4 Home Improvement Jobs You Should ALWAYS Hire Out


I am a huge fan of doing it yourself. My husband and I have flipped numerous houses, but on a fairly small scale, one home at a time and doing almost all of the work ourselves. YouTube is a great source of information — there are videos for just about any task on that site. But just because you KNOW how to do something doesn’t mean it makes sense for you to do it yourself.

Here are four jobs we have attempted at least once — and will never again do ourselves.

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4 Home Improvement Jobs You Should Always Hire Out


The material cost at the local big box store was about $400 less than the quote we received for gutters on our house. We decided we could save that $400 and went ahead and bought all the parts (mistake #1). We thought, “How hard could it be?” We chose metal gutters (mistake #2).

The gutters themselves only come in 10 ft long sections, and as none of our roofline measures only 10 feet, we had to slide the sections together. They are metal and must be riveted together in order to stay. More supplies and more chance to misalign (and mistake #3).

By the time we carried this giant piece to the backyard where we were going to install it, we were bleeding, the gutter looked horrible, and I had silicon caulk all over my hands. (Note: silicon caulk is not easily removed, as it is waterproof.)

As we held this piece up to the roofline, we realized we would need about 17 more hands in order to install this. We quietly took the giant gutter back to the front yard, packed all unused materials into the car and returned them. We called the gutter company. They came out and installed seamless gutters in about 12 minutes. They didn’t bleed on anything, either.


Roofing materials weigh hundreds of pounds, and getting them to the roof is an enormous ordeal. Removing the original roof is a giant task as well. Reputable roofing companies assemble teams of experienced roofers to remove the old and install the new, minimizing the chance that water will get into your home while it is uncovered.

Related: Do You Know Which Home Improvements Will Pay Off?

Our neighbor needed his roof replaced after a hail storm. He hired a roofing company that came out, assessed the job, and chose a crew that could finish the whole thing in one day. They arrived fairly early in the morning and started ripping off the roof. As they finished removing one section of roof, the installers got to work, putting down new roof paper and starting on the shingles. The first section of roof was installed before the last section was removed. One cloudless day had the entire job done and done right. They cleaned up the heavy, old roof and took away all materials. When they left, the only evidence they had even been there was the new roof.


Drywall is a dusty, dirty job. The sheets of drywall are heavy — hanging it on the ceiling requires a lot of strength. Getting a smooth finish is an art. Getting a good finish with texture requires skill. It is very easy to do wrong and very time consuming for the novice to do correctly.

Our home was built in the early ’60’s. They used some sort of drywall artist to finish the walls. When we replaced the out-of-date supports, we had to open up some walls. Once those walls were closed, we needed to match the drywall finish as closely as possible. We didn’t have any clue how the finish had been applied. The drywall company we called employs several finishers, and they knew they had to use their most experienced finisher to complete this job. We have a stellar-looking house now because we knew our limitations. They completed in three days a task that would have taken us at least 2 weeks to accomplish, with the result likely not looking even half as good.

I do think it is worth learning how to repair small holes, but trying to match a finish is difficult if this isn’t something you do frequently.


In the state of Colorado, the homeowner is responsible for the sewer line from the house until it gets to the main line, usually in the street. When we bought our house, we didn’t have a sewer scope. We should have, which would have told us the line was almost completely clogged and needed to be rooted out. (We bought it in foreclosure, and the very old trees and shrubs growing DIRECTLY on top of the line should have been a clue…)

Related: 4 Mobile Home Improvements for Landlords That Are Worth Their Weight In Gold

We discovered this on a Friday morning not long after we moved in, when the (only) toilet backed up all over the bathroom floor. We rented a sewer scope/snake and started. We thought we had it cleared, but when we flushed, it all came back up over the top again. It was getting late, my father-in-law was staying with us, and we have two small children. Not having a toilet wasn’t an option. So we called the sewer guys…

Roto Rooter came out and snaked the line. It took several hours, and the aroma from the open line to the sewer was overwhelming. That guy definitely did not get paid enough for that job.

There are plenty of tasks that you can do yourself, but knowing your limitations can save you thousands of dollars and tons of headaches.

What are some jobs you always hire out? Have any stories about projects you wish you hadn’t tried on your own?

Don’t forget to leave a comment below!

About Author

Mindy Jensen

Mindy has flipped numerous homes in the past 10 years, one at a time and doing much of the work with her husband. She lives in Longmont, CO, and is always looking for an ugly duckling to turn into a swan.


