Thanks to YouTube and countless other free online resources, everyone and their uncles are taking on DIY jobs at home — and for good reason. Not only is doing it yourself an effective way to save on the cost of home improvement projects, but it also offers a great sense of accomplishment for a job well done. You can even learn a nifty new skill or two while you’re at it.
However, not all home projects are created equal. Simply put, there are just some jobs that you, as a layman, should not DIY. Even if you have the tools, desire, and imagined expertise to do so, you’re better off leaving it to a professional. Not only will some endeavors put you at risk of bodily harm, but you may end up paying more than if you just went with an expert in the first place. So without further ado, here are some home improvements best left to the pros.
So, you’ve probably changed a few lightbulbs or replaced a few fuses. You should be able to handle faulty wiring, right? Wrong. The fact is, the few hundred dollars you save by foregoing an electrician is simply not worth the disaster that’s bound to happen when you DIY electrical work.
While the risk of electric shock is all too real, let’s also not forget the fire hazards and inevitable inspection issues such an adventure will undoubtedly bring. Do yourself a real favor and just shell out the costs for common electrical projects. It’s as little as $100 to replace a switch, or around $3,200 on average to rewire a 1,200-square-foot home.
Removing Chipped Paint
This may be an easy task, but if your home was built before 1978, there’s a chance lead-based paint is present somewhere. This kind of paint is poisonous when ingested, or when dust particles are inhaled. Even homes built before the 70s that have been extensively remodeled may still have risk. When it comes to dealing with a lot of old paint, hiring professionals trained in lead-based paint management is best.
A lot of people find ways to fix a leaking sink or running toilet, but redoing the plumbing in your bathroom is another story. If you don’t know exactly what you’re doing, you run the risk of significant injury or damage, like electrocution and flooding.
Hanging or repairing drywall is skilled work that is often messy. Taking on this project without formal training will cause mistakes that are easily recognizable to home inspectors, contractors, or other building professionals. Don’t try to save money now only to have to spend more later to fix problems when you sell.
This is a job you want done right by professionals for many reasons. A window not installed properly can have the slightest gaps that can up your energy bill, allow bugs in, and create a path for water leaks and mold to grow. This also applies to skylights, which will directly bare the burden and pressure of outside elements. Professional window installation will give you a greater peace of mind and may come with warranties, as well.
Swapping Electric Appliances with Gas Ones
As tempting as this may be, working with electric wires and gas lines can easily cause damage or even death. A professional will know how to avoid the poisonous and flammable aspects of gas while they are installing the new appliance. They will also properly connect and disconnect electrical wires to avoid malfunction or fire.
Keeping your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer requires removing old insulation that is no longer helpful. But you don’t want to tackle this yourself, since many older homes were outfitted with insulation that has asbestos. Asbestos are tiny fibers that are unable to be seen by the naked eye, and can damage the lungs of people who breath them in over long periods of time. Although it is a naturally occurring fiber, companies have used it for years to create heat, chemical and electrical resistance.
An asbestos professional will know how to remove the contaminated insulation without spreading the fibers and causing potential health issues.
The important-sounding moniker alone leaves little doubt that HVAC replacements should be relegated to those who really know what they’re doing. In fact, there’s no such thing as a DIY-friendly HVAC repair.
Let’s say your furnace conked out and is crying out for some TLC. A qualified professional will be able to tell right off the bat if a simple repair will suffice, or if it’s an opportune time to replace it with a new one. On average, a new furnace will set you back between $2,000 to $8,000, depending on the type you need or want.
Tree removal, or even the removal of large limbs, is a task that is loaded with danger. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s all too easy to drop the tree on property and cause damage. Worse, attempting this type of project yourself leaves you and others at risk from the tree, not to mention the injuries (or worse) which can come from the chainsaw necessary for the job. Angi notes tree removal typically costs between $50 to $1,500; it’s a small price to pay to protect yourself, others, and your property.
It goes without saying that you should also never DIY roof repairs for some very obvious reasons. First of all, there’s the question of safety. The fact is that not everyone can pull off doing hard labor many feet off the ground. If you value your life and limbs, leave this one to those who are trained for it. Roof repairs will only cost you an average of $650, which is a small price to pay for your life.
And if that’s not a compelling enough reason, a DIY job can be more trouble than it’s worth, resulting in wasted materials and band-aid solutions that likely won’t hold up. It’s just all too easy for a novice to commit DIY roofing mistakes like poorly installed shingles and shoddy ice dam prevention.
There’s fun to be had from DIY home improvements, as well as savings and bragging rights. However, you also have to know when to step back and give the reins to the experts. Ultimately, all that matters is getting the job done.
If you’re making improvements with an eye towards listing your home, connect with Ed Constable for expert guidance throughout the home buying and selling process. Call 810-938-3339 for more information.
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