The Do-It-Yourself (DIY) home improvement craze has been gaining momentum for years now, but even though the allure of the DIY may have caught your eye, there are many projects that can pose dangerous if tackled without the proper knowledge and professional help. The cost of labor for home improvement projects could have you feeling wary about whether the task at hand can be “that hard” to handle yourself. DIY projects may have been made “easier” with recent home improvement store kits and other popular items; however, these kits could end up costing you lots of extra time, money and aggravation.
In a survey conducted in 2012, Merrill Edge found that “70 percent of folks in their 50’s and 60’s had taken on a DIY project that they normally would’ve paid a professional to tackle.” The majority were handling small fixes and repairs around the home, and 18% were actually tackling large scale remodeling projects. Many were also handling their own yard work and landscaping projects as well.
Even though the tight economic times may not allot for a professional landscaper, or each project to be handled professionally, there are some that should NOT be attempted as DIY projects! Projects such as electrical work or plumbing repairs, if finished improperly can have catastrophic repercussions on the well being of your home, and even on your own health as well. The following is a list of a few home repair projects that are best handed over to a professional, in order to avoid the hazards of the job and give yourself the best possible outcome.
Repairing shingles and leaky ceiling tiles is not a hard job in terms of how to correct the problem. But the act of the job itself can be very dangerous if taken on without proper experience. Preparing the roof and climbing up and down ladders in order to reach the problem area can be tiring and dangerous. Also, roof repairs often require extensive knowledge of structure of the home; if not repaired properly, it could lead to more damage in the future from water, or possibly collapse. This job should not be taken lightly and depending on the extent of the repairs, it may be best to consider contacting a professional. Smaller jobs such as gutter cleaning or checking the roof for damages should be done with proper tools, and help from a friend in order to spot the ladder and maintain safety at all times.
Simple plumping projects can be easy if done DIY, such as replacing a faucet or shower head. Many other projects such as tile, or replacing a vanity are also easily taken on individually with little to no experience required. Of course, research and proper instructions are needed to complete these tasks. However, larger scale plumbing projects often require the help of a professional. Leaks can cause great structural problems and often times need tools that are not in an average home toolbox. Professionals are equipped to handle copper piping (which requires welding), and other major pipe reconstruction or replacement in the most efficient way possible. They also know what codes a home are required to uphold, which can save time and money when selling your home in the future.
Similarly to the problems that you can encounter in plumbing repairs, electrical repairs also require extensive knowledge, as well as proper tools that many DIY individuals do not have readily available. Simply changing a light fixture, celling fan, or outlet cover can be easily tackled as DIY project, but for larger scale problems, a professional can be the most help. There are many codes that require a home to have specific items and if repaired improperly, can lead to large scale problems with the finalization of a future sale. Professional electricians are aware and up to date on which codes are required and will be able to assess your repair project with these requirements in mind. Another reason to consult a professional is because of the potential danger of mishandling electrical currents and wiring. Electricians are trained to handle dangerous situations and repair projects safely, so instead of putting yourself in harms way, leave this job to the professionals.
Tree Removal & Trimming
Safety is the name of the game again with this project that should not be tackled by yourself. Low level branches that can be easily trimmed off of bushes or small trees and reached with a ladder to cut with hedge trimmers, is an acceptable DIY project. But just like our other professional projects, removing large limbs and complete tree or stump removal takes heavy machinery and can be extremely dangerous if attempting by yourself. Consult a professional with any tree removal job to avoid hazardous conditions for yourself, and also to avoid potential dangers or damage from a falling tree or limb.
While working with stone pavers may seem like an easy task, keep in mind it can actually be very time consuming. Measuring and cutting stones to fit the design of your driveway, along with the right landscaping can be difficult and frustrating. Not only does it take precision to measure and cut each stone to the exact fit, but it also takes patience and time to do a proper job. Hiring a professional can cut the time down to one day’s work and give you optimal results for one of the most important parts of your home’s outdoor appearance.
Asbestos or Mold Removal
When performing any home repairs, if you encounter asbestos or mold within your home, you should consult a professional IMMEDIATELY! Removal or exposure to these elements can be extremely dangerous to you and your family home. Mold spores and asbestos can be deadly. Removal should not be attempted without the help of a professional in any circumstance.
A few easy ways to determine whether or not a DIY route is a good option is to ask yourself a few simple questions
1. Do I know what I’m doing? This questions alone could save you hundreds of dollars by simply hiring a pro rather than fixing a major mistake because you didn’t know!
2. Could I hurt myself or my house? Professionals are trained to safely handle those big jobs, let them do it! Saving a few bucks is not worth your own safety and health.
3. What is my time worth? When tackling a DIY project, think of your time as money and evaluate truthfully what your time means to you. DIY projects can be time consuming and don’t want to be rushed in order to do a proper job!