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Kevin Ahern

By: Kevin Ahern on January 26th, 2024

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DIY Home Projects vs. Hiring a Professional Contractor in Connecticut


Hiring a good general contractor can make your home improvement project a success, but is it always necessary? Doing the work yourself can save money and time - sometimes. Not every project is suitable for DIY work. It's important to have the knowledge and skill to do the job right, and it's also important to have the right tools. 

Being able to distinguish between a DIY project and a job for the pros is important, especially when your personal safety or the functionality of your home is at stake. If you need to hire a contractor to do the work, it's also important to hire the right professional. A good general contractor knows how to hire the right subcontractors and has skilled workers that they can rely on to get the job done. Here's what to know about these important topics. 

When to DIY

Some projects just don't need a skilled, trained professional to get the work done. A good DIY project is one that doesn't require special training, requires no special tools and can be accomplished safely without special PPE. 

DIY Pros

  • Save money. DIY projects can save money, as long as you don't need to buy a lot of tools to get the work done. If you're going to purchase tools for your collection, these costs can add up quickly.
  • Enjoy sense of accomplishment. Some people enjoy DIY projects just for the sense of accomplishment they feel when the work is over. It's very satisfying to see something you've done and to know you did it yourself. 

DIY Cons

  • Errors. DIY projects are often fraught with errors, and the more complicated the work is, the more likely you are to make a mistake. This is why it's important to know your own abilities and to know when to hire someone to do the work for you. 
  • Loss of time. DIY projects often take longer than hiring a general contractor. Contractors have expertise and experience. It's their job to do the work efficiently and accurately, and they often work in teams to help expedite projects. If you're doing the work on your own, making small errors as you go and using consumer-grade tools, you could easily take twice or three times as long to finish the same job as a contractor. 
  • May need to redo the work later. When errors are made during the course of a home improvement project, they may not get caught right away. Problems have a way of showing up with time, and that may mean redoing the work with help from a general contractor later on. 
  • Potential for structural damage. Depending on what errors are made, some DIY projects can lead to structural damage to your home. Imagine that you made a repair to your roof, and didn't realize that the repair was slowly leaking. Over time, that leak could cause mold and rot. When the damage is caught, your home could need a lot more repair than if the work had been done correctly the first time. 

Appropriate DIY Projects

Below are some examples of appropriate DIY projects if you have the correct tools, knowledge and can do the work safely. Always use appropriate safety equipment like eye protection and gloves.

  • Changing a faucet
  • Hanging blinds and curtains
  • Painting an accent wall
  • Weatherstripping
  • Replacing a broken board on a deck
  • Replacing toilet tank parts
  • Cleaning the gutters on a one-story home

Not sure whether the job you're thinking about doing is good for a DIY project? Call a contractor to your house to discuss the project. Sometimes talking it through with a professional can help you decide whether the task is right for you. 

When to Hire a Pro

Hire a professional for complex projects that require multiple subcontractors, multiple fixture and appliance upgrades, or when the work is to be done in many stages. Always seek professional help if the work involves high potential for injury (such as roof work). It's also wise to hire a professional for high-cost projects, even if the work itself sounds straightforward, such as with installation of an air conditioner or furnace. 


  • Difference in quality. A contractor will have the tools and expertise to perform quality work that looks good and functions well from the start.  
  • A general contractors can manage your project. It's the job of the general contractor to manage flow and timing of your home remodel. A good GC will know who to hire, what kind of subcontractor is right for the job, and when to bring that subcontractor into the fold of work. 
  • Price difference. Although hiring a general contractor may be more expensive up front, you may spend less overtime because the work will only need to be done once, and may last longer than if you did the work yourself.


Appropriate Projects for a General Contractor

  • Bathroom remodel
  • Kitchen remodel
  • Window replacement
  • Paint home exterior
  • Improve insulation in walls and attic 
  • Finish the basement
  • Room addition
  • Roof replacement
  • Furnace installation

Hire the Right Contractor For the Job

If you're going to hire a Connecticut contractor to do the work for your next home remodel, hire a professional that you can trust. Look for a contractor with good project management skills, excellent communication, and a reputation for getting the job done. 

Want more advice on hiring a professional contractor in Connecticut? Download the Litchfield Builder's guide to hiring a contractor

How to Choose a Professional Home Remodeling Contractor

About Kevin Ahern

Kevin is the Co-Founder of Litchfield Builders, an award-winning, industry leader with a reputation for managing projects others shy away from. They are known for their high-quality work, customer service, and reliability and though still relatively small in size, Litchfield Builders now competes with some of the areas largest firms in both the residential and commercial arenas.