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12 Projects DIYers Wished They’d Hired a Pro to Do

You're ready to do some home improvement projects and want to save some money by going the DIY route. But are your DIY skills up for the challenge? Before you get started, here are 12 projects DIYers wished they'd hire a pro to tackle.

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Family Handyman

Add On/Expand a Room

Fifty-three percent of respondents to a Zillow survey said they were unhappy with their work in adding on or expanding a room. One of the biggest complaints with this type of project, for DIYers, is that 42 percent of them went over budget. “While some DIY projects can save you money, involving a professional for larger-scale projects, especially those that require specialized skills, can help eliminate headaches and costly mistakes,” said Kerrie Kelly, interior designer and the founder of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab.

These 14 ideas will help you add space to your home without breaking the bank.

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TileYunava1/Shutterstock

Laying Floor Tile

Many reddit users said floor tile is a job they would think about hiring a pro for next time. “I wish I hired out the floor tile I hate tiling floors,” said one user. Another noted, “We did our whole bathroom from demo to re-configuring, to putting back together. We’re definitely paying someone to tile our downstairs bathroom because that’s a pain in the neck!”Follow these tips to installing a tile floor in the bathroom, if you decide to give it a try.

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Ceilingvolkovslava/Shutterstock

Replacing a Ceiling

Some DIYers say if they had to do it over again, they would hire a pro to replace a ceiling, according to a survey from ImproveNet. Eight percent of those respondents said their places were damaged as a result of their work, including DIY ceiling jobs.Repair a ceiling with these 11 clever tricks.

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BasementKelly MacDonald/Shutterstock

Finishing a Basement or Attic

Many DIYers get in over their heads when finishing a basement or attic space. In fact, according to the Zillow survey, 48 percent of respondents who did this work themselves said they regretted something about their project, including many who went way over budget.If you’re thinking of refinishing a basement, consider these 15 things before getting started.

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installing wood flooringPatryk Kosmider/Shutterstock

Refinishing or Installing Hardwood Floors

One of the top 10 most regretted DIY home improvement projects, according to ImproveNet, includes refinishing or installing hardwood floors. Many noted the finished project just didn’t look as good as they had hoped.These are the 10 best low-cost alternatives to hardwood flooring.

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Family Handyman

Pouring a Shower Pan

If you’re dreaming of a bathroom renovation, you may want to hire a pro when it comes to pouring a shower pan. One reddit user who did a complete demo and remodel of his bathroom, noted the only thing he struggled with was pouring the shower pan. “The thing I will never ever, ever, ever, EVER DIY again was pour a shower pan,” he noted. “I’m pretty handy but that kicked my butt so bad I had to get a contractor friend to come in and fix it.”This how-to guide will help you build a shower pan, if you dare!

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SprinklersCandus Camera/Shutterstock

Installing Sprinklers

Installing sprinklers is one of the top 10 home projects DIYers regretted doing themselves, according to ImproveNet. Many noted the project was physically more difficult than they anticipated. Joanne Theunissen, who was named remodeling chair of the National Association of Home Builders in 2018, said people with no experience should start with simple projects and once they feel more confident, move on from there.Learn how to install a simple drip irrigation system in your yard.

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Cabinetryungvar/Shutterstock

Refinishing Cabinetry

Looking to refinish the cabinet in your kitchen or bathroom? You may want to consider hiring a pro. Refinishing cabinetry is one of the top 10 home improvement projects DIYers regret doing themselves, according to ImproveNet. In fact, 41 percent of respondents to the Zillow survey said they should have hired a pro for the job.

If you’re curious about bringing new life to your old cabinets, check out our refinishing tutorial.

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Family Handyman

Installing Drywall

Drywall installation was a major complaint among DIYers on reddit. “I did a complete remodel of my bathroom. Moved all the plumbing and waste lines, electric, tile floors everything. Even built a new wall so I could install a pocket door. The drywall was and still is the biggest pain,” said one reddit DIYer. “Had the hardest time doing the corners and I’m not really happy with the outcome. Would rather have payed someone to tape and spackle would have saved tons of time and frustration.”These are the seven drywall installation mistakes most people make.

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CarpetPhovoir/Shutterstock

Installing Carpet

Forty-three percent of homeowners said they regretted installing carpet themselves, according to the Zillow survey. “A lot of people do very nice work, but you have to be really aware of what your skills are,” says Theunissen.Learn how to keep your basement carpet dry, even if the concrete gets wet.

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PaintingOleksandr Berezko/Shutterstock

Interior and Exterior Painting

Although painting is often the first DIY project homeowners tackle, many DIYers said they were unhappy with the finished project when they painted themselves. This went for both interior and exterior jobs. In fact, interior painting ranked as one of the top three projects that DIYers were dissatisfied with, according to ImproveNet.These are the best-kept secrets of professional painters.

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Plumbingvisivastudio/Shutterstock

Bathroom Plumbing

Some reddit users noted they should have hired a pro to redo bathroom plumbing during a renovation. “I hate plumbing the worst and I wish we could have had someone do that for us,” said one reddit user.If you’re interested in giving plumbing a try, here’s where you can learn how to plumb a basement bathroom.

Rachel Brougham
Writer and editor with a background in news writing, editorial and column writing and content marketing.