Home Indeed Blog

Home remodeling blog from Home Indeed in the Cedar Valley, IA. Home design, renovation inspiration, and more!

What to DIY and What to Leave to the Professionals

As a homeowner, it’s natural to want to care for your property and upgrade it every now and then. If you are handy with tools, you may even be tempted to do the work yourself to save some money and feel a sense of pride in your accomplishment.

Depending on your skill level, there are several small projects around the home that you can do yourself. In some cases, however, it’s best to invest in professional remodeling services to maximize your gain and save yourself time and stress, and even money.

Couple remodeling their home on their own

DIY Remodeling Jobs at Home

If you’re ready to update your home in Cedar Falls, Iowa, you can get a head start with a few DIY projects. Some of these are also tasks you can handle for a larger home remodel, even if you bring on a design-build contractor for a majority of the project. Here’s a look at what renovations are safe and easy enough for most homeowners to do alone:

1. Updating Your Cabinetry Hardware

Cabinet hardware is a minor element, but it can significantly freshen up the look of your kitchen or bathroom. The good news is that it’s also a fairly simple and budget-friendly project. You can find new cabinet pulls, knobs, drawer slides and other items at a local hardware store or from an online source. If you’re looking for DIY projects to do at home, this is a good place to start.

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2. Installing Wallpaper or Painting

Your walls present ample surface area, and subsequently opportunity, for creating a specific ambience in your home. For a DIY remodel, consider painting your kitchen, bathroom or another living area, refreshing the current color or giving it a different appearance altogether. Painting is a fairly low-risk activity and if you make mistakes, you can start over without too much wasted time or money. Wallpapering is also an option for a DIY renovation, especially since manufacturers are offering more installation-friendly versions these days.

3. Hanging Small Fixtures

Like cabinetry hardware, there are small fixtures throughout your house—such as light fixtures, towel racks, curtain rods and clothes racks—that require only a few tools and some free time. You can find videos online to walk you through the process if you’re not sure where to start, but in general, these tasks are fairly intuitive. It’s also simple to find the tools and materials you need for hanging or replacing the small fixtures in your house.

4. Sourcing Materials

A major part of upgrading your kitchen, bathroom or whole home in Cedar Valley is replacing your outdated appliances, worn-down fixtures and other aging materials. You can assist with your major home remodel by sourcing the new fixtures, finishes and materials you need. You’ll want to collaborate with your contractor on this project. You’ll need them to confirm measurements and what particular items are required. They may also have a vendor who can give them a better deal on certain products. However, you can have fun hunting for unique pieces or replacement appliances at antique stores and flea markets.

remodeling contractor

Home Improvements that Need a Professional

Before you attempt a DIY remodel consider the time and effort you’ll need to invest, as well as the risk and potential downfalls if things don’t go well. It can be incredibly frustrating to spend hours on a project that employs raw materials only to eventually need a professional remodeler’s help, which means acquiring new materials and having to pay what you would’ve upfront. Here are few projects you should plan on leaving to the professionals, unless you have proper equipment and experience:

1. Demolition

Popular media portrayals of residential remodeling may have you believing that demolition consists primarily of swinging a sledgehammer into the walls and fixtures on your jobsite. However, in reality, professional contractors have a refined and careful approach to mitigate waste and unnecessary damage. Based on your home remodeling design, they know what needs to be preserved and what to remove, as well as the best way to do so. You also have to make a plan for getting rid of debris—a service that is usually offered by local remodeling companies.

2. Any Structural Work

If you’re changing a layout, replacing a roof, moving walls or doing other structural work as part of your home improvement, it's best to call in the professionals. You’ll need to obtain a permit for the job, and you’ll be held accountable to local zoning and building laws. Licensed remodelers are better positioned to handle these responsibilities. Plus, they have proper insurance coverage in case something goes wrong. You also don't know whether more extensive structural issues will be revealed once the work begins.

3. Gas, Plumbing and Electrical Work

There’s a reason that even many professional remodeling companies collaborate with specialists to handle upgrades to plumbing and mechanical systems. These tasks require a certain type of expertise and background to pull off properly. Plus, you’ll need to get the right permits and line up inspections if you’re upgrading or rerouting your gas, plumbing and electrical lines or adding new service locations.

4. Tilework and Flooring

Replacing your flooring or adding new tilework to your kitchen or bathroom can be tricky if you’ve never done it before. If the project is not executed properly, you may wind up wasting good—and costly—materials, and you’ll need professional help to fix your mistakes. It’s better to bypass the potential delays and unnecessary costs by hiring a remodeler to handle these home renovations from the get-go.

couple with remodeler

Investing in Your Cedar Valley Home

A DIY renovation is not the only way you can invest in your home and personally contribute to its improvement. At Home Indeed, collaboration is a major part of our design-build remodeling process. We want to empower you to create the home of your dreams, which means involving you in the design process and giving you important insight to make informed decisions. You can help design a remodeling plan that gives you pride and confidence without the stress of having to carry out each aspect of the project on your own.

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