Questions tagged [diy-vs-pro]

for questions about whether a job can be undertaken by a competent DIYer or whether it's one to be left to the professionals. Please do not use this tag unless the question is asking specifically about whether or not a DIYer can do a job.

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21
votes
20answers
11k views

What projects should never be DIY?

What are the most common DIY projects that you should not do yourself? What must be hired out? Edit: Just to be clear, what we're looking for here are the things that a regular homeowner might think ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

How is DIY done so much on 'fixer uppers' in areas where AHJs demand permits and licenses? [closed]

I see a lot of cases of major 'fixer upper' homes or general home improvement done in an area where the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) requires permits and only offers them to licensed pros. How ...
12
votes
6answers
37k views

How can I insulate my attic on a tight budget?

My attic is running 135Fahrenheit (55 Celsius) and more right now. And that's before it even gets to the hottest part of the day! The A/C guy said the A/C's are working perfectly. But he tested the ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

Should I install my own electrical service panel or hire an electrician?

I'm getting electrical service to bare land. This is not temporary service but permanent remote service to a pressure treated 6" x 6" post instead of a building. I already have covered the work to ...
8
votes
5answers
2k views

Can I replace my ungrounded / two prong outlets, or should I have a professional do this type of a thing?

They're all two prong except a select few in the kitchen. Is this a project I could take on with NO electrical experience other than minor soldering, or is this something I should not attempt? ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the best way to improve counter tops without completely replacing them?

I would like to re-do our counter tops in the kitchen. We currently have the laminate on particle board type. What is the best way to refinish this type of counter top to make it look higher quality,...
6
votes
4answers
4k views

Can I move the main breaker and the electrical meter?

I feel this is a no-brainer (in that I should probably get someone more qualified in to do this) but I thought I'd ask some opinions. I've just moved into a new place and one of the rooms is just big ...
5
votes
5answers
5k views

How to finish jagged edge of kitchen subway tile?

Did our own backsplash tiling in the kitchen, and didn't realize until we were finished that the cap/trim/edging goes UNDER the tile. Not on top. So now we've got an ugly looking edge to the tile (...
5
votes
2answers
9k views

Why use a screwdriver when we have drill/drivers now?

I'm wondering when should we choose a screwdriver. Can it be used to put screws in wood, concrete or metal without drilling a hole? If we need to drill a pilot hole anyway, why don't we just use ...
5
votes
7answers
11k views

Can multiple 2-way occupancy motion sensor switches be used together?

Can multiple 2-way occupancy (AKA motion) sensor switches be used together? For the top and bottom of a staircase, I want the lights to be on if either switch senses motion and the lights stay on ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Ground wire giving shock

All metal appliances in my house give shock. Following is experiment I conducted: I stuck my electrical tester in each hole of my mains wall socket (one by one) and it does not glow on neutral, glows ...
4
votes
4answers
7k views

How often do I need to regrade the ground around my house?

I'm a first time homeowner, and when we moved in we were told we'd need to regrade our house. I am deciding whether doing it myself or hiring someone is a better decision, and the following list ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I know if a self-designed structure I build will be structurally sound?

I've recently begun designing and building structural updates to my house. For example, I've built some shelving units and a cabinet space. Everything has gone well so far, but I'm about to tackle ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Automatic water pump for water tank

I am really tired of turning on and off the water pump (a motor that moves water to the tank and the tank is located on the top of the house ) everyday. I am looking forward for a way to automate the ...
3
votes
2answers
535 views

Help decide course of action for rotting windows

I have a 30 year old house in Chicago. We have original double pane wood windows. The interior portions are in good condition. No rotting and all the seals are good and there is NO fogging between ...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

How do I fix the cracks in my brick foundation?

I have some cracks in the foundation of the house I am about to buy. The house is 100 years old, there doesn't seem to be water leaks. The cracks don't look to be offset. Attached is the picture (...
3
votes
1answer
175 views

How can I eliminate a light circuit?

