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Thinking About DIY Home Improvement? Read This First

Hello all and happy February, finally! Last month we posted a short article with 5 tips to keep in mind before beginning home DIY projects. Today we are lucky to have guest blogger, Paul Denkin of, share more in-depth knowledge about when you should DIY and when you should leave it to the professionals. Enjoy! 

If you love to craft and construct, owning a home is like buying the ultimate DIY project. Is there anything more exciting than the prospect of turning your house into your dream home as a labor of love? But before you get carried away with dreams of paint chips and crown moldings, you need to learn what’s safe to DIY and which projects are best left to experienced professionals.

Home Improvement Projects to DIY 

Unless you have some serious carpentry knowledge under your belt, it’s best to stick with DIY projects that don’t make permanent changes to your home. That means you won’t be knocking down any walls, but you still have tons of options. From cosmetic changes to minor repairs, here are 10 home improvement projects that are perfect for DIY: 

●Painting walls 

●Changing cabinet hardware 

●Adding a backsplash 

●Installing attic insulation 

●Replacing faucets 

●Installing landscaping plants 

●Upgrading interior doors 

●Stripping and staining wood cabinets 

●Building floating shelves 

●Sealing door and window drafts 

Home Improvement Projects to Hire Out 

There are some projects that should never be done by a homeowner simply because they’re too dangerous or require a permit and a licensed professional to complete. Others should be avoided because doing it DIY will render the space unusable for too long, because it requires a level of skill and precision that the average homeowner is unlikely to possess, or because it requires heavy lifting and the disposal of large appliances. No matter how enthusiastic you are, you’re better off leaving these 10 projects to someone with the know-how to do it right: 


●Installing a wood fence (lumber costs $7 to $15 a foot) 

●Electrical wiring 

●Gas repairs 

●Adding or demolishing structural elements 

●Repairing a roof (major repairs usually run $1,000 - $3,000

●Installing cabinets 

●Installing counters 

●Replacing large appliances and plumbing fixtures 

●Replacing a garage door (costs $1,073 on average) 

●Removing a tree 

Home Improvement Safety Tips 

Even when a project is doable, there are still risks involved. Home improvement is a dirty job, after all! Keep yourself safe through all your hands-on adventures by following these essential safety rules: 

1.Wear appropriate clothing: Loose clothing and jewelry not only get in your way, they could cause serious injury if they get stuck in a power tool. Wear close-fitting clothing, tie your hair back, and wear closed-toe shoes to protect your feet from falling materials. 

2.Protect your eyes, ears, and airways: Cutting and sanding sends a lot of airborne particles into the air, some of them too small to see. If particles get into your eyes or airways they could cause irritation and injuries. Wear safety goggles and a dust mask whenever you’re working with wood, insulation, paints, and stains. Ear plugs or ear muffs should also be work when working with power tools. 

3.Ventilate: Paints, stains, and adhesives release toxic fumes into the air. If you’re working with these substances, keep the room well-ventilated by opening windows and using box fans to push air out. 

4.Use power tools safely: It only takes a small mishap for a power tool to take off a finger or come crashing onto a toe. Always follow power tool safety rules like never leaving tools unattended, unplugging tools when not in use (opting for cordless tools when possible makes this easy), keeping your workspace clean and uncluttered, keeping children away from power tools, and always choosing the appropriate tool for the job. If you’re not sure which tool you need, use tool reviews from Tool Review Lab

5.Keep a first aid kit nearby: Despite your best efforts, knicks and splinters are bound to happen when you’re working with tools and raw materials. Keep a first aid kit nearby so you can respond quickly to injuries. You can purchase a pre-assembled kit or build your own with these recommendations from the Red Cross. 

There’s a lot you can do to change your house’s look without involving teams of contractors. But sometimes, it’s worth it to pay a little extra to have your project done by someone who has the experience to do it right, do it fast, and do it safely. Rather than getting halfway through a project only to realize you can’t finish it, assess your skills and patience to decide if your project is better off in the hands of professionals.