The Home Renovation Projects That Aren’t DIY
Most of us like to think of ourselves as weekend warriors in the era of HGTV, but are there some home projects you shouldn’t attempt on your own? Unless you’re a professional, the answer is probably yes.
Along with the following general safety precaution tips during a home improvement project, it’s also important you know the work you shouldn’t try to do yourself.
When you do hire a home improvement professional to come into your home, make sure that you have insurance that will cover an accident if one happens. This is also why you should hire a professional who’s licensed and has their own insurance—you can reduce the potential of being found liable if something goes wrong.
The following are some situations where it’s best to hire a professional, even if you typically are a maven of home improvement.
Floor refinishing isn’t necessarily dangerous if you don’t have the experience, but things might not turn out well.
Too often, people are under the impression refinishing their wood floors isn’t a big project, and the reality is that it’s challenging.
First, you have to know how to sand the floors properly. You need to be able to get it exactly right.
Then, you have to be able to properly layer the new finish so that it doesn’t dry tacky.
If you’ve never watched someone use a sander for the first time, look up a video, and you’ll see just how tricky it can be.
If you’re not holding it tightly, it can quite literally run away from you and then bust a hole in your wall.
Removing a Wall
If you want to take down a wall and open up space or so you can redesign the layout, you have to be completely sure it’s not essential.
If a wall is a load-bearing and you don’t realize it, your ceiling might cave in, your roof could collapse or you could eventually be dealing with sagging beams.
Anything structural is probably best left to the professionals. You need to understand how to support weight when you’re doing demolition, and how to transfer weight load properly.
Removing Lead-Based Paint
Lead-based paint is common in homes built before the 1970s, and it needs to be removed by a professional.
There are serious health risks that can come with DIY removal of lead-based paint, and you need a company that’s going to take necessary safety precautions.
Electrical work is one of the areas where you need to most skill when it comes to home projects. One tiny error or one lapse in your concentration could be dangerous or even deadly.
You should find a licensed professional who has training and experience as well as insurance for your electrical and wiring work.
There are around 45,000 electrical fires a year, so keep this in mind if you’re tempted to DIY a wiring project.
Major Basement Renovations
Basement renovations are a popular project among DIYers, and it can be a fun project as well, because you may be transforming an unusable space into something that adds value and function to your home.
Should you be taking on a large-scale basement reno on your own without professional help? Probably not.
There are a lot of safety elements to consider in basements. For example, you might overlook vapor barriers or fire-blocking barriers.
One of the most dangerous aspects of a basement remodel is called underpinning, where you dig out a basement to make it lower. People have been killed trying to do that on their own because walls or the whole house can collapse.
Repairing Gas Appliances
Gas appliances are similar in difficulty and risks of trying to do your own electrical work.
Gas appliances including furnaces, water heaters, and ovens can cause leaks if they aren’t installed exactly right.
Gas leaks can lead to health problems, fires, or explosions.
Finally, there are some simple plumbing tasks you may be able to do on your own. For example, dealing with a slightly clogged drain is probably fine to do on your own. However, extensive plumbing work should be left to the pros.
While a plumbing mistake isn’t likely going to be fatal, it can cause serious and expensive damage.
For example, if you don’t do plumbing correctly, one small leak can eventually flood your home.
The areas of plumbing you should especially hire a professional to handle are hot water pipes and sewage systems.