Completing a DIY project is a surefire way to boost confidence. Whether it’s something small like painting a room, or something large like installing new floors, pulling off these projects is a feat — particularly when you know that a professional can get paid for the work. And yet, it’s never a good idea to let your ego get the best of you when it comes to home improvement. Professionals tend to know details only training and experience can teach, as is the case with any paying job, and sometimes it’s better to rely on their knowledge than to go it alone. But when it comes to knowing which tasks you can handle and which ones you should hire out, what’s the best way to make that distinction?

The truth is, the answer usually depends on your situation. If you’re like many DIYers out there, there’s a good chance you’re not so sure where this role might take you. 

As easy as it is to hone your confidence on a handful of impressive DIYs, it’s just as easy to get into a situation that requires professional help to get you out. Recently, Reddit user u/weeby_nacho brought this very topic to the fore on the Home Improvement subreddit, asking users what they’d say DIYers should always leave to the pros. Read on for some of the best responses about the eight projects these Redditors say they’d leave to the pros. 

Feel free to watch someone else tackle insulation.

There are plenty of videos out there covering the steps it takes to install “closed-cell” spray insulation, and there’s a serene quality to watching the spray adhere to the walls. But the materials used to regulate your home’s temperature can be complicated without the proper tools or skills, which is why the job should be left off your DIY list. 

“Closed cell spray foam insulation is one of those items that should be completed by a professional,” says user u/MoldyNalgene. “You won’t save that much money by doing it yourself, and if you mess up, the costs to remediate are going to be very high. There was a post on here a while back where someone turned their house into a toxic waste dump because they didn’t get the mix correct. It’s one of only a very few things I’ve hired out for my house.”

Don’t think strength is all you need to remove a big tree.

Making a backyard go from overgrown to outstanding requires a lot of things: a mower, sunscreen, and a professional if you’re thinking about removing towering trees. Not only do Redditors say that the job is dangerous — after all, big trees do fall hard — but it can also require much more work than you anticipated. From potentially getting hurt, damaging property, and simply getting the greenery outta there, it’s a big commitment that requires a lot of skill and experience.

Also, it’s important to note how much time the overall landscaping project will take. According to a few commenters like the one by u/AlliterativeHyjinks, sometimes it’s easier just to let a team take over. “We had major hardscaping done in our backyard, and I’m sure we could have done it,” they say. “It took our landscapers a few weeks, but it would have taken a year of weekends to get it to look as nice as it does now. Not to mention, we had them do a permeable installation, which was a bit more technical in nature.”

It’s probably a good idea to skip gas lines and electricity.

While many DIYers know that gas lines and electricity are usually off-limits, there may still be those who think they can master the details to make it happen. Err on the side of caution with this one, and leave major electrical and especially gas to the pros. To put it more bluntly: “Just hire the plumber, they’ll do it quickly and correctly and not kill your family,” says one user.

DIYing wall-to-wall carpet won’t get you the same results as a pro install.

Thanks to a plethora of projects online and in television shows, ripping out and replacing carpet looks like a simple enough job. And it can be — if you know what you’re doing, of course. However, commenters note that hiring professionals to install carpet is best if you’re looking for long-term results. Oh, and it can be tough to match seams correctly if you’re covering a large surface. “I do almost everything myself, but carpet is not one,” user u/ShemmyPie writes. “I’ll lay the padding and nail strips, but these days [professionals] have power stretchers that work so much better than the knee knockers. It will stay tight a lot longer.”

Sure, go ahead and drywall — but know it’ll take you lots longer.

Drywall can be one of those “look how far I’ve come” projects for DIYers, since it does take practice to get hanging and finishing it right. Ensuring that it’s done correctly, and fixing any mistakes that can arise, makes this another job a lot of commenters would much rather have a professional do. They’re “fast and can [do] a house in a couple of days where it takes a single person quite a while to do it,” says user u/Sweentown. “And your friends hate you if you ask them to help — especially if the house isn’t square and has a lot of weird angles.”

Sit out any major plumbing projects.

Like electrical projects, plumbing tasks range from relatively simple (replacing a faucet) to extraordinarily complex (adding a new sink to a wall with no plumbing). For anything beyond a swap, it’s best to invest the money in a pro upfront.

“I have flipped 20 houses or so over the years and have done a lot of [plumbing] myself,” says Redditor u/Terminal_Velozity8. “But a couple of times I got in over my head on plumbing issues and paid the price.”

User u/mmoodylee agrees: “I wouldn’t touch rough in plumbing. Replacing a shower head, kitchen sink, faucet, fine. For the stuff that’s behind drywall or between the floor joists, if there’s a small leak, you wouldn’t notice days later if not longer. By that time it’s probably too late.”

If the project involves heights, think twice.

DIYing has a way of upping the ante: If you’ve mastered painting, then you’re probably going to want to try your hand at a jigsaw. But take it from commenters who’ve either seen shoddy roofing work or have messed up the work themselves: Keep away from heights.

Many commenters noted that a fall could be deadly, with one saying that “the most dangerous tool, by far, in every person’s home is a ladder.” But any roofing job also requires numerous materials, and can easily look bad if done incorrectly. The same goes for exterior siding, which seems easy enough on the outset but can lead to uneven lines, weather issues, and other headaches down the line. And don’t forget to hire someone for gutters, too. “I did my own gutters once and ended up having someone else do it again a couple of years later,” says user u/CaptRespect. “Getting the slope right is tricky.”

Tiling any space larger than a few square feet isn’t something to take lightly.

Since tiling has exploded in popularity recently, this project seems to be one that intermediate DIYers can accomplish. But commenters note that while smaller projects can seem doable, it’s hard to achieve that “just right” look people are after. And when it comes to larger surfaces, like anything over 12 feet, professionals can deliver on the results much better than amateurs. 

“You will almost certainly mess up and not have leveled tiles,” says one user, which can extend beyond appearances to poor water drainage and even mold. Another reason you should nix it from your own responsibilities? It takes time, lots and lots of time, according to Redditor u/FeatureEnvy. “Even though I’m doing a tile job of my whole downstairs myself right now, it is taking me [so much] time to get everything level and perfect. It looks good and everything is solid but I will never do this again by myself. It’s way too much.” Stick to small bathrooms and furniture, and you should be fine.