Doing home repair yourself can be a great way to trade sweat for equity. Some home repairs require little skill and few specialized tools, such as patching a small drywall hole or changing a kitchen faucet. YouTube is full of DIY videos that can make any repair seem simple, but a lot of home repair jobs can be either too complex or dangerous, or require tools that you don’t own. For these jobs, it’s best to call in professionals, including home inspectors and contractors.


Before you DIY, be honest with yourself


Forbes notes that DIY home repair projects can be a lot harder than they appear on TV shows and YouTube. When considering whether or not to start a project, ask yourself this question: Do you have the knowledge, time, and tools to do the job the right way? Poorly done repairs will haunt you in the future and could even decrease the value of your home. You may save a few dollars today by doing the work yourself. However, you might have to revisit the repair or hire a professional later. In this case, it’s better to get it done right the first time.


Before doing any DIY work, it’s always a good idea to get a home inspection done by professional, trusted inspectors. By getting an inspection, you’ll understand the ins and outs of the project you want to complete — before diving into something that’s way out of your league.


Jobs to avoid


Here is an incomplete list of tough jobs that you should probably hire a professional to complete.


  1. Crown molding. Everyone loves the high-end look of a fully trimmed-out room. And the job seems simple: cut up some trim, stick it to the walls—easy. But most homeowners who attempt this job quickly learn that even new homes don’t often have square corners. And although a coping saw is inexpensive, the skill needed to compensate for different corners takes years of practice.
  2. Flooring. For a small job, flooring can actually be a good DIY project (though again, getting an inspection before you begin is important). But if the project involves a large room or transitions from one type of flooring to another, hiring a professional is the best option to keep things aligned and smooth.
  3. Carpeting. Likewise, carpeting seems simple, until you try cutting a straight line with a carpet knife or start wrestling with a carpet stretcher. Definitely take the carpet store’s offer for professional installation and save a lot of anguish.
  4. Roofing. Other than being adept at using a chalk line, roofing doesn’t require a lot of technical skill. It is, however, one of the most hazardous jobs you can attempt. Stick to hiring professionals as they use the proper safety equipment and procedures.
  5. Mold abatement. When you smell or see the signs of mold and mildew, the safety of your family calls for a home inspection and professional mold assessment. Only attempt mold cleaning on small areas less than 10 square feet and in homes without young children, elderly, or anyone with compromised immune systems.
  6. Asbestos removal. The Spruce notes that if your house was built prior to 1979, then it’s possible that asbestos might be present in the bones of your home. Asbestos is common in popcorn ceilings. While it seems like removing it would be an easy job, handling asbestos is dangerous and is best removed by professionals with proper equipment after a thorough home inspection.
  7. Tree removal. If you notice a dead or nearly dead tree in your yard, it’s important to remove this before it becomes a serious problem. Instead of handling this yourself, which could result in physical harm to you and/or your home, hire tree removal professionals who have the know-how to do this task correctly and safely.


If you’re unsure which aspects of your home could use a little TLC, then you should reach out to the pros at Dooley Inspections to schedule an appointment. A home inspection can give you a much better idea of what needs to be done.


What you can do to help complete major repairs


In these instances where a professional is required, you can still have a hand in the process, and you might even be able to save money. Think about the job. Are there any ways you can make it easier for the professional, such as moving furniture out of the room if they are working on the floors or emptying cabinets for a kitchen remodel. Offer to help with cleanup, making a few landfill runs as your contribution. Also discuss material costs and sourcing with your professional. A professional contractor may be happy to not have to run to the store.


Identifying the jobs you can and cannot DIY will help you save money and ensure that your house is structurally sound. Invest in the skill and experience of home inspectors and professionals for difficult jobs that go beyond your expertise.


Photo Credit: Pixabay


When it comes to owning and maintaining a home, one of the most important things to look for is termites. Termites cost homeowners thousands of dollars every year in treatment and repairs. Protect your house and your property by taking steps to prevent termites in your home.

Five Things You Can Do to Prevent Termites in Your Home

Aim Your Sprinkler Heads Away

Make sure your lawn sprinkler system is always pointed away from the foundation of your home. Many species of subterranean termites require moisture. If a sprinkler is pointed towards your home, you are creating the perfect environment for termites.

Crawl Space Maintenance

Crawl spaces should be properly maintained to prevent termites in your home. A good vapor barrier and proper ventilation will keep moisture away from the subfloor and floor joists. Should moisture reach these areas, it leads to damp areas that are perfect for termites to feed on the wood under your home.

Prevent Termites by Maintaining Shrubbery

Another method of preventing termites in your home is to keep any shrubbery trimmed. Allow at least one foot of space between bushes and the exterior of your home. This allows better air flow so that damp areas close to the home will dry out more quickly in the sun.

Don’t Use Mulch

Rather than spreading wood mulch in garden beds next to your home’s foundation, find an alternative like rubber mulch or pine needles. Termites find these materials less appealing than mulch. Surrounding the foundation with gravel is also an option.

Exterior Home Maintenance

Prevent termites in your home by taking the time to conduct proper maintenance on exterior areas such as windows and wooden siding. Repainting when necessary and sealing the wood helps protect the home from termites and other wood-destroying insects.

Prevent costly damage by catching termites early. Dooley Home Inspection offers termite and wood-destroying insect inspections. To request an inspection, contact us.

Building a new home allows you to customize your living space to meet your needs and reflect your own style. You are investing time, energy, and money into the project with the expectation that it will be perfect when you move in. Because this is not always the case, you should always order a home inspection on new construction.

What You Can Learn From a Home Inspection on New Construction

The inspection process for a newly built home versus a pre-existing home is similar. The home inspector reviews many structural components and installed systems throughout the home. By ordering a home inspection on new construction, you will learn of any material defects, poor workmanship, and other issues that should be repaired before you take ownership.

1. A Thorough Inspection for Quality

Your new construction home will be inspected by a municipal building official to determine if it meets the minimum building codes. However, building codes only provide basic guidelines. A home inspector reviews the property for proper installation and functionality of systems, quality materials, and workmanship. Without a report from a professional home inspector, problems may remain unknown until they start to affect daily life over time.

2. Order a Home Inspection on New Construction at Multiple Phases

Ordering a home inspection after the home is finished is one option, but you can also request an inspection at each stage. Through the building process, materials will be installed over other materials, making some components inaccessible.

For example, insulation and drywall will cover the frame, pipes, and electrical wiring. With a multi-stage phase inspection, the inspector can review aspects of the home that will not be visible once the construction process is complete.

3. Avoid Warranty Hassles

Some people who are building a new home rely on a home warranty to cover construction defects. However, filing a claim under a home warranty is time-consuming and inconvenient since you’re living in the home while under coverage. Also, not all construction-related defects are identified before the warranty expires. When you know about issues before closing, you can address them before moving in so repairs are covered by the builder and completed before you move into the home.

A home inspection on new construction is important for understanding your newly built house. This service or phase inspections completed during multiple stages of construction will ensure your home is free from defects and safe for your family.

Dooley Home Inspection offers home inspections on new construction, new construction phase inspections, and other services. Contact us to request an appointment.