As a homeowner or a landlord, you're certain to have to upgrade your home or perform repairs at some point. It's inevitable -- it comes with the territory of home ownership.
In broad terms, there are two types of home improvement projects: those which are necessary for structural integrity and those which are primarily aesthetic in nature (though, of course, the two often overlap). In both cases, you can choose either to perform the necessary improvements yourself or hire a professional contractor to do the work for you. There are pros and cons to both avenues which you should closely consider before deciding.
Doing home improvement projects yourself saves you a lot of money, and this is the number one benefit to a DIY approach. If you have the skills and aptitude for this type of work, you may also enjoy it and take a great deal of pride in your handiwork once it is complete. However, doing it yourself is time-consuming and labor-intensive, and if you're not specially trained or experienced, the end results may not be as good as you'd hoped for.
Contractors do an excellent job; they are professionals, and their work shows their skill and experience. Hiring a contractor adds to the resale value of your home, as buyers usually have more faith in professional improvements than DIY projects.
However, contractors are expensive and can be unreliable. They have tight schedules, and many a homeowner has had a problem with a contractor who didn't or couldn't get the job done on time. You'll have to be careful when shopping around for a contractor to make sure you find someone who's both skilled and reliable.
At the end of the day, you want your home improvements to add value to your home while increasing its livability. The right decision is the one that's best both in the short term as well as over the long term.