What Not to DIY: 5 Projects You Should Leave to the Pros

What Not to DIY: 5 Projects You Should Leave to the Pros | Diary of a DIYer

Nothing is more fulfilling than taking a step back to admire a completed DIY home improvement project. Whether it’s a fresh coat of paint or a newly tiled backsplash, DIY projects take a lot of work. But where do you draw the line? Sometimes it makes more sense to hire a professional.

Here are five DIY home improvement projects that would be better if you didn’t do it yourself.

1. Electrical Wiring

DIY home improvement projects like installing a dimmer switch plate or installing a new ceiling fan are doable without the help of an electrician. However you’ll want to draw the line when it comes to reworking any electrical wiring. Calling a pro will help you avoid the dangers of shoddy electrical work, including electric shock or a fire.

There’s a reason why it takes electricians years to become licensed. Just like any other licensed position, these professionals know the correct electrical procedures to stay safe.



2. Lead Paint Removal

Lead-based paint was banned from being used in homes in 1978. Today—over 50 years later—that original paint is most likely crumbling off the wall, turning into a hazardous dust that’ll cause irreversible damage (even in the smallest amounts).

DIY lead-based paint removal, while possible, is not advised. Some methods of removal can cause even more lead exposure than there was to begin with. If your home was built before 1978, your best bet is to call a professional with special equipment to safely remove the paint.

3. Tree Removal

There are a few danger factors that come into play when removing a large tree. First you have the possibility of falling out of the tree or off your ladder. And whatever tool you’ll be using, whether it’s a chainsaw or an axe, can remove a human limb as easily as a tree limb.

As soon as you yell “timber!,” you’re not going to have much control over of the direction the tree falls. If it comes down on your house, you’ll have more problems than you started with. Then you’ll wish you hired a professional.

4. Roof Repair

DIY roof repair might seem easy, especially if all you need to replace is a few missing shingles or patch up a leak. But when it comes to replacing the whole roof, it’s a no brainer to call in a professional roofing company.

Even the quick fixes pose some danger. Not only do you run the risk of falling from an elevated height but also ruining your home if the job isn’t done correctly. In the end, it’ll cost you a lot more fixing a leaky roof (and subsequent damage to your home from the leak) than hiring an experienced roofer from the beginning.

5. Plumbing Work

Some plumbing work is a breeze (at least for experienced do-it-yourselfers). Fixing a leaky faucet? No big deal. But replacing old piping or adding more? It’s better to leave the bigger projects to the professionals—even more so if the plumbing work is behind the walls. The smallest leak can cause a lot of damage to your home in a short amount of time.


If you’re still on the fence between hiring a pro or DIYing a project, consider these questions first.

  • Do you have the time to complete the project? What seems like quick, easy work for professionals can take you five times longer to complete. 
  • Is DIYing your project really worth the money you’ll save? You could save hundreds of dollars by DIYing a project, but if the work isn’t done the right way the first time, you’ll have to call in a professional to fix it, which will cost you a lot more in the long run. 

There are some DIY home improvement projects that are better if you DDIY (don’t do it yourself, that is—everyone loves a good acronym!). Whether you choose to do it yourself or not, your safety should come first.

Do you have any DIY-turned-DDIY home improvement stories? Share them below in the comments!