Home Improvement

What is the one job you’re glad you hired out and decided not to tackle yourself?

By May 17, 2019 44 Comments

For me it was having blown-in insulation put in the attic. It was about $1 per sq. foot of attic space which came out to about $1,200. I know it’s pretty inexpensive to rent the machines but these guys were in and out of my house before 8am and it didn’t take me away from the rest of my day. Seemed like it was worth every extra dollar vs the bother of renting the machine from the store and killing a whole Saturday afternoon with the whole ordeal.

What about you?

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  • rackem222 says:

    Post hole digging.

  • jeribus says:


  • ceresia says:

    Drywall finishing.

  • thealmightyzfactor says:

    The opposite of what you did – insulation removal (because mice).

    Well worth it to pay a bunch of dudes to vacuum it all out and drive off with the literal truck full of waste.

  • FaultsInOurCars says:

    Hanging drywall, then taping/mudding and texturing it. They were so fast, and it was perfect.

  • Th3MadScientist says:

    Building a dry stack 175x2x3 foot rock wall. Took 3 guys 4 weeks. Would have taken me 4 years.

  • Cyrano_de_Maniac says:

    Polyurea garage floor coating with a full flake coating. Two guys spent all day doing it, including fixing minor cracks and divots in the floor, grinding the floor, and then applying the coating. Looks awesome, performs perfectly, and far better results than I could have ever achieved with a Rustoleum epoxy kit. And honestly, considering the prep work and material costs I would have had, not really that much more expensive.

  • three_martini_lunch says:

    I have two, not just one.


    Painting the last 2/3 of my house and replacing a tile floor.

    Painting was all about time, the crew I hired did it in 2 days, it would have taken me a few months of weekends. It is the best $4k I ever spent.


    The floor demolition was a huge PITA that required grinding off the old thinset. Floor installation was a breeze, but I would have never gotten it done. That was also the best $1800 I ever spent.

  • V0RT3XXX says:

    Drywall stuff for sure

    Then replace every single interior doors in my house, something like 18-20 doors (whole house flooded). Could I do it? Yes. But it would have taken me forever to just go buy the doors, transport them and it would be next to impossible to hang the doors by myself. I did install all the hardware myself though but that’s easy

  • Fat_FI says:

    I just finished a small drywall project by myself. WOULD NOT RECOMMEND. Spend the money.

  • cramtown says:

    Fixing erosion in my drainage ditch. They brought so much rock, it would have taken me days just to haul it back and forth.

  • Comexbackkid says:

    Literally everyone I ask this says drywall, especially taping and mudding. I have a super small drywall project coming up and I want to hang it myself because I want to learn how to do that at the very least, and then hire an expert to come do the taping and just shadow them because I’m curious and would like to learn.

  • cassinonorth says:

    Sanding and refinishing hardwood floors.

  • UsernameWasntTaken says:

    Wallpaper removal.

  • MetsIslesNoles says:

    Floors. I tried it once, waved the white flag and admitted that I couldn’t handle it to the installers. We had a good laugh and they did a great job with the tile.

  • MrNerd82 says:

    Love just about everything DIY – but I had no qualms or hesitations about hiring out a crew to rip out and redo the ceiling drywall in my garage.

    Funny enough to reply to OP: i just did blow in (fiberglass) about a month or two ago. About the same in terms of square feet, did it solo, and only took me about 1/2 a day. Was a total of around 15 bags I believe. I got my exercise up and down the stairs for sure. The only thing that made solo’ing it possible was the wireless remote controller for the atticat blower. I’d do that job 5 more times by myself vs my previously mentioned ceiling drywall project 🙂

  • MagicalDrop says:

    Also, a lot of people don’t factor in their time. If the job will take you a 6 hour day after which you’ll be dead tired, grumpy and useless, avoiding that in itself is worth a LOT of money to me.

  • raldrich09 says:

    Blown in insulation as well for me. It has also been the best home improvement decision we’ve made. Ours was a little more pricey and we went from 4″-6″ of insulation to 18″ through out. We have a low pitch roof and we had it done when it was 90+ degrees already in Dallas. The house just cruises along at whatever temp we set it at now.


    After that it’s having our back yard (1200 sqft) turfed. I thought about doing it my self, but watching 8 guys work for 8 hours and then 4 guys for 4 hours the next day, I realized very quickly I would’ve been in way over my head.

  • GrandOpener says:

    To be honest, basically everything.

    For super simple things like installing a sink faucet–where most of the expense is really just paying someone enough to bother driving to your house–it’s great to be able to do it yourself and save the money.

    For any non-trivial job, an expert will have better tools, do it faster, and end up with better results at the end. IMO DIY is about *wanting* to get dirty and do it the hard way and maybe to learn how things work. If your goal is to just efficiently get the job done, paying someone to do it is almost always the right decision.

  • w_t says:

    For everyone saying drywall…how much does this generally cost?

    I’d like to tear out the old drywall in my garage and insulate. I’d do that myself, but maybe hire out the drywall installation. And then paint myself. Garage would probably be 50 linear feet, 10 foot high ceilings.

  • malkuth23 says:

    Whenever I found good contractors, I was happy I hired them and whenever it was bad, I wished I just did it myself.

    Even when I did a good job and I did not hate it, it never seemed to save me as much as it should. Refinished floors myself, but after renting everything, going through way too much crap quality sand paper and messing up the finish once, I spent about as much as it would have to hire someone.

    I also can pick up additional work to make money, so I try to even it out by working more on stuff that I am actually good at and pays well and then spending that money on professionals.

