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Ask Moss: What Can I Do and When Should I Hire a Contractor?

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Dear Moss Building & Design,

Which home improvement jobs should I take on myself, and which should I hire a contractor for?

— Dulles Mom


Dear Dulles Mom,

The DIY movement is a great thing for homeowners — it helps you save money on home improvement projects, allows you to get hands-on, and allows you to add some of your own personal styles into the project. Sometimes, however, homeowners try to bite off more than they can chew and the DIY project can turn disastrous. When you are getting involved with your home projects, it’s important to know what you can handle… and more importantly what you can’t.

YOU: DIY Light Fixtures
Stick to purely aesthetic changes — like this DIY Mason jar vanity. Updating your light fixtures, and not the electrical wiring itself, is easy and safe.

A CONTRACTOR: Recessed Lighting
While recessed lighting adds lots of charm to a space, any project requiring electrical work or new wiring should be crossed off your DIY list. Incorrectly done, electrical wiring could turn into a major safety hazard and make your home susceptible to electric shocks and fires. Cutting wires too short, reversing hot and neutral wires, or installing cable without a clamp are all mistakes that could endanger your home. Avoid making a risky mistake by hiring an electrician to handle projects like recessed lighting.

If you are unsure whether a project in your home is unsafe to DIY, feel free to call Moss Building & Design. Moss Home Services can easily handle any work you may feel uneasy about completing yourself!

— Moss Building & Design


Moss Building and Design is the top home remodeling company in Northern Virginia that has established a reputation for excellence in remodeling additions, kitchens, bathrooms, and basements and providing home services for homeowners. With a strong focus on community, Moss Building and Design encourages a hands-on approach to home improvement with an emphasis on education. Their ‘Girls Night Out’ HandyMOM101 events offer DIY workshops covering projects like tiling, power drills, caulking, and patching drywall. Connect with them online, Facebook, and Twitter.


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