DIY or Hire a Handyman?

Maybe it’s the thought of being able to nonchalantly tell guests, “Yeah, we did that ourselves.” Perhaps it’s the hope of saving a bit of hard-earned money. Or maybe it’s from watching home renovation projects on TV and the way they make it look so magical and easy.

But professional contractors exist for a reason: some home improvement projects really are better left to the experts. Hiring handyman services for some of the work that needs to be completed at your house will release you from unnecessary stress, free up your limited time, and could even save you time and money in the long run. After all, if something goes amok while you’re attempting a DIY project, you might need to call in reinforcements.

Here are some common home renovation projects along with tips to help you decide whether the task is one you can wisely DIY or if hiring contractors would be the best route. Whether you’re looking to remodel your entire home or spruce up a small room, you’ll want to know how to best invest your time and money.


Interior painting is a common DIY project as it is relatively simple to learn. With the help of some friends with experience and advice from YouTube videos, many people can do a decent job painting.

However, for a job well done, an interior should have two coats of primer and two coats of paint. For a project of substantial square footage, it can take a lot of time to roll on the paint and allow for adequate drying.

While you may have the physical ability to paint, remember to consider how much time painting will involve and whether that is something you can spare. If you’ll be painting doors, trim, and any other architectural accents – remember to add in extra time there, too.

Properly cleaning in advance and filling in nail holes and cracks is also important if you want quality results.

Making Your Home Smart

As more products with “smart” technology hit the market, homeowners are eager to install everything from smart security cameras and lighting to other voice-controlled mechanisms to make nearly everything easier.

But is it easy enough to install and coordinate yourself? That depends! You know yourself and your technological savvy best. If you learn how to operate smart technology easily, then you’re probably good to go! These are normally simple installations. But if new technology tends to make your head spin, you’re likely better off calling handyman services to save yourself a headache.

Redoing Bathroom Plumbing

The only time we’d advise redoing your bathroom plumbing without a professional is if you are a professional plumber yourself.

Fixing a leaky sink or running toilet is one thing, but attempting to rebuild your plumbing on your own is asking for trouble. Bathroom plumbing and electric are in close proximity, which means that the slightest error will wreak havoc – possibly in the form of electrocution or flooding.

Installing a Roof

Roofing is a labor-heavy and time-intensive job. Due to the potentially high cost, you may be tempted to do it yourself, but this is another project we’d err on the side of caution. If you’re tight on money and looking to save wherever you can, you could consider asking a professional roofer if you could rip out the old roof yourself to cut down on the cost.

Tearing out an old roof requires muscle and sweat but less skill than what is needed to install the new roof. However, attempting anything yourself on the roof could result in injuries (and medical bills) on top of the cost of hiring a professional for the roof installation. These are just some things worth considering before you commit to this DIY.

Replace Kitchen and Bathroom Hardware

Updating the hardware in your kitchen or bathroom is a budget-friendly way to give the space a facelift. This typically only requires a screwdriver when it comes to tools, and it can be a great DIY project for people of all skill levels.

Mistakes can happen if you’re drilling new holes, but otherwise you should be in for smooth sailing and satisfying results!


Talk to people about their least favorite DIY projects, and flooring is named a lot. Flooring may look easy enough, but as is often the case, it turns out that it’s not. Installing carpet, wood floors, or floor tiles is typically better left to the pros.

Staining a Deck

If your deck needs some TLC, staining it is a good way to beautify it and extend its life. Rain and snow take a toll on wood, but a fresh stain will help protect it from the elements.

Be sure to prep the surface by sanding the wood and removing any stains with a pressure washer, and then apply two coats of stain.

Building an Addition

Adding on to your home or expanding a room is one of the largest projects a homeowner can take on. Demolition, carpentry, electrical, and plumbing are often involved. Each facet of the project requires expertise, and that’s why hiring professional contractors is the way to go when you’re ready for an addition.

Professionals will also be familiar with local codes and ordinances needed for a major project like this, likely saving you from additional fines and hassles.

Questions to Ask for Any Home Project

The options are endless when it comes to home improvement projects, and we’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg with the above examples. Whatever you need or want to have done at your property, here are questions to consider if you’re debating between a DIY or hiring professional contractors in Lancaster, PA and beyond.

What is my budget?

We tend to think that doing a home improvement project ourselves will save money, but that’s often a myth. Sometimes it can save money, but with errors and learning curves, it can end up costing just as much.

If you accidentally inflict significant damage to your property in the process, it costs even more to have that fixed. With the DIY route, you also need to factor in expenses for tools or equipment you’ll need to buy or rent.

Do I have the time and patience to learn the skill and work through small mistakes?

Staying within your comfort zone for home improvement projects can reduce stress. Embarking on a home improvement project may involve multiple trips to the store for extra supplies as mistakes occur. Anticipate that things won’t be perfect on the first attempt.

If you’re flexible and patient enough to work through small errors, DIY could be right for you. However, if you have a full schedule and your reserves of patience are already running low, hiring a professional contractor makes sense.

Would a mistake cause significant damage to my home?

Some renovations and updates involve more risk than others. Avoid attempting electrical, plumbing, or HVAC work if you don’t have experience or skills in those areas. So much can go wrong. Outsource projects that could endanger you and your family or that could cost more to fix in the end.

What level of quality do I expect?

If you undertake a project yourself, remember that your results may not turn out as well as a professional contractor. For example, you might end up with noticeable brush strokes in paint, uneven tiles, and so forth. If you can live with some slight (or major) imperfections, trying a DIY may be worth it. If not, hire an expert.

Professional Contractors and Handyman Services in Lancaster, PA

When you have projects that you’d like to hire professional contractors for rather than DIY, contact Home One Services. We offer free in-home consultations and estimates, as well as free phone consultations and estimates in Lancaster, PA and the surrounding areas.

Our experienced professional contractors specialize in renovations and additions, electrical work, and handyman services. Check out what our clients have to say about our work and reach out today.