Avoid DIY Disasters: When to Call a Pro
Some home improvement projects are a breeze. Painting, building a raised garden, even installing new hardware throughout the kitchen and bath are all things you can safely do without special equipment or experience. But some things are best routed to professionals before you have a chance to damage your home or yourself.
Lead was a common additive to household paints until the late 1970s, when it was realized just how bad it was for the human body. Lead exposure in children can, according to the CDC, causes delayed development and impaired neurological function. It’s an issue that requires careful planning and flawless execution to rectify. Most homeowners find that lead removal services aren’t as pricey as they expect. Improvenet estimates the costs between $1,558 and $4,300 – a small price to pay considering the risks.
Power washing or pressure washing is a fairly simple DIY task but can be dangerous and risky if you aren’t very careful. As a homeowner you should avoid any work that requires you to get up on an extension ladder and if your paint isn’t in nearly perfect condition is it probably best to call a pro.
If you don’t know the difference between a ground wire and a hot wire, you probably shouldn’t be installing new light fixtures or hard-wiring the dishwasher. Your home’s electrical system is like the veins that flow through your body; one bad stream can cause a host of disasters including electrocution and fire.
If your electrical system is your home’s veins, the walls and frame are the skin and bones. Never try to remove an interior or exterior wall yourself. A wrong choice can negatively impact the structural integrity of your house. Load bearing walls, which aren’t always easy to identify, support the weight of your upper floors and roof. Knock one out and you might find your attic becomes part of your kitchen.
Water flow issues should be outsourced to a licensed plumber. Even a small, hidden leak from an improperly fixed or installed toilet or faucet can lead to wood rot behind the walls or under the floor. Furthermore, water has to properly flow in and out of your home. A plumber will understand the schematics behind flushing water and solid matter from the toilet and garbage disposal to avoid a messy and expensive backup in your main line.
Large landscaping projects
Sure, you can plant flowers and throw up a new mailbox but bigger projects such as sod installation and tree care are best left to landscaping experts who know how to get things done right the first time. Grading issues and fence installation are other outdoors projects you shouldn’t touch. LoveYourLandscape.org notes that a lawn care professional can even help you pick plants that work for your soil type and temperature range. And if your project involves digging, a pro will know what permits to pull and how to determine where underground pipes and wiring may be.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that most roof repairs are not DIY ventures. You risk allowing water to intrude into your home, which like leaky plumbing, can cause rotted wood along with stains, mold and a musty smell. You also expose yourself to the possibility of falling from 10’ or higher, which can break a bone or worse.
Termites are little pests that have a big appetite for wood. An infestation must be treated with chemicals and other abatement methods before these critters devour your investment. Orkin notes that most homeowners spend $3,000 for termite control.
Don’t let this list get you down; there are still plenty of challenges you can conquer with your own tools and YouTube. But, these projects aren’t ones you want to leave to chance. Keep your home and family safe by knowing when to get pros involved. It might cost more now, but a shoddy fix in any of these areas will cost you much more down the road.