Background: We live in a co-op. Each unit has it's own electrical box to shut off electricity. We have a corner under-cabinet light that is hardwired into the box I THINK (I'd have to tear up the ...
3
votes
1answer
287 views

Got Red Tag warning from gas company for hot water tank (Canada)

Gas company technician asked me to take a look at hot water tank and there he issued me Warning B Red tag and gave me 5 weeks to fix the issue. Issue in related to clearance from combustibles (TSSA ...
3
votes
1answer
449 views

Wiremold Ceiling Fan Box not compatible with Harbor Breeze mounting bracket. How to fix?

I am surface mounting a Harbor Breeze ceiling fan directly to a wooden beam using a Wiremold Metal Ceiling Fan junction box. The wiremold box has two #10 screws which go from the back of the mounting ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Is creating a concrete driveway a diy?

The entry of the driveway is just a rock bed with no concrete. I want to replace it, it doesn't have to be replaced with concrete so I'm open to suggestions there. If it is a diy, what are the high ...
2
votes
1answer
530 views

Should I replace my roof myself?

I have just bought a house from the 40s. It is an Art Deco style place that used to have a flat roof but has had a pitched iron roof added some time in the 60s. One of the conditions of sale from the ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

Is installing blinds a DIY Project?

My wife and I have been in our home for a little less than a year, and the paper blinds are starting to get tired to look at. The prices on blinds.com look appealing, but I'm hoping there are no ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Ceiling cracks appear and worsen over weeks. Self repair or professional?

Background We recently purchased a home built in mid-50s. At the time, no structural movement or displacement was noted by the home inspector. Over the last few weeks, there have been long cracks on ...
2
votes
1answer
200 views

Covered Porch Support Concrete Crack

The front step of my home is made of concrete, on which supports the overhang via two posts on each corner. One of the corners of the concrete has developed a good sized crack, and it's taking the ...
2
votes
3answers
769 views

Can I add cement glue and sand into my concrete mix to repair my cenent garden statue?

I have a leopard concrete garden statue that was given to me by my neighbor that has a broken foot and log. I want to repair it and paint it. It also has been weather eroded so I need to recover it as ...
2
votes
1answer
992 views

Paint peeling off layer of joint compound over plaster, am I in over my head?

I have no experience working with plaster walls. In the kitchen of a building I maintain, there are large sections of paint cracking off the walls. When peeled, I see several layers of paint (at ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Is installing an egress window in a basement a do it yourself job?

For starters, we found wet carpet in a finished basement room. It's not a full bedroom because there is no egress window, but does have a small window approx 2' x 1' about 3 feet away from where the ...
1
vote
3answers
4k views

I need to make a swinging cat-door in a piece of furniture but I can't figure out how to hinge it

I'm trying to convert a cabinet into cat litter storage. I've cut a piece out of the side of the cabinet and want to re-attach it as a top-mounted swinging door for the cat to get in and out. ...
1
vote
3answers
126 views

Is it possible to power/turn-on LED lights through a lamp switch?

I'm trying to make a lamp from my gf's favorite beer. It's a bomber(16oz) bottle that I'm running a DIY lamp kit through. I'd like to add two little red LED lights that are connected to the switch ...
1
vote
1answer
2k views

Can I replace all the Qest pipe in my home by myself?

I have Qest (polybutylene) pipe in my thirty year home. We bought our home in 2007 and since then we have had two tiny pin hole leaks in the attic. Replacing those sections of pipe was pretty easy ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

What kind of electrical projects are safe for DIY in the US? [closed]

I have a lot of ideas for electrical projects — upgrading electrical sockets to USB combo sockets, changing light fixtures, adding new sockets...ect. As a general rule of thumb, what kinds of ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Electric Motor: Spark and Repair Issues

I'm trying to repair a shaded pole induction motor from a home appliance. However, each time I connect the motor to the power outlet there is a spark in the same place (I've already tried 2x): ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Will concrete poured over wet ground be more likely to crack and disintegrate?

What if you’ve had lots of rain & humidity. Our area is slightly sloped. The ground is clay, rocks & some sand. I’m concerned about having concrete poured on a wet ground. We need to have the ...
1
vote
2answers
279 views

What should I consider / know about before replacing with a Stab Lok GFCI breaker?

