12 Dreaded Home Maintenance Tasks You Never Thought to Hire Out

Find the right pro for every household chore—big, small, majorly messy, or just plain pesky!

This content is paid advertising created in partnership with Thumbtack. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.

  1. There's no shame in asking for (or hiring) help.

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    There's no shame in asking for (or hiring) help.

    The lazy days of summer are about to end, and as fall fast approaches, it's time to tackle those household chores and maintenance projects you've been putting off. Luckily, getting things done doesn't mean you have to grunt your way through them yourself. Just as you might call a plumber when you spot a leaky pipe, you can also hire out a host of tasks that you don't have the time, ability, or motivation to do yourself. The trick, of course, lies in finding skilled, vetted professionals quickly, without getting bogged down in research.


    That’s where Thumbtack comes in. This free app delivers upfront price estimates from top-notch local home improvement pros. You'll also see their reviews, references, credentials, insurance info, and more, so you can rest assured that the job will be done right at a fair price. What kind of jobs, you ask? You’d be surprised!

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  2. 1. De-gunk your gutters.

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    1. De-gunk your gutters.

    Gutters clogged with leaves, twigs, and other debris can't do their job of sending water into the downspouts—and away from your home. Gutters should be cleaned twice a year, once in early spring and again in late summer or early fall. To tackle this job yourself, you need to climb a ladder, don heavy-duty gloves, remove the nasty mess into a bucket, and then flush water through the gutters. A gutter pro, on the other hand, will not only get rid of the gunk (often using specialized equipment to suck up and wash away debris), but will also repair any damage and even scrub the outside of the gutters to spiff up the look of your home. Find a good gutter cleaner on Thumbtack.

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  3. 2. Fix your fencing.

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    2. Fix your fencing.

    Your fence takes a beating with all the heat and activity of summer, so don’t be surprised if you start to notice busted rails, leaning posts, or problems with the footing—all issues that will only get worse once winter sets in. A fencing specialist or qualified handyman can assess the situation, help you decide whether to replace or repair, and take care of the job while you go about doing other things—without feeling fenced in. Find a fix for your fence on Thumbtack.

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  4. 3. Unclutter your overstuffed space.

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    3. Unclutter your overstuffed space.

    It happens to everyone: The more space you have, the more stuff you have. It clutters your attic, basement, garage, or shed, not to mention closets and drawers. You reach a point where you can’t find anything, or don't have the patience or room to haul it all out and figure out what to keep and what to toss. Thumb through Thumbtack, and you’ll find guidance for all your decluttering needs, from home organizing to attic cleaning to dumpster rental and junk removal. Wow, check it out—there’s a floor down there! Find an organizing guru on Thumbtack.

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  5. 4. Stage your home for sale.

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    4. Stage your home for sale.

    Whether you’re moving on up or downsizing to smaller quarters, when you've finally made the decision to sell your home, you need to do everything in your power to move it quickly. The secret to sealing the deal is making your home look desirable, like a place potential buyers could picture themselves living in. There’s an art to staging a home—preparing a residence for the real estate market—and there are pros out there who know just how to make a house appeal to the widest array of prospective buyers, so you'll get the best price fast. Find an open-house whisperer on Thumbtack.

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  6. 5. Winterize your windows.

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    5. Winterize your windows.

    Don’t wait for the first arctic blast to tell you you’re throwing money out the window. The key to lower energy bills—and staying toasty all winter—is minimizing heat loss through drafty windows. This means inspecting and replacing weatherstripping as well as recaulking, inside and out. To really hold in the heat, you may even want to install interior window insulation, a job that involves applying double-sided tape to the perimeter of a window, using heat to adhere plastic film, and then trimming the excess. You can buy an insulation kit and put in the time and effort to do it yourself, or you can have a pro get it done lickety-split. Find a winterization expert on Thumbtack.

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  7. 6. Degrease your kitchen.

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    6. Degrease your kitchen.

