’t know what you’re after. That’s why the first step is to create a concrete blueprint of what you want to do. There are so many digital tools today that you can use either with a free trial, on a subscription basis, or entirely for free that will help you visualize your design idea in real time. Do this, and remember you need more than just the final picture. Add details of what you plan to have done. This way, you can take your plan to your local Home Depot or use it when looking for online tutorials.

How to find tutorials

There are better ways to do everything. That’s why you need to look online for tutorials from DIYers or, better yet, tradespeople who have posted online explanations of what to do for others to learn from. Watch several different approaches to figure out what works best for you.

How to save on materials

When it comes to the actual materials, there are a few key ways you can save while getting what you need to bring your vision to life:

Use discount codes

Many stores like Home Depot and similar have special prices for those in the trade. You likely won’t get access to these deals as a single person. What you can do, however, is use a Home Depot discount code and look online for these promos before you check out. Some stores may even let you, as a DIYer, gain access to their trades catalog, though you shouldn’t count on this as part of your strategy.

Rent equipment

Always rent equipment you’ll use once or during your DIY project. Renting equipment means gaining access to more comprehensive, specialized tools that do the job properly that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford. These are usually rented for the day. With this approach, you can rent the sander you need to resurface your floors.

Reclaim materials

Reclamation yards are a great way to find unique pieces for less. You can find doors, crown molding, floors, and other raw materials. If you’re particularly good at sourcing, you can even watch for any significant renovations in your area occurring right now and then get in touch to see if you can buy the unused materials. This is how you can get cool wooden floors, for example, or statement pieces like a chandelier.

Properly plan out your steps.

Once you have the materials, write down each baby step. This will keep you focused and, more importantly, allow you to update your timeline fully. It will also help you get things like your measurements and cuts correct the first time rather than waste materials or time.