When it comes to necessary home improvement repairs and projects, you might be tempted to channel your inner do-it-yourself’er. Kudos to you for taking the hands-on approach, but before you go biting off more than you can chew, be sure to do some research and get some expert advice.
While a few cosmetic and non-invasive projects may be more than doable in a DIY fashion, there are a few areas of home improvement which almost always land in the professionals-only territory. Projects involving danger or risk to yourself or others and the potential for damage to your home fall under the category of projects you should always leave to the professionals. Read on to discover which 5 repairs are ones you should never attempt to DIY.
Even the smallest crack or opening is vulnerable to water entry and subsequent water damage. Very quickly, even the smallest bit of unaddressed water damage can create issues in your home that will likely require costly and invasive repairs. This is why plumbing repairs are first on our list of home improvement projects that are typically not DIY-friendly.
Some minor repairs, like installing basic hardware items in your bathroom (changing a faucet, etc), are fairly sound DIY-projects that a confident and handy homeowner can take on with ease. However, if your intention is to get into the plumbing and drain system by re-routing pipes and other similar projects - your best bet is to bring in a professional. Projects like this are more invasive, require specific tools and know-how, and can be both damaging and dangerous if tackled on one’s own.
A basic plumbing issue mishandled by an over-eager do-it-yourself’er can turn into a much bigger issue than necessary. Don’t risk added costs and headaches - play it safe and call in the experts on this one.
Likely the most obvious area of home improvement requiring extreme caution, electrical work that goes beyond basics like installing a light or changing a switch (always shutting the power off before beginning) should be considered professionals-only territory. And FYI: for those minor repairs that you take on yourself, you still need to do the research to ensure you’re taking every precaution and eliminating any guesswork before you begin. Every home owner should invest in a basic volt meter, as well as being familiar with where your switches, breaker and master switch are located.
Beyond the relatively safe “basics” that you may feel comfortable taking on yourself, it is always advisable to seek the help of a professional when assessing or addressing any electrical issues in your home. Working without the proper expertise could result in personal injury, injury to others, damage to your home, the list goes on. It’s not worth electrical shock, a house fire - or worse - simply to avoid cost or inconvenience. And don’t forget: much of the electrical work done in your home will need to be up to code, something that can affect you negatively down the road should you decide to sell. Not to mention the potential for safety issues from mismanaged DIY home improvements. Afford yourself the peace of mind that comes with calling in a pro to have things done right, and done safe - the first time around.
Many of the appliances in your home may qualify as gas appliances, such as your hot water heater, stove and your laundry dryer. Consider your dryer: when’s the last time you took a look at your laundry room and contemplated moving some things around for the purpose of cleaning, re-painting, or maybe just a fresh look and layout? Understandably, you may think that a simple relocation of this gas appliance should be an easy DIY task, right? Wrong. A misstep when cutting off the gas supply line or when reconnecting it could translate to a leak - which can quickly turn into a nightmare situation. Carbon monoxide poisoning can be deadly. Don’t take the chance of putting yourself and your loved ones at risk - call in the professionals.
A naturally-occuring mineral with six variations, asbestos was used for insulation in older homes and business properties for many years. Once preferred for its resistance to heat and electricity and ability to act as a sound barrier, asbestos was revealed to be a toxic, carcinogenic fibre. While many countries, such as Canada, have since banned asbestos and asbestos mining, there are still trace amounts in circulation today. You won’t find the use of asbestos-based insulation being used for newer homes in present-day, but there are no provisions for those older homes and buildings which were built prior to the discovery and subsequent ban of asbestos.
DIY assessment and removal of asbestos must be left to the professionals, who will know how to approach and execute the removal process for this very important - and potentially dangerous - home improvement repair.
For obvious reasons, roofing repairs should always be left to the experts. While you may think there’s not much to a quick shingle repair, don’t underestimate the dangers of climbing up onto your roof and navigating around this very high - and dangerous - terrain. Keep your feet on solid ground and shop around for the right company to help you in keeping your roof in good health.
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