Here’s a helpful guest article from Paul Denikin of DadKnowsDIY
Don’t DIY: Leave These Tasks to the Pros
Saving money is a good impulse but sometimes it pays to curb your enthusiasm. Certain household repair projects can be dangerous if you’re not sure what you’re doing. YouTube can provide a lot of great information, but there are times when DIY projects can be more trouble than what you’re saving. Repairing your “fix” can sometimes be more expensive than hiring a pro right away. Here are a few home projects you’re probably wise to leave for the professionals.
Some insects, like ants or fruit flies can generally be handled in-house (with a little sage advice from your local hardware store). However, if you’re experiencing a termite invasion (look for things like crumbling or otherwise damaged wood or granular mounds of drywood), it’s definitely time to call in the pros. Termites can do severe structural damage to your home, so don’t wait.
If you’re contemplating tearing out a wall to add square footage or reconfigure your floor plan, consider this: walls hold up the ceiling and all the stuff above it. While it’s true that some non-load-bearing walls can be taken out, if you don’t know whether it’s a supporting wall, you probably shouldn’t mess with it. You could do irretrievable damage to your home and end up draining your financial assets trying to fix the damage. Remember, there’s more to tearing into a wall than getting a couple of sledgehammers and crowbars and taking it down — you could run into plumbing or live wiring, which require their own kind of knowledge.
Gutters, the Roof, and a Running Toilet
Cleaning the gutters on your single-story home is often DIY-able unless you dislike ladders or heights. Owners of multi-story homes should think twice before dragging out that ladder. A leaky roof can often be manageable if you can identify where the leak is originating. It’s important to ask yourself some important questions to see what you truly require before getting in contact with a contractor. Repairing a malfunctioning toilet often requires replacing any of a number of faulty parts none of which should break the bank or unduly challenge an experienced DIYer.
Quick question: Do you have training or certification in electrical work? If not, it’s generally advisable to let a trained professional handle this kind of job, and for a very good reason — it can be hazardous to your health! You’re risking electrocution or fire trying to rewire or relocate a junction box if you’re not properly trained. It’s one of those situations where one oversight could result in tragedy. It’s not worth the risk no matter how many technical manuals you’ve reviewed. Besides, electrical work often requires a special permit.
Replacing your home’s flooring on your own can be tempting – and YouTube makes it look so easy! Some projects are a simple matter of covering the old surface with carpet or laminate flooring but when the existing flooring nears to be torn up, all bets are off. If you’re stripping the floor down to the original hardwood, you may find that it’s become warped over time or that the sub-flooring is rotted or moldy. There are often missing boards and holes where a pipe or chimney once passed through. Before being overcome by the romance of reviving old hardwood floors, it’s wise to consult a professional.
Your home is your pride and joy. It would be a shame to accidentally damage it by letting your enthusiasm for DIY lead you to a poor decision. Assess home repairs according to the danger level and the extent of damage you could do unwittingly. It’s well worth spending a few dollars to get a job done right, particularly if it keeps you safe and your home sound.
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