Sometimes taking on aspects of your interior design project yourself can help stretch your budget and can provide a level of personal satisfaction. However, there are a few key things to consider when deciding if you should take on a project yourself or if you should hire an expert to do the work for you.

Hire a Pro if:

It requires a license and/or permit. Never, ever undertake any project in your home that requires a licensed professional to complete. This can include structural work, electrical work where adding or moving electrical is required, and plumbing work where moving plumbing is required. Doing so is unsafe for you and your family and could cause you problems down the road when trying to sell your home.

Anything requiring a permit should typically be left to a pro. In this instance we installed a new vent free gas fireplace (from Spark Modern Fires). We hired a professional contractor to install this beauty and it works perfectly. Most importantly, its safely installed.

Electrical work typically requires a licensed electrician to complete. It is highly recommended, for your safety that you leave electrical work an expert.

It requires a certain level of experience or expertise. I firmly believe in hiring an expert to do the expert work – work that requires a certain number of years to gain experience in and master. Expert work to me includes but is not limited to: faux finishing, wallpaper removal and installation, masonry work, installing custom window treatments, flooring work and tile work.

I’ve attempted wallpaper removal and installation and let me tell you, if you don’t have experience, its not only a challenge but a chore. I highly recommend leaving this project to a pro!

If you are making the investment of custom window treatments, you want to ensure that they are then installed properly. I always recommend that custom window treatments be installed by a professional installer.

Using your valuable time is not worth it. When evaluating a project, I often ask myself, “What is my time worth?” Could I be doing something that makes me more money right now than I would spend if I hired a professional to do this work? Is my time away from my family while doing this project worth it? This really forces you to prioritize the amount of time needed for completing the project.

You won’t save in the long run. This goes back to having a certain level of experience or expertise. If you undertake a project that would take you twice as long and/or come out half as well as if a professional completed it, you may end up having to hire a pro to re-do your work, and then you’ve lost both time AND money in the end.

Give it a Go if:

You already know how to do it or can learn how to do it quickly. We are all talented at certain things. If you are a good painter, have installed wallpaper previously, are a licensed electrician or you are someone who can follow directions well and can learn a new skill quickly, you could certainly give a project a go.

My client and I installed this stick on wallpaper border as an accent behind her daughter’s bed. The wallpaper is removable so if we made a mistake we could take it back down and start again. This is definitely a “give it a go” type of project!

Typically I recommend having custom window treatments installed by a professional custom window treatment installer. However, for this project we got creative and hung ready-made tie up sheer panels from regular wall hooks. It was an easy, budget friendly way to create a unique look in this tween girl’s bedroom.

You have the attention span and follow-through. Certain home improvement and interior design projects require attention to detail and follow-through to complete. If you enjoying cutting in while painting close to the trim and love the way it feels when that project is completed and checked off your to do list, by all means go for it.

Home Depot offers a “learn to tile” class which is every effective. I took it many years ago and then proceeded to complete a tiling project of my own. I had the tools, the know how and follow through to complete the simple project. I know that if the tile work was more complicated, however, I would not be able to complete it and would leave it to a pro. If you are willing to learn and have the patience, this may be a “give it a go” type of project.

You have the time available to complete it. Most home improvement and interior design projects require a good amount of time to complete. Make sure you highly consider how long it will take you to finish the project well and allow yourself enough time to do so.

It will really save you money. Again, if you are experienced, talented, a quick learner and have attention to detail, completing a project on your own can help to stretch your budget and offer you a great sense of satisfaction.