To DIY or not?

17 Apr 2024

Which jobs can you get away with doing yourself and which should you hire a professional for?

In this post, we’ll look at which jobs you can do yourself and which jobs you should definitely call in the professionals for.

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When it comes to home improvements and maintenance there are a vast array of jobs with differing levels of skills. Whilst tackling the jobs yourself can save you money, employing a professional can save you time. Before you attempt any job you should ask yourself, “can I do it myself?”

Considerations before doing it yourself…

Before attempting any DIY ask yourself a few questions:

  • Would a professional have to do lots of training to do this job? If the answer is yes, it’s likely you may be short of the right skillset.

  • Is it a job that affects the structure of your home or would require building control to sign off to ensure it meets with building regulations? Yes? Then call the professionals!

  • Would the job need certification should you sell your home? If it does, don’t attempt it yourself. It could cause complications in the long run.

If it is a relatively unskilled job that won’t damage your home and you feel confident, then grab your tools and go for it.

Jobs you absolutely can DIY


If you need to save money or work with a small budget, painting yourself is an easy win. There are hundreds of YouTube videos for tips and tricks about cutting in, what tools to use, and ensuring you get an even coverage.

Top Tip: Wrap your brushes and rollers in clingfilm between coats to preserve them.


This might seem like a really daunting task. Decide whether you want to opt for ‘pasting the wall’ paper or’ paste the paper’. Take your time and you will be surprised at how easy you find it. So much so, you might find yourself wondering which rooms you can wallpaper next!

Laying Wood Flooring

Engineered, vinyl and laminate flooring has become much easier to lay yourself thanks to click systems that require no nails or glue. The most important thing is establishing your pattern before you start.

Top Tip: Use an underlay and ensure the floor is level before you begin.


If you have a simple pattern then there is no reason you can’t DIY it. When it comes to tiling though, preparation is key. Make sure you start in the middle and get your plumb line right.

And remember the adage “measure twice, cut once”.

Gutter maintenance

This may be one of those boring but necessary jobs - it will help you avoid leaks and damage thought. And it is certainly one you can do yourself to save money. Ensure you have a sturdy ladder, and someone on hand to foot the ladder for you.

Install new fencing

If you are looking to upgrade your fencing, composite fencing is sustainable, low maintenance, and looks great. It’s also easy to install yourself, with the added bonus of looking like a professional has done it.

Loft insulation

Insulating your loft can save on your energy bills, and it’s a job you can easily take on yourself. But beware, it will probably take longer to empty the loft than it will to insulate it!

Leaky tap

If you have the kind of leak that is causing your ceiling to bulge then we would suggest calling in the professionals, and quickly. However, a dripping tap and small leaks can be easily fixed yourself with a visit to a hardware store and a bit of googling.

Considerations before hiring a tradesperson…

If you have decided the job requires a professional make sure you consider:

  • Hiring a tradesperson that is registered to an organisation such as The CPA so you are safe in the knowledge they are a reputable and trustworthy professional.

  • Protect your money by using tradespeople who offer a deposit protection scheme.

  • Get an Insurance Backed Guarantee to protect your money should the company you have employed cease trading.

Job’s you shouldn’t DIY


Some statistics for you: Someone dies every week in the UK due to an electrical accident in their home. Half of all severe electric shocks are caused by people attempting electrical DIY in their homes. DIY electrical work also happens to be the cause of almost half the house fires in the UK.

Quite simply avoid DIY, and get the experts in for the safety of you and your family.


Fiddling with your pipes is not recommended without expert knowledge. Whilst you may attempt fixing a small leak, fitting pipes from scratch or tackling bigger problems can go wrong. Pipes can burst and leave you with a very wet home and a very big repair bill.

Knocking Down Walls

With more and more of us favouring open plan living, the interior walls in our homes are coming down. Whilst knocking down a wall may seem like an easy job, it should always be assessed by a structural engineer first to check the wall is not load bearing. Knocking down a load bearing wall can cause damage to the structure of your home and should only be done by a professional who can install steel beams.

Kitchen Fitting

Building cabinets may not seem like the most difficult job, but when installing a kitchen, levels are vital. Unless you want your cabinets to be two inches higher at one end of the kitchen and slopey worktops, it is definitely worth hiring a professional to tackle this job.

Asbestos Removal

Asbestos is a dangerous material that can cause cancer if you breathe in the fibres. Although the material has been banned since 1999, some older homes may still contain asbestos. If you find any, do not go near it and hire a professional to remove it safely.


Whether it’s a repair or a whole new roof, roofers are specialists and it’s not advisable to try and replace tiles or the roof lining yourself. Doing so could mean you end up with leaks and a house that isn’t watertight, causing lots more damage in the long run.

Removing Wildlife

If you have discovered bats in your loft, or a wasp nest in your eaves, or any other unwelcome wildlife in your home or garden, you should call in the professionals to safely remove them. Many species are endangered and require special handling. You can contact Wildlife Management and Licensing for advice.

Window Installation

There are a lot of regulations around window fitting, and unless fitters are registered with organisations such as FENSA and CERTAS then Building Control will be required to sign off the work. You will also require a certification of work should you sell your home. The knowledge required to fit windows is considerable enough that you should not attempt to DIY this job. Poorly fitted windows can cause structural damage to your home.


Whilst taking on some jobs yourself can save you lots of money, taking on the wrong jobs yourself could end up costing you more.

To DIY, or not to DIY? That is the question…

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