While it can save you money to do home improvement jobs yourself, not all projects are safe to DIY.
No amount of YouTube video tutorials or episodes of home improvement shows you’ve watched on HGTV makes you an expert when it comes to home improvement projects. Sure, they seem so easy and simple, right? And there are some tasks, such as painting a room, that you can almost certainly do yourself. However, some jobs are either too dangerous or too complicated and beyond the scope of most homeowners, no matter how good they are with DIY projects. Improperly done home renovations may cause bodily harm, jeopardize insurance claims and adversely affect your home’s market value.
So before you pick up that drill, ask yourself: Is it safe to DIY this project? Do I have the necessary knowledge, skills and equipment to carry it out? Do I have the time and energy to see the project through to the end?
These jobs require the expertise of professionals. In fact, some of them can be downright illegal to DIY:
Knocking down a wall
Taking a sledgehammer to your wall sounds like a pretty straightforward task, right? However, some locations require permits especially if the wall is load-bearing. There’s also the risk that there’s electrical wiring, gas pipes, or plumbing behind that wall. You may regret not hiring a specialist before swinging that sledgehammer when you find out that you just did serious damage to your home’s integrity.
Unless you’re just changing a light bulb, you should really leave the electrical work to licensed professionals. It is one thing to flip the fuse switch on and off, but it’s another thing entirely to try and repair defective wiring or resolve other electrical issues by yourself. Keep in mind that the insurance company has grounds to deny your claim in case of a fire if it is proven that you tampered with electrical wiring in your home – and faulty wiring is one of the leading causes of residential fires.
Tree cutting or removal
Cutting down trees or removing branches involve climbing and working with dangerous equipment. Basically, it’s an accident waiting to happen. If you have a tree in your property that needs to be taken down, it’s better to call in the experts. They have the knowledge and equipment required for the job; in addition, they are familiar with city ordinances with regards to tree cutting and removal. And if they are properly insured (as they should be), they will be covered in case of hazards or accidents.
Repairing plumbing issues
If you’re a skilled DIY-er, you can probably manage minor plumbing jobs such as unclogging a toilet, or replacing a faucet or shower head. However, anything major, such as installing a water heater or re-routing sewer pipes, is better left to the pros that have the required know-how when dealing with permits, code adherences, safety regulations and risks.
Performing DIY work on your roof is not recommended because of the obvious reason, which is that it’s very easy to fall off of – one slip is all it takes to send you tumbling down. Climbing up and down and carrying tools increases your risk of injury or death. In fact, the National Safety Council reported that more than 6,000 Americans die each year from falls, most of them involving people falling off of their roof or ladder trying to clean their gutters and putting up Christmas lights, among others.