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When planning a DIY project on your home, it can be easy to let yourself be swept up in the excitement of the project and get carried away with ideas. Or you may have what you think is a small problem that you can easily take care of that turns into a really big issue that’s outside of your expertise. If you’re not a professional, it can be very easy to underestimate the work required for some home repair and remodel projects.
Here are some of the DIY projects that most often result in homeowners calling for help from the professionals.
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Even very small electrical repairs can present serious safety hazards to inexperienced people. Electricity is very dangerous and can easily cause serious injury or death when not handled with the appropriate safety precautions. There can also be a lot of hidden dangers when working with electricity, such as previous incorrect repairs, mislabeled wires or breakers, or incorrectly connected wires and circuits.
The potential for catastrophe in trying to DIY electrical repairs is much higher than with other home repairs, due to not only the risk of electrical shock, but also the fact that improperly done electrical work can result in electrical fires months or years after the work is complete. For those reasons, it’s best to call in the professionals who have the proper knowledge and experience to complete electrical repairs.
While not as dangerous to the average DIY-er as electrical work, plumbing repairs still require a lot of specialized knowledge and tools to complete the job correctly. While a simple faucet replacement or clogged toilet is probably within the scope of what most homeowners can take care of on their own, more involved plumbing jobs often need a professional to complete correctly.
Incorrectly installed plumbing fixtures can cause leaks that could lead to serious damage in your home. In addition, hidden plumbing leaks can cause mold and other bacteria to grow within the walls of your home, which can make your family sick. When it comes to larger repairs to your home’s plumbing system, it’s usually best to leave those jobs to the professionals.
Water intrusion is a serious issue that can lead to extensive damage in your home, and roof leaks are one of the most common areas of water intrusion in most homes. On the surface, fixing a roof may seem like a simple job. However, there is a lot of work that goes into preparing the surface and making the structure watertight that isn’t obvious and can be difficult for a DIYer to complete correctly. Plus, working on roofs and ladders has the added risk of serious injury due to falls. When it comes to roofing repairs on your home, it’s best to leave it to the professionals to be sure the job gets done safely and correctly.
Everyone is talking about open concept living these days, and many people are itching to remove walls that separate living spaces, like family rooms, dining rooms, living rooms, and kitchens. However, just knocking down a wall isn’t as simple as you may think.
First, you need to know if the wall is load bearing before making any changes to it. If the wall is load bearing, you’ll have to work with an engineer to redistribute the load to other parts of the house before the wall can be removed. Even if the wall isn’t structural, you’ll have to consider what may be inside the wall that will need to be moved, such as electrical wires, plumbing pipes, or HVAC ducts. While it may seem like a simple thing to make changes to a wall in your home, there can be a lot of pitfalls in this type of project, and you should definitely consult a professional before you start swinging that sledgehammer.
It can be tempting to try and DIY a heating or cooling repair, especially if the temperature is extremely hot or cold. However, aside from a few basic HVAC checks for homeowners, most HVAC work should be performed by a licensed professional. Air conditioning units, for example, use a refrigerant (most commonly R-410A, in AC units made after 2010) that requires certification by the EPA to handle. So, if the problem with your air conditioner requires a refill on refrigerant, you’ll have to call in the professionals anyway, since you won’t be able to purchase the refrigerant yourself.
DIY repairs on furnaces can also be dangerous to you and your family. Damaged furnaces can cause very serious safety issues in homes, including carbon monoxide poisoning and house fires. Given the high potential for serious problems, it’s best to leave furnace diagnostics and repairs to professionals who are trained to spot those dangers and repair them properly.
Did you get in over your head with your DIY project? Luckily, if you do take on one of these advanced DIY projects, an experienced professional is almost always available to help you out of the mess. While you’re better off avoiding projects a bit farther out than your reach, there is nothing wrong with calling in the professionals if that is what it comes to. With experts on hand, you won’t have to worry about another problem arising.