Home repairs can be expensive and when you’re on a budget, it can be tempting to save some money by doing your own repair work. In many cases, this is a great idea. Plenty of repair projects are simple enough for someone with a little basic knowledge and the right tools to handle on their own. Unfortunately, not all projects are quite so easy. Some types of home repair projects are too complicated or dangerous for even an experienced DIY-er to do.
Demolishing a Wall
Knocking down a wall might not seem like a difficult task and you might even think it looks like fun, but you’ll definitely want to at least consult a professional before you break out the sledgehammer. If you accidentally take out a load-bearing wall, it’s going to cause structural problems in your home that will be much more expensive than it would have been to hire someone to remove the wall for you. Even if a wall isn’t load bearing, you don’t want to start knocking a wall down only to discover the wall was hiding electrical wiring or components of your plumbing system. Accidentally damaging any of these can also easily result in more expensive repairs than you anticipated.
Installing Doors, Windows, and Skylights
Installing an interior door might be easy enough to manage by yourself, but exterior doors, windows, and skylights are another story. Since these things separate your home from the elements, it’s extremely important to make sure they are installed correctly, otherwise you might end up with leaks that drive up your energy bills or cause costly water damage. One of the most common reasons why people decide to get new exterior doors or vinyl replacement windows is to get rid of drafts and doors and windows that aren’t properly installed won’t solve those problems.
Skylights are a particularly DIY-unfriendly project since not only do you run the risk of installing them improperly, the fact that you need to spend time on the roof makes installing them inherently more dangerous. You’ll also have to cut an opening in your roof, which can cause larger, more expensive problems if not done correctly.
Anything That Would Disturb Lead Paint or Asbestos
If you live in a home built before 1978, there’s a good chance you have lead paint or asbestos somewhere in your home. If you’re planning a project that would disturb lead paint, such as knocking a wall down or cutting an opening into a wall, you’ll need to call a professional to make sure the job is properly handled to prevent you and your family from being harmed by the paint.
At one time, asbestos was widely used in many items that went into homes like insulation and flooring tiles. But since we now know asbestos can cause a multitude of health problems if not handled correctly, there are many laws regarding how to safely handle and remove it. If you’re planning a project that could disturb asbestos in your home, leave it to a professional. When asbestos isn’t removed properly, it not only can be harmful to you, it can be dangerous to other people who live in your home, visitors, neighbors, and more.
Major Plumbing and Electrical Wiring Repairs
While some types of plumbing and electrical repairs can easily be done by yourself, like fixing a leaking faucet or replacing a light switch, anything more complicated is probably be best handled by a trained professional. Improper electrical wiring can easily start a fire and plumbing work that goes wrong can easily cause thousands of dollars in water damage.
Removing a Large Tree
Trees can make a great addition to any yard, but if the tree is no longer healthy, it’s best to have it removed. But cutting down a large tree is much easier said than done. You not only have to use power saws while working at a high elevation, falling branches can damage your house, other property, or even injure someone. Your city might even have ordinances about how trees need to be removed. In any case, calling a professional to get rid of that problematic tree will save you a lot of headaches.
Making Changes to the Gas Line
Need to replace your water heater? Want to trade out your electric stove for a gas-powered one? Both of these projects would involve working with your home’s gas line, which can be a recipe for disaster if not done correctly. Rather than facing the risk of explosions or carbon monoxide leaks, leave any chore that involves your home’s gas line to someone who has been trained and is licensed to work with gas lines.