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Home renovations can be expensive. If you’re on a tight budget, you may be thinking about tackling some projects yourself. If you know what you’re doing and can do the job safely, that may be a good idea, but there are some renovations that should be left to professionals.

Are You Qualified to do the Job?
There are plenty of projects, such as painting and replacing kitchen and bathroom fixtures, that you can handle yourself with little or no training. Watching an online video may be enough to teach you what you need to know. In some cases, however, you shouldn’t attempt a project unless you have received formal training.

Plumbing is one example. You may be able to fix a leaky faucet, but if you want to move fixtures and don’t have the appropriate training, let a contractor or plumber handle it. If you make a mistake, your kitchen or bathroom may flood or cause a slow leak, which can cause structural damage or mold.

Moving walls or creating an open floor plan is a project that should be left to a professional. If you remove a load-bearing wall and don’t adequately support the upper floor and roof, you may wind up with a disaster on your hands.

Other types of work can pose a safety hazard to you or to others. Roof work is dangerous because of the risk of falling, not to mention potential damage to your house if you do it wrong. Any project that requires major electrical work, or that involves natural gas, should be entrusted to a licensed contractor.

Can You Save Money by Doing the Work Yourself?
If you don’t know what you’re doing and you make a mistake, you may have to hire a professional to fix the original issue, plus the additional problem that you created. You may wind up paying a lot more than it would have cost you to hire a contractor in the first place.

Making a mistake when completing a home renovation can also come back to bite you when you sell your house. Shoddy work can be a red flag and may turn off potential buyers. 

Perform a Cost-Benefit Analysis
Request estimates from a few local contractors or use a website to get a ballpark cost for your planned project. Then, research prices for parts and estimate how long it would take you to do the work yourself, given your level of training and experience. If you would only be able to work on renovations in the evenings or on weekends, it could take you several weeks. A contractor could get it done much faster. Before starting a  project, ask yourself if you are equipped to handle it yourself or if it would be better to hire a professional. 

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