Do-it-yourself home upgrades are a popular option for many homeowners for good reason — they’re a cost-effective way to make improvements and enjoy a fun weekend project. But reno experts caution against doing every makeover yourself. Here’s when it pays and when it saves to go the DIY route.

DIY — upcycling. Whether it’s an antique family hand-me-down, a garage sale find or an old favourite that’s looking shabby, repurposing and refinishing furniture is a great way to save some cash and create striking one-of-a-kind pieces. You can find lots of easy tutorials to refresh existing stuff online. Try switching up the hardware in your kitchen cabinets or using reclaimed wood to fashion a rustic side table or shelving unit.

Buy — utilities. Tackling your own plumbing and electrical work is a recipe for disaster. Electrical work is downright dangerous, so hire a certified electrician, whose license means they’ve had years of training and apprenticeships. While not life-threatening, plumbing mistakes can be expensive, as even a slow leak can cause extensive damage that requires further repairs.

DIY — painting. A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest, cheapest and quickest ways to give any room an instant makeover. But to get the results of a professional, you’ll need to take extra time to be meticulous when applying painter’s tape for a clean finish and sharp lines.

Buy — windows. A pro uses specialized tools to properly install new windows securely, so shell out for this important project. It may be tempting to hand-sew some curtains, but modern window treatments offer style and convenience with advanced features like energy efficiency, UV protection, and glare filtering. PowerView Motorization, available on a wide array of Hunter Douglas window treatments, connects with your smart device to allow you to schedule and adjust your shades remotely and automatically.

DIY — maintenance. Seasonal maintenance chores can be time-consuming, but hiring someone to do them for you adds extra cost but yields the same results. Save by taking care of your own raking, snow removal and gardening. Or hire a landscaper to give your lawn a boost twice a year — at the beginning of spring and fall — and handle yearly upkeep yourself.