8 DIY Home Projects you Should Never Tackle

Meaghan O'Neill writing for Architectural Digest gives us insight on projects we should not tackle alone.

I’m not a super handy person, but after two house renovations, I’ve learned to push my DIY boundaries especially when it helps keep my budget in check. I’ve gotten pretty good at painting and staining. Put a Sawzall in my hand and I’ll slice up any old barn board. In fact most cosmetic tasks—wallpaper, backsplashes, moulding—are pretty easy to conquer; if I can do this stuff chances are most people can. Sometimes, though, our DIY dreams can get a little ahead of our skill sets.

When it comes to home improvement, there are the jobs you can totally DIY, job you can but shouldn’t bother with, and a few that should always be left for the pros—especially if you’re new at this whole do-it-yourself thing. "Ask yourself, ‘Am I going to injure myself? How much is it going to cost if I screw up? And do I need a permit?” says Brittany Bailey, a licensed contractor in North Carolina and blogger at Pretty Handy Girl. If you get hurt, cause damage, or don’t meet building codes, she cautions, “you may end up paying more.” Below, some other DIY home project warnings.

Sanding floors takes an experienced touch

“There are things that take a skill that can only be developed over time,” says Brian Murray, a real estate broker based in Hoboken, New Jersey. “Sanding floors is one of those things.” Brian, who’s experienced with renovations both as a homeowner and a salesperson, warns that amateur work is instantly recognizable, and might detract from your home’s value. Skip the lumps and bumps and hire a pro.

Sheetrock can be very frustrating

Finishing sheetrock is not a dangerous job, but it’s tedious. Plus, it’s not all that expensive to hire it out. “It’s like sending your shirts to the dry cleaner,” quips Brian. “I could iron them myself, but for a couple dollars, it’ll look way better.” If you insist on giving it a shot, adds Brittany, start in a closet or other unnoticeable area. “My first sheetrock experience was all kinds of wonky,” she admits. Luckily it was on a pantry ceiling.

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Photo by Thomas Koehler of Getty Images


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