    Sure, you clean your kitchen conscientiously, wiping down countertops and cooktops, and mopping the floor. But how often do you get down to the nasty nitty-gritty of the range hood, oven, light fixtures, and ceiling fan? And what about the crusty spills stuck to the shelves and drawers of the fridge? Yuck! You don't want to face the holiday season surrounded by all this greasy grunge, so even if you don’t employ a cleaning team on a regular basis, treat yourself to a gift of degreasing today. Find a deep cleaner on Thumbtack.

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  8. 7. Install smart devices.

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    7. Install smart devices.

    Congratulations, you’ve opted to join the 21st century and wire your home for security and convenience. You could go geek and automate your abode yourself, or you could get smart and hire someone to install and program all of it—surveillance camera, thermostat, doorbell, appliances, window blinds, and the whole gamut of smart gadgets! Find a tech genius on Thumbtack.

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  9. 8. Cut down a dead tree.

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    8. Cut down a dead tree.

    It’s heartbreaking to say goodbye to a favorite tree that feels like a member of the family. Taking it down is also a physically challenging, potentially dangerous DIY job. So ask yourself: Do I have a well-functioning chainsaw and all the other supplies required? Do I have a strategy to ensure that limbs fall the right way? Do I know all the different types of cuts to make? Do I know how to dispose of the once-mighty oak or elm after it’s been felled? If these daunting questions tempt you to just leave the poor thing in your yard, think again: Widow-maker limbs could fall at any moment, causing injury and property damage. Be safe and smart, and ask a tree removal specialist for help. Find a local lumberjack on Thumbtack.

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  10. 9. Recaulk your tub.

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    9. Recaulk your tub.

    You scrub and scour weekly, but your bathroom still looks shabby. Maybe the problem is that moldy, bumpy caulk around the tub. Redoing it requires scraping off the old caulk with a putty knife (carefully, so as not to damage the porcelain); cleaning and prepping the area; and applying a straight, even line of new caulk all the way around. If you don't get the caulk just right, start again...and again...and again, because drawing that perfect bead isn’t easy—except for a top-notch tile tech, of course. Hire one via Thumbtack, and while you’re at it, get that dingy grayed or yellowed grout taken care of too. Find a capable caulker on Thumbtack.

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  11. 10. Perform routine inspections.

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    10. Perform routine inspections.

    You rely on so many devices throughout the house and you rarely think about them—until they break down. Quick: Make a list of everything that helps your home run safely and smoothly: your furnace and water heater, your sump pump, generator, garage door opener, smoke detectors, and so on. Now ask yourself: Am I up to the task of testing and inspecting this essential gear—and would I know what to do if something's not up to snuff? If the answer is no, call in the pros. Find masters of every major system on Thumbtack.

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  12. 11. Assemble your new furniture.

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    11. Assemble your new furniture.

    That living room set looked inviting in the catalog, but then it arrives at your door in pieces. Just leafing through the picture-only instructions can give you a headache, and one wrong move could ruin your new furniture. And wait—have you even got the tools to put it together? You'll certainly need a few wrenches and screwdrivers, a hammer, rubber mallet, level, and possibly even some power tools. Fortunately, there are pros who specialize in putting flat-pack pieces together in no time flat! Find a master builder on Thumbtack.

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  13. 12. Hang your Christmas lights.

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    12. Hang your Christmas lights.

    'Tis the season to be busy—too busy to take on the chore of putting up holiday lights and decorations, inside and out, especially if keeping up with the Joneses means coming up with more extravagant displays every year! This time around, call in a specialist to string it all up good and early. These folks are bound to bring their own tools, ladders, and other equipment—and will even provide design ideas—to get your home lit up cheery and bright enough to signal Santa for a safe landing. Find a holiday helper on Thumbtack.

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  14. Don't Miss!

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    For the handy home improver, few pleasures compare to the joy of a well-stocked workshop. Take a look at this roundup of some of the best and most essential tools for DIYers of every stripe, and see which items might be missing from your own home improvement headquarters.