Kitchen Remodel: Should DIY or Hire a PRO?

May 12, 2017

Imagine this: you’re up to your eyeballs in renovation debris with a fine-tuned image of what you want it to look like but not knowing how to convey the specifics.
Nightmare, right?
Remodeling a kitchen is always kind of a tricky venture. On the one hand you have an existing layout and structure that can just be spruced up, but on the other hand you find that you’re a complete novice and do not know where to begin. Of course you could always take notes from the internet; there are plenty of credible websites that would neatly guide your renovation process but nothing can quite match up with the feeling of being knee-deep in an ongoing remodel and not knowing what to do next.
The prospect can be quite frightening.
DIY might seem like a doable challenge, but never underestimate the process of an actual remodel. The sight of torn down cabinet guts, stacked up finishes and half-hung lighting fixtures can steamroll even the most ardent of DIY lovers. But that’s not to say that it cannot be done. A DIY kitchen remodel is very much plausible – but only if you know where to draw the line. With limited knowledge and offbeat resources there is only so much you can do. So keeping that in mind, let’s look at a list of things that you can do yourself and list of things you should probably hire a professional for.

– Small things to pull a DIY

When you launch your DIY kitchen remodel make an itemized list of what you have to do and in what order. The starting point is the hardest to find, so settle on the easiest task and simply go from there. You should also print out detailed instructions if you’re planning to get into the nitty-gritty yourself, and don’t forget to ensure your safety first. You should also keep a backup – someone who knows this stuff if you have a question during the process. Now let’s delve into what you actually have the chops to accomplish by yourself.

a. Unassembled vs. pre-assembled

The biggest challenge you’ll encounter during the remodel would be whether to opt for unassembled or pre-assembled cabinets. If you feel like you’re still on the fence about installing them yourself then it is time to go for the pros. But, if you want to take it all the way there than by all means go for it. Pre-assembled cabinets are the best for DIY ventures. They can be easily installed even if you’re just the tiniest bit tool savvy. Plus the satisfaction of doing the job on your own can be quite a high.

b. Painting it rad

If your DIY remodel includes laying on a fresh coat of paint then you can definitely pull on those rubber gloves and start mixing your hues. There are several options for painting your walls – or even the kitchen cabinets – these days. You could opt for patterned or smooth and simple – as per your aesthetic – and browse for videos online to see how it’s done. These days, a lot of social media ventures such as Nifty and 5 Minute Crafts feature such videos to help those who love to DIY.

c. Installing small paraphernalia

When it comes to minor changes and accessorizing like adding cabinet pulls and knobs, you can definitely manage to do it yourself. All you need is an easy guidebook, some shiny new accessories and an inherent tool savvy. So make a trip down the hardware store and crack that toolbox open – you can definitely install the small paraphernalia by yourself.

d. Laying the backsplash

This one can be a little bit trickier, but if you have a step-by-step guide and a little bit of hands-on experience then you can even take your kitchen DIY remodel as far as putting on the backsplash. It can get a bit messy, so tarp your existing stuff – i.e. countertops and cabinets – before you make the big leap. You’d have to make the trip to store to get your tiles, grout, sealer and adhesives and get yourself intimate with the toolbox, but in the end, it can be a manageable task.

e. Updating the lighting fixtures

Well, even a novice can change a light bulb right? It might be a completely different aspect if you’re installing an entire lighting fixture – think centerpiece chandelier – because then you would need to fix in the wiring while handling the delicate parts of the fixture. But if you’re thinking about simply replacing the lights, then you should definitely go for it.


– Things to leave to the pros

The main benefit of hiring a pro is that they can provide you with a holistic design. If you do half-and-half – part DIY and part professional – then chances are, your remodel might seem disjointed. If you’re confident you can do a good job, then here are a few tips that you could ask a pro for a bit of a help.

a. Inserting new electrical wires

Until and unless you’re a certified electrician, it is not your place to play with wires. Not only can it hurt you, you could also inherently damage the existing electrical layout. It is definitely better to have the electrical plan designed and implemented by certified professionals.

b. Rethinking the layout

Rethinking the layout in your mind, and configuring it in an existing model are two completely different concepts. You might unknowingly end up causing structural damages and it will definitely cost you a pretty penny to fix that.

For example, you might think that tearing the half wall and adding an attaché dining area is a pretty good idea – in reality, that very well could be a load bearing wall and demolishing that might make your entire roof cave. Another example is the technical aspect – knowing how to carefully draft the floor and layout plan with all the tiny dimensions to boot. It’s better to go to a professional for help, rather than floundering for easy fix to complicated future problems.

c. Cutting and installing major finishes

One of the most strenuous parts of the remodel is installing the new finishes. You might believe you have the chops to cut that granite countertop to perfection, but it is certainly harder than it looks. Be careful when you try to test your beginners luck.


So, as you can see, there are parts of the remodel you could do yourself, but then there are parts that you shouldn’t. In the end it is completely up to you, but always carefully consider the benefits and cons of each aspect before you make your final move.

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