DIY or hire a pro: which projects should you leave to the professionals?


If you’re a DIYer, it’s tempting to think that every improvement project in your home (or outside of it) is something you can tackle yourself. But the reality is: DIY projects don’t always go as planned. 

That’s why it’s important to know which jobs are best left for professional home renovators, especially when tackling major renovations around your house.


Here are some of the home improvement projects that should only be attempted by trained, experienced professionals:


1. Electrical work

It takes years of experience and a thorough understanding of the Canadian Electrical Code (CE Code) to do electrical work effectively and safely. Even if you’re trained as an apprentice and understand the CE Code inside and out, there’s still no guarantee that you won’t make mistakes in your wiring that could cause serious damage or even death. 

Electrical work is dangerous for homeowners because there are many moving parts involved. Creating circuits, installing outlets and switches, and connecting wires between switch boxes all require know-how to keep people safe. Hazards such as faulty wiring or live electric wires coming into contact with water sources, or an electrical short could leave you with far more damage than what you started with. 

Best to leave that to those who’ve got experience under their belt!


2. Plumbing work

Plumbing is not just about fixing leaks — it’s also about keeping your home safe from floods caused by burst supply pipes and drainage problems. If done poorly, plumbing can lead to serious issues within your home that could result in a water-damaged building, causing much more of a headache with repairs to the home’s finishes.

If you’re having trouble with your toilet, bathtub drain, or faucet, or are planning renovations, it’s highly likely you’ll require plumbing alterations. In this case, we’ll always tell you that hiring a professional plumber may actually be cheaper in the long run as opposed to attempting DIY and it not going as smoothly as you’d like!


3. Roofing projects

Roofing is dangerous – that’s a fact. 

This job involves working at heights with heavy materials and dangerous tools like nail guns – being certified and trained with fall protection equipment is a must.

Falling off a ladder can cause serious injuries or even death. 

Slipping on ice can lead to broken bones. 

Falling shingles could cause head trauma or worse injuries, as well as damage properties or items around the home. 

The cleanup process is also equally as important as the main project. Piles of old shingles will need to be disposed of properly before installing new ones to avoid safety hazards around your home where children might play or pets walk through. 


4. Drywall repair 

Technically speaking, putting up drywall isn’t quite as dangerous as removing drywall with asbestos, but because it’s so much more common to DIY drywall,  no one thinks twice about safety or the final product. If you aren’t careful, you can end up with gaping holes in your walls which will require more extensive work in the end, plus more money spent on materials and labour in the long run. 

In cities like Calgary where weather dramatically fluctuates and winters are harsh, homeowners should be extra careful when choosing home renovation services to fix their drywall.


5. Concrete formwork

Concrete formwork is the temporary structure used to hold the concrete in place while it sets. It’s used to form the shape of the concrete, whether that be for a foundation or a countertop.

This kinda work isn’t something to take lightly. You need to know how to work with concrete and have a good understanding of its properties – otherwise, it will be difficult for the concrete to finish and meet structural integrity expectations. 


It never hurts to talk to a professional renovation contractor, even if you plan on doing it yourself.

It’s hard not to love a good DIY project, but when it comes to your home, some projects are best left in the hands of the pro. Not only will they save you time and potential injury by doing the work for you, they may also prevent costly mistakes down the road.

When choosing the best home renovation company, look for one that is committed to your family’s safety. They should have reliable contractors who follow all codes, pull permits, and offer quality craftsmanship so the entire process is done right the first time.  


In this market the good trades and contractors are worth the wait. 

Leave a Comment