6 Home Improvement Projects You Should Never DIY
Tackling home improvement projects around your house can be a fun and rewarding experience. In addition to saving money, doing projects around your home yourself is a great way to learn new skills and become a more informed homeowner. While some projects are great for DIYers, there are a handful of jobs that are best left to a professional. The next time your home needs one of these six repairs, avoid the desire to do it yourself and call a pro to take care of the job.
Now, I’m not gonna lie to you. I’m not very handy. Nor is Ray or Dave. So while we’re willing to try to DIY some projects, usually after watching a Youtube tutorial on how to do something, we opt to hire a professional to do it.
Have you noticed a leak in the kitchen ceiling or a few shingles flapping in the breeze? It’s tempting to place a ladder on the side of your house to assess the problem and tackle the project yourself. But roofing is probably something better left to the pros. Standing on your home’s roof can be a danger in itself, but add a tough job like replacing shingles or bending flashing and the likelihood of an accident only increases. Sometimes, small projects like a leak or shingle replacement can turn into a larger job. Other times, patchwork repairs can cause more problems down the road, resulting in bigger repairs in the future. The next time your roof needs attention, it’s best to hire a professional to tackle the job.
While replacing an outlet or light switch might be an acceptable DIY project involving electricity, any larger electrical endeavors, like repairing or changing your electrical panel, should be left to the pros. In addition to the running the risk of electrocuting yourself or others, conducting electrical repairs without any knowledge on the subject can increase the likelihood that you could set your house on fire. It could also make your home harder to sell in the future. Most home inspectors will inquire about an Electrical Safety Association Certificate when its clear renovations have been completed on the home. You won’t be able to obtain one of those unless you have an electrical permit – which you can’t get unless you’re a certified electrician.
Removing a wall is commonplace on just about every home improvement show you watch, so chances are, you’ve thought about DIYing the job in your own home. Think about the consequences of the project before taking a sledgehammer to that interior wall in your home. While removing a wall will create a more open floor plan and make your home appear larger, it could cause a host of problems if you’re not careful. Instead of tackling this project yourself, it’s best to hire a contractor to determine if the wall is load bearing. If you damage a load bearing wall in your home, you run the risk of causing some serious damage to the structural integrity of the entire house. In addition to the possibility of your ceiling caving in, removing a load bearing wall can also be dangerous as you demo – falling debris could cause serious injury. While I don’t recommend taking a sledge hammer to your wall without consulting a contractor, you could probably tackle the job after approval from a professional.
Replacing a Garage Door
Removing a garage door on your own is probably one of the most dangerous projects you can tackle in your home. Due to the large amount of weight the springs attached to the garage door are required to hold, each spring is filled with a large amount of tension. To remove the door, you must release the tension in the spring and return the tension as you install the new door. An inexperienced DIYer could risk serious injury if the spring isn’t handled properly. One wrong move and the large spring could pop out of place, which could be a fatal mistake. To avoid this grave hazard, hire a professional the next time you need to change your garage door.
Waterproofing Your Basement
A flood in your basement can be a big problem. Not only will it ruin anything you have stored in the space, but excess water in the basement can cause a lot of problems – from mold to foundation damage – which can result a host of other issues throughout your home. While its tempting to tackle the task of waterproofing your basement on your own, the job is probably larger and more complicated than you’re anticipating. To successfully waterproof your basement, you typically need to dig a trench around the entire structure, apply a waterproofing material around the perimeter of your basement’s exterior walls, then back-fill the trench. While most waterproofing contractors can tackle the job in a few days. A large project like this could easily take an inexperienced DIYer weeks to complete. During that time, you not only run the risk of additional flooding if the weather doesn’t cooperate, but you’ll also have a huge mess on the exterior of your home during the process. Not to mention the safety risks involved in digging deep trenches without the needed knowledge, equipment and experience.
Refinishing Hardwood Floors
While renting a sander and taking on the task of refinishing your hardwood floors may seem like a good idea, you run the risk of causing more harm than good. Most sanding machines require the right touch, which only comes from experience. Not sanding enough will result in the project taking longer than anticipated but leaving the machine in the same spot for too long could result in marks on the floor that are almost impossible to cover. Taking into account the small window for error and the chance that you’ll most likely mess up the job if you’ve never used a sanding machine before, it’s probably better to let the pros hand this project, too.
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