What DIY Home Projects Are Worth The Money Saved?

What DIY Home Projects are Worth the Money Saved?

Many home projects are complicated and time-consuming enough to call in a professional. And some projects are surprisingly simple and worth tackling on your own. We want to know: what home improvement or renovation projects are worth doing yourself to save some cash?

Obviously, answers might vary, depending on your level of expertise or how much money you're willing to spend. But we're curious about projects that are generally pretty simple for most anyone, regardless of their DIY skills.

So tell us -- what home projects are worth the time and effort of going DIY to save money, and which are worth the price of professional help?


Comments

    Anything you can do to a reasonable standard that isn't a pain and doesn't cost the bank.
    Painting is probably the biggest one. It is all about prep work. Just put in the 30 minutes to sand/clean/mask properly and youre golden.
    Gardening/landscaping. I know too many people that hire gardeners for simple trimming or whole landscapes when they could do ask me/online for pointers and do it themselves.

      I was going to say painting too. Much cheaper than a professional.

    Also there is a YouTube video for literally every single thing you want to do to your house. Anything you can think of has already been done by someone and they have posted to a forum about it.

    I did our bathroom over the holiday, and although I did save like $4-5k, it was an infuriating and time consuming process. The end result has been fairly mediocre to a keen observer (but also quite good in some areas), however, to fresh eyes with an overall view it is quite good and a hundred times better than before.

    Although it has worked out in the end I would suggest that hiring a tiler (which is quite expensive) far outweighed to stress, time and final quality. I won't be tiling again, unless it's on a fresh flat wall.

    For everything else around the house though, I'm currently putting together a list of items based on difficulty to DIY (from my experience for some friends who just bought a house. I'll post it here too.

    Last edited 05/01/15 9:51 am

      They don't move in until the end of January so I will be adding to the list up until then, but here it is so far. These are mainly ideas for buying an older home. The lists also include a few electrical items; for the general public I wouldn't undertake any of these but I've had a little electrical training.
      http://i.imgur.com/CiXe1ls.png

      Last edited 05/01/15 2:03 pm

        Love the list!

        Just as an FYI - any electical, whilst it can be very easy for you or me, under our law must be done by registered or licenced sparky.

        In saying so going from a single to double is easy, doing the light switches is also easy. If that is all you need you have saved yourself at least $200-$300 for a couple points on labour.

        Last edited 05/01/15 5:25 pm

          Cheers! Yeah, well aware of that. I probably should've mentioned it too.

            Also replacing is one thing. Installing new electrical is another.

              Yep! Installing new points are on the "Must Use Professional" list.

          Maybe easy but are you doing it correctly?

            If replacing, take wire one out of hole one and insert wire one into new hole one....
            This is an example for going from single power point to double.

            Turn off power at mains board first as well before hand.

            Also need to take into account the power loading on that mains point...

              So you'll know if it's been done in a way that conforms to current regulations even though they have changed many times over the years.

              And not even testing it for power after switching it off at the breaker? Cause you know they're all ways correctly labeled.

              And no testing after connection?

              Please stop giving out advice for other people's sake.

              Last edited 08/01/15 4:37 pm

                sorry but if you seriously take a few sentences on a lifehacker thread as how to play with electricity you are stupid.

                I was merely suggesting it is not hard to stuff up 3 wires from one set of holes into another...

                edit: can you give an example of how my example wouldn't comply to current regs?

                Last edited 09/01/15 5:10 pm

                  You can't write a proper reply and I'm stupid. Whatever.

                  How were the wires installed for example?
                  You used to be able to just shove them in
                  For a single wire you have to twist them and fold them back. Power points installed 30 years ago might not be that way.

                  It wasn't tested or signed off so it also doesn't comply.
                  Sure the correct cable to current standards was run in the first place or even correct gauze as that has not always been complied to.

    Probably should have a companion article entitled Which Home DIY Projects lead to the most hospital emergency department visits.

      The answer would be, "The ones that are most popular". In my experience every home DIY project generates injuries at about the same rate - 100 per cent.

    DIY - Changing your incandescent/spot light general lights to LED lights. Huge electricity bill saving
    Expert - Changing your downlights to LED lights. Huge electricity bill saving

    I do a fair bit of wood working and have made a fair few custom book shelves but for the materials alone not including time. It usually looking back costs more than a near enough flat pack from somewhere.

    Flat rule.
    1. Do I have the skills to complete the job to my desired quality/finish? If no, then hire someone in, else go to 2
    2. If the cost of hiring someone else < (my overtime rate x the time taken to complete), get them to do the job, else do it myself

      good point, my time is more important doing stuff I enjoy (playing games with kids, swimming in pool) rather than stuff I hate doing because I have too. I would rather pay someone a wage and get it done right if I don't enjoy the task.

      Big job gardening is crap, small plantings or vegetables is great!

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