DIY or Hire a Pro?

Ready to for a little home maintenance project put not sure if it pays to hire the work out to a professional? Consider how much time and effort you are willing to put into the project (as well as your skills) and assess whether it may pay off to hire the job out.

1. Choosing a Paint Color.

DIY: This is a great DIY project if you have the time and the inclination to sort through paint chips and design magazines for inspiration in order to find the perfect color for your home.

Hire a Pro: A color consultant can help you select colors that work for your home and spare you from testing 15 different shades only to find out none look right with your furniture. He or she may also lead you to surprising, more daring choices.

2. Carpentry.

DIY: If you relish the chance to act as a handyman and break out your power drill then this project is for you.

Hire a Pro: A professional carpenter will know exactly what to do, so they are your best bet when tools aren’t your thing. A professional will be able to choose the right veneer and find the proper wall studs that will prevent your project from crashing down.

3. Energy Auditor.

DIY: Doing an energy audit yourself will allow you to get to know your house – from the insulation out. Check your local utility company’s website, most have relatively easy instructions for do-it-yourself energy audits; or see the U.S. Department of Energy at

Hire a Pro: A professional energy audit comes armed with specialized equipment to identify even tiny air leaks; this will also allow you to prioritize problem areas in your home. Some local utility companies will send a contractor to you for a free basic inspection.

4. Restyling a Room.

DIY: Tackle this project if you want to learn the tricks of the styling trade. Look for inspiration and ideas online or through interior design books.

Hire a Pro: A professional restyler, also called redecorators and interior refiners, will pop into your home, look at what you’ve got, and rearrange it, giving your old furniture new life…in about half the time it may take you to figure out all the different aspects of interior design.