DIY: Yes, Maybe or get a tradie?

If you are anything like me then you will alway have an ongoing home improvements “wish” list, add to that the Coronavirus having us all stuck at home, more people than ever are reaching for the tools. A persons home is their castle, and let’s be honest, there is a particular feeling of accomplishment attached to taking ownership to improve and personalise your very own little Duchy. A great way to save money as well as being further empowered by shows such as The Block, every amateur renovator is willing to have a crack, especially right now.

Should you have the time, expertise, and equipment then getting your hands dirty and tackling those more straightforward jobs can be a cost effective option. Before delving straight into You-tube How to’s however do your research – what’s involved and does that match your skill level; what tools are needed and is the cost of purchasing them better spent on a professional; consider health and safety and of course legislation.

According to hipages “Aussies are spending an average of $1500 a year fixing damage caused by DIY fails, totalling to $3.53 billion…annually” So, whilst there are certainly jobs around the home that most would-be DIYers can tackle, it is worth being honest about your abilities, no matter how good you think you are and asking yourself; should I DIY or call in the professionals? 


  • Painting: Updating your colour palette with a fresh coat of paint can completely rejuvenate any interior for a relatively minimal cost. For a professional finish however, the all important prep work is time consuming but worth it, such as cleaning the surface, filling and rubbing down holes, decent brushes/rollers and of course the all important drop sheets. 

  • Gardening: If your back and knees can take it then not only can gardening be therapeutic but also add value to your home. Start with the simple cosmetic elements to get your garden tidy, weed, trim the grass, prune bushes and stain any fences. These days garden centres and nurseries are set up to assist you to select plants and shrubs to suit the climate and soil in your area and improve your curb appeal. 

  • Simple maintenance: Usually within the skill set of any homeowner, putting together flat pack furniture, change a handle or door knob, install a feature wall, hang a blind or paint some cupboard doors. The main considerations before you start as with any DIY task is to factor in safety, materials and time. 


  • Tiling: Although tiling may appear pretty easy, getting a clean even finishes involves time, patience and ability, one misaligned tile can throw the whole look, not to mention those tricky corners. Sharpen your skills with something small such as a splash back or feature wall, for anything more advanced call in the big guns otherwise those mistakes will slap you in the face every time you look at them.

  • Sanding & refinish floors: This is definitely one where you will want to consider the size of the job and your skill level before moving forward. There is plenty that can go amiss and mistakes can be problematic as well as costly to rectify. However with the right equipment and plenty of prep work, you too could restore the original beauty of your wooden floors.


  • Electrics, Plumbing & Gas: Although basic jobs such as a unblocking a drain is something most of us is capable of, when it comes to a bit of rewiring or messing with pipes its not worth the risk considering possibly fire or floods, not to mention your safety. Plus hiring a professional licensed tradie is actually a legal requirement for most electrical, plumbing, gas, or A/C jobs.

  • Structural: Life is not like the movies and you cannot just take a sledgehammer to any old wall! Before taking out walls, repairing the foundation or doing other structural changes you need to know is it load-bearing, is there any electric’s, gas or plumbing, or even if you require a permit? Don’t try this at home kids!

  • Roofing: Roofs take time, hard work and not to mention it’s dangerous, if you don’t know what you are doing you can end up causing more damage than you started with and be disastrous for your property. The risk of injury to yourself or others is not worth any potential cost saving.

  • Asbestos: It is almost certain, that if your home was built prior to 1990, it contains some building materials composed of asbestos. This substance is extremely hazardous and exposure to asbestos can cause severe health issues not just to the person handling it, so employ a licensed professional for this one.

Any DIY jobs, large or small can be a huge undertaking, and there’s a fair chance that the finish product will not be as good as a pro’s. If you can live with a few imperfections then Do-it-yourself can certainly be cheaper and provide a real sense of accomplishment.

Knowing when to DIY and when to hire an expert is essential in getting the job done properly and safely. So before you dive in head first, ensure that you do the groundwork, have the time and are fully equiped, as it could make the very real difference between substantial savings or forking out for costly rectification work. 

If in doubt, don’t!