  1. Another task that can get away on you is concrete finishing. More heavy work and it seems a few minutes can make the difference between naughty and nice…I do the prep but let the concrete guys place and finish.

  2. Paul Ewing

    Having done all of these, the only one I would almost always hire out is the sewer cleaning mostly because it can be pretty nasty occasionally and I would have to rent the equipment anyway. All the rest is mostly pretty basic skills. Now if you are in a position where your time is more valuable on other tasks than what it will cost to do these things then hire them out, but those of use starting out or staying at a stable situation with extra time these are not the things I would have expected. I was expecting the article to be things like foundation repair, house leveling, AC repair, major electrical without the experience, etc.

    • Mindy Jensen

      Thanks for reading, Paul.
      I agree that all these skills can be done yourself. I think it is valuable to know how to do as many different home improvement tasks as possible. Honestly, I didn’t even think of foundation repair or house leveling. Those are not issues I have ever had to fix – mostly because I stay away from houses with those problems. I would absolutely hire those jobs out, too.

    • Mindy Jensen

      Thanks for reading, Tyler.
      Electrical and plumbing don’t necessarily have to be hired out. My experience has me living in the homes I fix for two years to avoid capital gains taxes. Conveniently, if I am fixing my own home, I can to the work myself. It has to pass inspection, which it did. My father-in-law is an electrician, so I realize I have a huge advantage there.

  3. These are definitely the big four. I have done them all in 40 years of real estate investing. When I was much younger it was good learning experience. Today being much older I have learned to hire people to do these fout things. They also know I cant be fooled because I have been thru it.

    • Mindy Jensen

      I am an advocate for DIY. We do almost all of the work ourselves – mostly because finding someone who can do the work well is next to impossible. We have found good suppliers for all four of these jobs, and my heart sings at the thought of never doing drywall again.

  4. Alan Mackenthun

    Sadistic as it is I do like to re shingle a roof occasionally. Otherwise, I agree. Someone mentioned concrete and I agree. I can switch out fixtures just fine but have found that having a professional come in to install new recessed lighting or an extra switch or outlet can make a lot of sense. Sometimes it helps a property work a lot better.

  5. Jonna Weber

    You brought up points I had never even thought about before! I wasn’t planning to ever tackle any of these things myself….and now I will advise my clients against it as well. There are companies that specialize exclusively in these exact jobs for a reason.

  6. Here’s another one I *ALWAYS* hire out: Tar & gravel roofs. Jerry don’t mess with hot tar.
    On the other hand, I have taken steps to master trades that interest me –
    electrical, HVAC ( cracked the books, took the EPA test, am now a licensed professional ), locksmithing –
    every property has a key machine, and I learned how – and trained my staff how – to rekey.

  7. JP Hill

    I have tried installing carpet. It was easy enough to remove the old carpet and prep the tack strips for the new job, but getting new carpet properly streched is tough. Seams between rooms never look as good, and stairs are for pros only. I have hired carpet pros every since the first lesson.

  8. Darren Sager

    Gutters are easy! Next time if you decide to handle this just get a company to do drop off service and cut the gutters to length so you have a seamless system. Unless you have a lot of corners (which can be tricky) hanging gutters is not much different than hanging a picture.

    Good thing you stayed away from doing the sewer, that job stinks (literally)!

    • Mindy Jensen

      Darren, that is a good idea. However, I have a lot of weird angles on the house. I love to save money, but I also have no problem spending it when I can’t do as good a job. And these guys were about 1000% faster than I ever could have been. I don’t shop at the Tall-Girl stores…

    • Mindy Jensen

      It depends on how easy it is to get to the joists. I have a crawlspace and it is about 4 feet tall. Not very easy to get those large boards in, but luckily my joists weren’t rotted very much. One spot, and it was easy to slide a board in through the top, then sister to the good parts of the board with construction adhesive and lag bolts.

      Extensive damage may have had me hiring that one out too.

      Good luck, Dan!

  9. While I always strive to be a go-getter and perform as many DIY projects as possible, this post makes some good points about hiring out instead of DIY. Like especially when it comes to doing roofing in the hot sun or worse, sewer work. For me that’s something I’d gladly pay a little extra for. I do like to save money, But I also like to save headaches as well. Thanks for the good article.

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