Splurge vs. Save: Where to Spend Money for DIY Home Projects

Splurge vs. Save: Where to Spend Money for DIY Home Projects

Pulling together the budget for any potential home improvement project can quickly become overwhelming. What should you splurge on? Where can you cut corners? For the DIYer, deciding to divvy up the work and pay a professional can be a tough call—especially if you’re trying to keep costs down.

When deciding whether or not to hire a pro to do some work for you, the first thing to do is run through your task list and weigh the risk versus reward of each job. Ask yourself: What’s the worst possible outcome if I mess this up? For something like wallpapering your own walls, you might wind up with patterns that aren’t perfectly aligned—an annoying and time consuming mistake to fix, but not a life-threatening one. However, for a job like rewiring lighting fixtures, the worst-case scenario can be dangerous if you don’t have any experience.

diy home projects

Below, we’re walking through a few common tasks we believe are worth a bit more of the budget, as well as areas where you can pinch your pennies. 

Where to Splurge

1. It’s worth investing more in projects that involve the integrity of the house. For example, putting in new door frames, replacing windows, or dealing with load-bearing walls should not be where you skimp. Use high-quality materials like treated lumber, reinforced steel, and reputable brands for appliances. This is one place to consider bringing in a pro: Breaking out your own sledgehammer and hosting a “demo day” may sound like a blast in theory, but you want to ensure you aren’t causing more harm than good!

*Pro tip: You CAN save on appliances by buying used, but make sure you purchase from a licensed reseller.

replacing windows

2. Any project that involves intricate plumbing or electrical work is another smart place to tap a professional. Although replacing a pipe or rewiring new ceiling fans may seem like something you could learn over YouTube, these jobs have hefty repercussions if they are not done properly. Our recommendation? Pay a qualified pro and be frugal in other areas.

3. High-touch elements you’ll use everyday (i.e. door handles or your shower faucet) have to endure a lot of wear and tear. For that reason, it’s not the place to bargain shop. Choose brands known for their durability, and you’ll ultimately save money on replacements over the years.

Where to Save

1. Interior decor is a great place to trim the fat from your budget. Wall art, rugs, throw pillows and other decorative accents don’t have to break the bank. Keep your eyes peeled on Facebook Marketplace and local thrift shops for quality finds and antique pieces at affordable prices.

2. Do you love to get crafty? DIY when possible! Especially for decorative accents, accessories, gallery walls, and vases, even a beginner can make a big impact with just a bit of imagination. There are literally countless online blogs and videos dedicated to DIY decor—why not save a buck and attempt it yourself?!

3. If you’re up for it, painting rooms yourself can save a lot of money. While there is still an upfront investment for supplies, even inexperienced painters can do a decent job and save big on labor costs. Be sure to do your research on paint type, grade, and finish before you begin!

painting walls indoors

Is a door upgrade on your home improvement list this year? Good news: You don't have to choose between splurging on quality or opting for something more affordable—our doors bring both to the table. Explore our interior and exterior doors to find your perfect fit.