Contractors and skilled laborers aren’t cheap, so tackling projects around the house on your own is a great way to save money. But DIY isn’t always the best route. It could wind up costing you more in the long run if you don’t know what you’re doing.
While there are lots of home improvement projects even the greenest of DIY-ers can handle, some are better left to the experts. Here are eight home repairs you should never do yourself.
1. Plumbing Repairs
Water always finds a leak, turning the smallest repair into a big, expensive problem. Fixing a leaky faucet or repairing the toilet flapper is within an experienced DIY-er’s reach, but anything more complicated than that is best left to a professional.
There’s a reason why plumbers charge what can feel like an arm and a leg: it’s highly skilled work! Calling on a pro ensures that the work is done correctly the first time so that you can avoid expensive repairs later.
2. Electrical Repairs
Adding a dimmer switch? Installing a new ceiling fan? A novice can handle these repairs as long as they have some basic knowledge and exercise caution. Make sure the power is turned off before you start, and understand that electrical work can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.
For repairs and projects that go beyond a simple light switch or ceiling fan installation, it’s best to contact an electrician. You may even be required to get a permit for major electrical repairs, in which case hiring a professional electrician will be your only option.
3. Knocking Down Walls
Home makeover shows always make demo day look so fun, but knocking down walls in your home isn’t that easy. For starters, there’s a lot of stuff hiding behind all that drywall (gas lines, pipes, and wiring), and you could quite literally bring your house down if you knock into a load-bearing wall. Before you pick up a sledgehammer and start swinging, find a pro who can do the demo work for you and keep your house intact.
4. Drywall Installation
Speaking of drywall, hanging drywall is something you can do yourself as long as you have some experience and a good assistant. But rookie mistakes can lead to unsightly bumps, cracks, and tape lines, and hanging drywall on a ceiling is even trickier. Save yourself the hassle by hiring a contractor.
5. Gas Appliance Repairs or Installation
No matter how confident you may be in your home improvement skills, anything that involves working with a gas supply line is serious business. If you need to cut off the gas to repair your hot water heater or move your gas range because you’re laying new tile in the kitchen, you’d be wise to bring in an experienced pro.
Water will always find a leak, and the same goes for gas—only it may not be as obvious. If you’re not careful, your DIY project could lead to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, which kills more than 400 people in the United States every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
6. Asbestos Removal
Asbestos is a mineral fiber that has long been used in building materials including insulation, tiles, roofing, paint, and pipes. Although its use has been widely phased out since it was found to be toxic, it’s still present in many older homes—maybe even yours!
Since asbestos removal poses a huge risk to those near it, including your neighbors, there are many rules and regulations that govern how it is removed. If you have asbestos in your home and you want it removed, hire a professional.
7. Roofing Repairs
Propping a ladder against a rickety gutter and scaling the side of your house with a nail gun in hand can only end one way: badly. Professional roofers have special safety equipment and training that helps them get the job done safely and correctly, so your roof will last for years to come.
8. Cutting Down a Tree
Unless you’re dealing with a sapling or small tree, trimming branches or taking down a tree is a huge project. Would you rather pay a landscaper or a hospital bill? Hire a professional with special equipment and plenty of experience to take care of the job.
We’re all for doing it yourself, as long as you’re tackling projects that you can complete safely, accurately, and in compliance with local building codes. If not, hire a trusted contractor or home improvement pro who is licensed, bonded, and insured. Otherwise, as the property owner, you’re held liable if someone is injured on the job site, and without adequate homeowners insurance coverage, that could be difficult to bounce back from.
Personal Express can help you secure the coverage you need at the affordable rate you want. For a free homeowners insurance quote or to learn more about the options we offer, call 1-800-499-3612 or visit your local Personal Express office.