Do-it-yourself (DIY) projects are a great way to build some basic skills while entertaining yourself for hours. Home improvement shows and the infinite how-to posts on Pinterest make self-led projects easy and more affordable than ever.
However, it is important to know when to call a professional for help. While some tasks are easy to learn with knowledge and experience, others can end up costing you astronomical amounts of money to correct or put you in danger. Here are four home improvement tasks you should never do yourself.
Electrical work should be left to the experts for obvious reasons. If you do something wrong here, you can end up causing severe injury or death to yourself or others. Alternatively, improper wiring can cause a house fire, and if you didn’t follow code requirements, your home insurance might be found null and void.
Some individuals with construction savvy may be able to change a light switch or another very basic task. However, there are two rules to follow if you think you can do something with the wiring of your home: always make sure to turn off the power to the room you’re working on and if in doubt, call someone.
Unlike electrical work, plumbing is unlikely to cause death or injury (unless your faulty plumbing leaks on your shabby electrical work). However, it can cause a huge mess and severe damage to your house and the contents within. One of the major deterrents to hiring a plumber is the perceived cost, but many businesses, like SPS, offer flat rate, upfront pricing so you know exactly what you’ll be spending.
As with electrical work, there are likely some tasks you can handle with a bit of handiness. Clearing a drain or installing a tap are two very basic tasks that most people can manage with some guidance. However, if you’re renovating your bathroom to incorporate a shower you saw on Pinterest, it’s time to call the experts.
HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. Other than changing a filter in your air conditioning unit or cleaning your heating duct vents, all matters pertaining to HVAC should be left to a professional. Doing something improperly can cause severe damage, resulting in a huge expense beyond what you would have paid if you had outsourced in the first place.
Another consideration is how your life will be impacted when these aspects of your home aren’t working properly. Proper ventilation is crucial for airflow and quality. Heating comes in handy when the winter months roll around and the temperature drops below freezing. You don’t want to discover in the middle of a heatwave that your air conditioning is on the fritz. Always call someone who knows what they’re doing.
Taking a sledgehammer to your walls and creating an open concept room can be cathartic. That is, until, you cause structural damage and have to leave your home because it is no longer safe to live in. Before you start making drastic changes to your house, hire someone to take a look at everything. The last thing you want to do is knock down a support wall or unintentionally rip out a bunch of wiring.
Those that take on structural changes themselves often end up with a ridiculous bill as they then have to call the plumber, electrician, or HVAC professional to fix what they have damaged. So, before you start taking out your work stress on your gyprock, call a contractor. Even if you opt to proceed with the renovations yourself after, they can direct you on what changes you can and cannot make so that you don’t become a walking example of a DIY disaster.
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