My mom's house (close to Detroit, MI) has a Federal Pacific panel and we want to replace the existing kitchen circuit breaker with Stab-Lok GFCI breaker. I want to add that I do understand and read ...
1
vote
2answers
963 views

How to install new outdoor motion sensing light [closed]

I have a new home which does not have any sort of outdoor lights for now. I want to install motion sensing lights on 2 of the exterior walls. I got a quote from an electrical contractor but he is ...
1
vote
2answers
4k views

Can I cut these wires? Apartment build phone/intercom system

This system is defunct and no longer in use by my building. Id like to get rid of the hideous phone on the wall. Can I cut these? Is there an order in which to cut them?
1
vote
1answer
7k views

Is installing a packaged HVAC unit (PTAC) a realistic DIY project?

I'm a handy guy and can do pretty much anything around the house that I put my mind to. Assuming I can handle the part of the install that is outside (the concrete pad, the hole in the crawlspace ...
1
vote
1answer
402 views

What's the best way to fix carbon to titanium?

I'm building (experimenting if you wish) something out of the old bike parts and I need to fix two parts together one titanium and one carbon. Basically the parts are two tubes one made of carbon of ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Mounting a 32" LED TV to Dry Wall without Stud Support

We're looking into mounting our current TV on the wall in the bedroom, however we've hit a minor snag, it appears there's no stud in the area where the TV would be mounted. I've searched the wall ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Electric Fan not Working

I have a water distiller which the electric fan suddenly just stopped working (thankfully I was near by to shutdown everything, otherwise ...). Prior to the failure everything was working fine, there ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

Symptom of bad breaker?

I was changing some old light switches at a friend's house. The breaker panel wasn't labeled, so I did the bad thing, I tripped the breaker by shorting a hot line to ground. The lights went out, and I ...
1
vote
2answers
160 views

How to repair flaked plaster surface

I recently moved and noticed this crack on the wall. When I tapped it lightly with a blunt knife it broke off. I've never plastered before but I assume I will need to re-plaster this section. Any ...
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Can I avoid the slab and run the new PEX through walls and interstitial space?

… and many other questions. The following is the incoming water for my small 2-story townhouse. This picture was taken in my downstairs hall closet. This is what I have figured out so far: (1) is ...
1
vote
0answers
122 views

Repair A Blacktop Asphalt Driveway or hire a pro?

I have an asphalt driveway. I have: two 1/8" deep indents (from car tires) separation from the garage floor a big spider crack in the center dull/worn look How do I DIY repair? ...
1
vote
0answers
356 views

Aggregate patio resurfacing - what are my best options?

I am looking for options to repair or cover a poorly maintained, exposed aggregate patio. Its approximately 20'x23', with no water issues. After seeking quotes on resurfacing, I've decided isn't in ...
0
votes
5answers
9k views

How can I get my Particle-Board Cabinet re-staining project looking more professional please?

So, I am working on changing the stain on my particle-board cabinet(disassembled). I sanded, and then pre-stained the various pieces. I have also applied the first coat of stain(ebony) to the wood ...
0
votes
3answers
137 views

Can I setup insulation without tearing down walls?

My situation is this: I moved into a new apartment last year and my office is the only room that isn't insulated, which is annoying. My daughter's room and her playroom are both insulated as expected. ...
0
votes
2answers
97 views

I suspect my house has asbestos since it was made in 1969 and has popcorn ceilings. This is what I have found about asbestos

As the title says, my house was built in 1969 and has popcorn ceiling, so according to many readings on my research it's very likely that the ceiling and possibly other parts of the house has asbestos....
0
votes
2answers
85 views

Is it a bad idea to tie output of hot water heater to sump pump drain?

I bought a house and I have a leaking hot water heater (appliance is from 2001). I'd say it fills up an 8 ounce cup after two hot 10-15 minute showers. I had a plumber come out and he replaced the ...
0
votes
3answers
65 views

Help with creating a DIY low voltage garden pathway light? [closed]

I would like to create DIY garden pathway lights from complete scratch. I have some very nice outdoor metal lanterns that I'd like to retrofit and use for my design. I really don't like most of the ...