DIY Home Improvements: When should you call a General Contractor?

Sep 18 , 2014

When it comes to home improvements, it’s difficult to know when to do it yourself and when to hire a professional. We have the low down on when to draw the line – it usually involves things like plumbing, electricity, expensive materials and renovations that are downright dangerous. So before you try to get handy with a hammer, consult this list to see what you should never attempt yourself.


When it comes to making electrical adjustments, there are too many technicalities to do it on your own. Electrical standards have to be met so that wires aren’t over-heated, circuit breakers aren’t overworked, and someone needs to make sure that everything is wired correctly throughout the house. You need advanced electrical knowledge to do this job so it’s best to hire a certified electrician.

Breaking Down Walls
If you want to break down walls to open up your space, don’t do it yourself. Walls support the structure of the house, so weight-bearing and support walls have to be dealt with accordingly. A general contractor will have an in-depth understanding of the structure of the house, and they’ll be able to identify a cosmetic wall versus a support wall to get the job done right.
Building or Renovating the Bathroom
Bathroom renovations that don’t involve moving the plumbing pipes can be done on your own, but you should hire a plumber for anything more complicated. If the job isn’t done correctly, it will cause a lot more headaches than it’s worth. Poorly done pipe installations could lead to leaks that drip through the drywall and could cause water damage throughout the house.
Finishing the Basement
When it comes to renovating the basement, there’s a lot of room for error. Before you put up new walls and flooring, you need a professional to make sure the insulation is correct and that there are no cracks or leaks in the foundation or on the floor. You’ll also need someone to take care of the electrical.
Window Renovations
There is no shortage of professional window companies who can replace windows at a low price. For the low cost of this renovation, hire a professional – if it’s not done properly, it could lead to air leakages that let hot and cold air escape, ultimately raking up your hydro bill.
Working with Granite or Marble
Whether you’re installing new countertops or tiles, when working with such expensive materials like granite or marble it’s best to hire a professional to do the measurements and installation. If you make a mistake, the cost is too high to make it worth doing it yourself.