DIY vs. Handyman vs. Electrician: Comparing Your Options

Should I do my own electrical work or hire a professional? Here's what you need to know when it comes to hiring an electrician.

No matter the scale or scope of your home improvement project, there’s always a lingering question left to DIYers: What about the wiring?

Electrical work gives many people pause because of the danger involved – and rightfully so. Nearly 50,000 structural fires in 2011 reportedly involved electrical failure or malfunction as a contributing factor to ignition, leading to over 400 deaths and almost 1,500 injuries. Furthermore, the cost of the damage approached $1.5 billion – not a figure to shy away from.

Despite these statistics, many Americans feel compelled to fix or build things themselves. It’s a noble, yet sometimes misguided attribute. Before you decide to throw in the towel and call an electrician, consider you options among the following:


A successful electrical project involves more than a “can-do” attitude.

Begin by researching the steps involved in getting the project off the ground. What equipment will you need? Does the project require any specialized tools? Will the project require adherence to municipal building and electrical codes? Once you’ve fully conceptualized the project and what it involves, ask yourself whether you’re willing to invest in the necessary tools and permits, while risking the possibility of personal injury or structural damage. If not, it’s time to look elsewhere for assistance.


A handyman is an affordable alternative to DIY labor, but should only be relied upon for minor renovations and repair services, such as replacing an outlet or upgrading a lighting system. Because a handyman is hired as a personal service, no permitting or formal training is required, leaving all responsibility for any accidents or damage caused on the homeowner. Furthermore, it’s illegal for a handyman to perform work on the electrical system of your home or office.


A licensed electrician is a trained professional who can complete complex and otherwise dangerous electrical projects to meet building and electrical codes. While the price tag may be higher than a DIY or handyman-led project, the efficiency and professionalism that comes with hiring a licensed electrician means your project may be completed much faster than with another solution. Plus, licensed electricians are bonded and insured, meaning you can rest easy knowing your property and safety are protected long after they complete your project.

All in all, certifications and licensing matter. It’s unwise to trust anything besides a small electrical project to untrained hands, so if you’re getting ready to begin work on an electrical project that may feel out of your range of expertise, it’s wise to call a trained electrician to get their take. Contact the trained professionals at Luminaire today to learn more and to get your project started on the right foot.

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