    Hiring a proper plasterer to fix my 150 year old plaster walls was maybe the best choice I made.

    I will say I am glad I got rid of my general contractor and took that job over.

  • JustTheSpecsPlease says:

    Septic tank work. Anytime someone wants to get paid to truck the shit off of my property, I happily pay them.

  • TunaMustard says:

    Painting. We were moving with a baby. It was completey worth paying to have a crew do it over a few days and be done with it.

  • Hrekires says:


    painting more than a single room

    anything with asphalt

  • KruiserIV says:

    Drywall finishing. All day.

  • Sirerdrick64 says:

    TLDR: drywall (and maybe EVERYTHING?!)

  • badger-dude says:

    Insulation. I priced out the materials cost and then got contractor costs. The contractors get such a discount on the raw materials that having a crew do the work for me only added about 20% to the cost for just materials. Totally not work DIY. It’s nasty work anyhow.

  • The_Tarko says:

    Re-piping my entire house. We have a house from the 80’s that was plumbed using polybutylene pipes. They were brittle as hell. I had been patching small leaks for years. The final straw was when I went to turn off a sink valve and it just ripped off from the pipe… Not fun…

    I calculated it would probably take me 4 solid weekends to do. The guys I hired were in and out in a day and a half. I saved $1200 by not having them patch the drywall when they were done…. Remind me to pay for drywall… Always pay for the drywall…..

  • pinkberrry says:

    Bathtub refinishing. Looks brand new and took 2 days and I didn’t have to deal with fumes.

  • it_was_you_fredo says:

    How the hell has nobody mentioned granite counter top installation?

    It requires specialized tools that you’ll only use once. The material is hard as a rock, because it IS a rock. Finished slabs can weigh hundreds of pounds. You make a small mistake, you get to buy a brand-new slab. A great deal of skill is needed to select, cut, polish, and correctly install granite.

    Thanks, but no thanks. I hired a pro – the only pro I used on my floor-to-ceiling remodel. He was a complete prick, but very competent. Totally worth it.

  • shsdavid says:

    Garage door

  • 2aywa says:

    Removing popcorn ceilings.

  • aqzman says:

    Replacing a support beam in my basement! The original “Support beam” in the house was painfully inadequate and over 5-6 years the floor above was sagging ever so slightly.

    I was going to replace it myself but my wife convinced me that we should hire a contractor to do it. Two guys came in and did the whole job in about 4 hours, and they did a much better job than I would have. It was worth every cent I paid.

  • j4ckofalltr4des says:

    I do everything I cant afford to pay someone for. Or, I live with it the way it is.

    If I can afford it, I hire it out. Everything.

    To me, being able to afford something means that I wont notice the money is gone, it will not hurt me financially, I don’t have to pay interest on it, no bills or quality of life is affected at all in any way. This means no loans, no CC, no having to tighten the belt.

    Having said that, I cannot afford most projects.

  • mtcwby says:

    Big concrete jobs that people are going to see and anything with extended work above my head. A one man crew with my experience is going to have a hard time with a big pad or patio. I’ll do footings, block, or masonry but the time element with concrete is a problem. I also have a hard time doing extended work over my head anymore. A frozen shoulder from running a small trencher pretty much put that on my unable list. Which means I should probably put small trenchers on that list too. Just beat me for half a day horsing it around and then the shoulder put me out of action for a year.

  • coryrain says:

    Plumbing anything. Fuck that shit. It takes me twice as long and always ends up leaking. I’d rather pay someone to get it right in an hour.

  • LateralThinker13 says:

    OMG Drywall finishing.


    Or digging a new sewer line. Eeeew.

  • mathert says:

    I might be the only person here who doesn’t mind doing drywall myself. Don’t get me wrong, it sucks, but I just can’t justify the money to have someone else do it.

  • dlongwing says:

    Mowing the lawn.

    No seriously. I loath lawn maintenance. I’d come out of it exhausted every time and go play video games all weekend to recover.

    This year, we hired a lawn care service, and I’ve gotten *so many projects* done just because I’m *not* mowing the lawn. Major landscaping work, yard cleanups, basement renovations. Fixes, improvements, real gardening… all just because I didn’t spend all my energy on the lawnmower. It’s been fantastic.

  • itsmeagain_gocrazy says:

    The actual move. Moving sucks enough, pay people to move your shit if you can

  • AltheaFluffhead says:

    There is almost nothing more satisfying than hanging out in your house while a contractor is working their ass off fixing things you have wanted fixed for years. Busting out an check book at the end of that is great.

  • btgeekboy says:

    Here’s one I haven’t seen yet: hiring movers. You can try to wrangle up friends and deal with getting a truck, and feel bad when you’re all sore the next day and there’s a hole in the drywall. After all, for under $1k (in town, 1B condo), you could be done in 3-4 hours. Assuming your movers don’t suck, it’s money well spent.

  • Cyrano_de_Maniac says:

    I ran most of my Ethernet cable myself, but there was one small stretch (and paradoxically the shortest) that would have been utter hell. Paid a moonlighting professional low-voltage installer to do it, and I think he vastly underestimated the work. What should have been a one hour job turned into more like three, and I’m not sure I would have known how to solve the issues he ran into.

    So sometimes it’s worth paying someone to solve point problems rather than hire them on for the whole job.

  • frugal_lothario says:

    I’ve learned that I do better with repairs and small jobs. Partially that’s due to inexperience but the other part is that it’s just me doing the work with no help. Next time you watch a remodel on “This Old House” notice how many people are working on the project.

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