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Ever been inspired by an amazing DIY home renovation in a magazine and wondered if you could complete a similar project yourself? Some projects are ideal for doing yourself, while others are better left to a professional. How do you decide what to do yourself and when to hire a pro? Answer a few questions before you pick up that hammer or paintbrush:

Do you have the needed skills?

Do you already know how to do the basics of the project you’re considering, or are you enthusiastic about learning? If you’ve never painted furniture or laid tile, then a small DIY project will help you learn and hone your skills.

If you’ve never done electrical work, it is probably a better idea to hire a professional and watch from a safe distance. If you’re not terribly artistic, but want a mural, hiring an artist is likely the way to go. Plumbing and big tile jobs may also be better suited to a contractor, depending on the project’s degree of difficulty and the specialized tools required. The cost of mistakes can be quite high with both plumbing and tile — a destructive leak, a failing tile installation.

Do you have the time?

You likely can paint your walls, but do you have the time and patience to do it right? Hiring a painting contractor is more expensive than doing it yourself, but it will save your time.

Do you have the equipment?

In some cases, you may have the skills and time to complete a project, but lack the equipment. Make sure that you are not paying more for the equipment and tools to complete a job than you’d pay a contractor to do the work for you. If you can use the tools for other projects, then it may be worth it to purchase them, but do the math before you buy.

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