What to avoid when DIY-ing

Construction woes, DIYing, renovation, property renovations, property investment

What to avoid when DIY-ing

By Sasha Karen | 27 February 2018

Saving where you can is key to profitability, but trying to cut corners can ruin your property and cause it to depreciate in value. So, what should you DIY, and what should you leave to the experts?

Property educator Cherie Barber of Renovating For Profit believes that some aspects of a renovation can be done DIY, but others should not be touched by amateurs.

“You can DIY some works, so I always say part of your renovation, not all of your renovation. If most home owners are trying to tackle their renovation, the whole renovation DIY themselves, it’s likely to end up in disaster,” Ms Barber said to Smart Property Investment.

“It’s impossible for the average Joe on the street … to be a great painter, it’s impossible for them to be a great tiler, a great floor sander, a great carpenter, so when you do all of the work [DIY], what suffers is the quality control level on your property.

“Buyers and renters aren’t stupid; a dodgy property won’t sell, it’ll actually devalue your property. So, what I always say is know what works you should DIY and what works you shouldn’t DIY.”

According to Ms Barber, that following are what you should not and what you should DIY:

What you should not DIY

Firstly, tasks involving electrical or plumbing should not be attempted, Ms Barber said, as to do so would be illegal, not to mention the consequences of getting these things wrong.

“Things like tiling, you should leave to a professional tiler. Floor sanding should be left to a professional floor sander. Things like cement rendering, an average Joe should never attempt to cement render their house – it’s going to look like a really bad baked cake,” Ms Barber said.

What you can DIY

The more aesthetic choices of a property can easily be DIYed if investors are looking to save a bit of cash, Ms Barber recommended.

“There are certain changes that you can make that the average person can do successfully, things like painting, painting your house internally, most Australians can handle that,” she said.

“I wouldn’t recommend painting your house externally because externally, you have a lot of high spots and most people aren’t used to working up on a ladder.

“Things like paving paint, painting a driveway, laminate painting or tile painting your bathroom, those changes you can do DIY. Planting plants, laying turf, they’re the sort of things you can be doing DIY if budget is truly on the tight side.”

As for everything else, Ms Barber recommended leaving any other task for licensed qualified tradespeople.



Property refers to either a tangible or intangible item that an individual or business has legal rights or ownership of, such as houses, cars, stocks or bond certificates.

About the author

What to avoid when DIY-ing
Construction woes, DIYing, renovation, property renovations, property investment
spi logo

Get the latest news & updates

Join a community of over 100,000 property investors.

Check this box to receive podcast updates

Website Notifications

Get notifications in real-time for staying up to date with content that matters to you.