Skip to Main Content

Start Of Main Content

Ready to take the plunge on a DIY home project?

Looking to save a few dollars in the process? It pays to weigh all of your options before you start the projects.

Man measures board on floor while woman sitting on stairs paints a wall.

Saving cash by doing home repairs on your own may seem tempting, but it's not always the right call. In some instances, doing the work yourself can help keep your budget down. However, in the long run, it may also cost you more than working with a reliable contractor. And pros with a track record for quality work can be especially helpful with more complex renovation projects.

Examples of DIY (do-it-yourself) projects

DIY projects typically have the most flexibility in renovations. They are mostly cosmetic in nature or simple fixes with minimal supplies and don’t require a permit.

  • Update kitchen cabinet door fronts: According to HomeAdvisor, a kitchen remodeling effort can average around $25,000 or $150 per square foot. Most homeowners spend between $13,000 and $37,000 for remodels depending on the size of the space, layout and materials used.
    • Redo kitchen cabinet doors by repainting or re-staining.
    • Add new knobs to give the most trafficked area in the home a fresh feel.
    • Add organizers and shelving units to the pantries, cabinets and under the sink to organize supplies.
  • Fix a leaking toilet: Leaking toilets can waste large amounts of water. To troubleshoot the issue:
    • Inspect the float and inlet valve. As you flush, lift the float arm until the water stops.
    • Tighten the screw at the top of the ballcock so that the level of the float does not rise above the inlet valve.
    • If the water does not stop during step one, you may need to replace the ballcock assembly.
  • Add storage to a mudroom: There's no need to work with a custom cabinet manufacturer for a sleek look.
    • Install low-cost, pre-made built-ins of different shapes to create a custom look.
    • Add in anything from ready-made open shelving, stacks of drawers and coat hooks to organize shoes, jackets and bags.
  • Replace tile grout: Grimy tile grout can detract from a home's appearance. To replace grout:
    • Remove existing grout with a grout rake or electric tool.
    • Scrub the area with a stiff-bristle nylon brush to remove loose debris.
    • Use a grout float to smear new grout across the surface and into the joints.
    • After 20 minutes, clean the area with a grout sponge. Once the grout has cured, apply sealer.
  • Add curb appeal: Eager to spruce up the front of your home? It's easier than you think. Even a few simple touches will give visitors a great first impression.
    • Re-paint your front door or garage door.
    • Add easy-to-maintain landscaping, or place potted planters near the front stairs.
    • For bigger projects that involve new landscaping, you may want the insights of a landscape pro.
  • Patch drywall: To quickly fix a hole in the wall:
    • Remove loose drywall behind and around the hole. Sand the edges of the hole.
    • Adhere a wall-hole patch over the hole.
    • Apply drywall-patching compound to the patch and surrounding wall.
    • Sand the area once it's dry.
    • Spray the area with wall texture spray (if needed) and add a fresh coat of matching paint.
  • Apply new paint: A DIY paint job can be a great way to save money. Whether you're looking to repaint bedrooms or simply cover scuff marks in the hallway,
    • Prepare the surfaces before starting the painting process.
    • In-store paint professionals can help you choose ideal finishes for each type of room.
  • Replace tiles: Replacing tile in a small space can be a fun project with an instant wow factor. When replacing tile, be sure to purchase items such as tile cutters, adhesive and a utility knife to get a pro look.

Examples of projects to hire a contractor

Before you start any project or home renovation, create a to do list. With that list, take a comprehensive look at the entire project, start to finish, taking into account factors such as material cost, resources, time and labor costs and timeframes. Also consider if it’s worth the investment to have someone think strategically about the whole project. But before you hire out, make sure you can spot a home repair scam so your project finishes as expected.

  • Bathroom remodel: Bathrooms are especially tricky to renovate because of the small size and the numerous pricey components involved, contractors say. Even in a small space, installing new plumbing and ripping apart aging fixtures can take days. For a quick revamp, consider replacing lighting or adding extra storage to create a neatly organized, well-lit space.
  • Specialized projects: If there is any major structural, gas, plumbing or electric work needed for your home repair or renovation, you should consider a professional because typically, that type of work requires permits and possibly an inspector to verify the work is properly and safely completed. For example:
    • Electrical repairs. If your outlets, switches or electric system are showing signs of needing to be rewired, an electrician can assist with the project.
    • Lead paint removal. For homes built before 1978, a professional can assist with identifying the areas of your home that need lead paint removed and repainted.
    • Plumbing repairs.
    • Major structural repairs.
    • Roofing repairs or replacement. A professional roofer can help you select roofing materials that are engineered to stand up to harsh weather conditions.

If you are preparing to sell your home, you may want to find ways to improve the home's worth with these appraisal tips.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.



Also Important

What to Know Before You Buy That Fixer-Upper

What to Know Before You Buy That Fixer-Upper

Buying a fixer-upper? Be sure you know what you are getting yourself into as you renovate your home after purchase.

Home Maintenance Ideas To Improve Curb Appeal

Home Maintenance Ideas To Improve Curb Appeal

Eager to spruce up the front of your home? Even a few simple touches will improve first impressions and curb appeal.

Related Articles

Preparing to Sell Your Home

Preparing to Sell Your Home

When preparing to sell your home, these updates/tips/improvements can help entice buyers. Learn more about how to stage a house while living in it.

Raise Your Home's Worth with These Simple Appraisal Tips

Raise Your Home's Worth with These Simple Appraisal Tips

Appraisals are required when selling or refinancing property or home. It provides an estimate of your home's value for determining its worth.

Historic Home Maintenance

Historic Home Maintenance

With a historic home, completing these home maintenance tasks a little bit at a time could improve the overall resale value of your home.