Now that the weather is warming up, you may be thinking about tackling some projects around the house. If you own a home, you’re probably familiar with how expensive home repairs can get. That’s why some homeowners opt for the DIY approach.
Doing the work yourself can be a smart way to save a bit of money on some minor repairs and maintenance. If you’re handy enough, you can learn a lot by watching a few YouTube videos or taking a short class at your local Home Depot.
With that said, many projects are beyond the skill level of the average homeowner, and should always be done by professionals.
We’re not trying to bruise any egos here – it’s just that we’ve seen a lot of projects go wrong.
When something goes wrong, the best case scenario is having to pay someone else to come out and fix it. In the worst cases, it could mean property loss, serious injury, or worse.
So before you strap on your tool belt, take a little time to familiarize yourself with the projects you should NOT DIY.
Don’t DIY Electrical Work
If your electrical issue can be solved by flipping a switch or changing a fuse, go for it. If your problem is faulty wiring that needs replacing, don’t even think about it.
If you tackle electrical work yourself without proper training, you run the risk of getting shocked. Even if you manage not to electrocute yourself, shoddy electrical work can lead to a house fire down the line.
Anything beyond changing a light bulb is best left to a licensed electrician. Don’t DIY electrical work.
Don’t DIY Garage Door Repair
Repairing a garage door may seem simple at first glance, but it’s not a job that can be done with tools you have lying around the house.
For one, this project just isn’t cost effective. Nobody wants to spend money on specialized tools they’ll only use once. The tools you need to get the job done are not transferable to other repair projects.
More importantly, attempting to DIY garage door repair can lead to serious injury. For example, if you attempt to tighten the torsion springs mounted on your garage door, they can easily become compromised.
If these springs break, the stored energy in the tightly wound coil is released in a violent and unpredictable manner. And if you’re nearby when that happens–WHAM!
That’s just one of the things that can go wrong. You might fix the wrong thing. You might use the wrong parts. Your 100 lb garage door might come crashing down on you.
You get the idea. Don’t try this one at home.
Don’t DIY Roof Repair
Working on top of a roof is not without its risks. The most obvious one is that you are very high off the ground working at an awkward angle. If you lose your footing up here, you’re going to take a serious tumble.
Another issue is that roof work is rarely straightforward. An amateur roofer may end up with a load of wasted materials. The finished job might even look fine… until the wind picks up and all the work comes completely undone.
And if a mistake is made, your insurance company probably won’t cover it.
Don’t DIY Tree Removal
How much do you know about calculating the landing trajectory of a falling tree? Probably not enough. If you get this one wrong, the tree you just chopped can land on your house, your car, or on power lines.
An experienced professional takes things like the height, weight, and foliage of the tree into account, and knows exactly where to cut and at what angle .
Even if you just want to remove a few branches, it’s not worth the climb. If you’re not an arborist or a lumberjack, leave this one to the pros. They’re trained to do this stuff.
Don’t DIY Molding
After reading about the other more dangerous DIY projects on the list, you may be wondering why molding makes an appearance.
The answer is because it’s not a job for amateurs.
The point of putting in crown molding is to make your home look nicer. The problem is that walls are never perfectly straight. This is the case even with newly constructed houses. Every house’s walls have imperfections, and no amount of caulking will smooth them over.
Molding experts use special tools and techniques, such as scribing, to make sure the fit of your new crown molding is flush. Their attention to detail is meticulous. They want to make sure your moldings are properly aligned and stay that way.
So before you google “DIY crown molding” ask yourself if you have the time and the patience to get this job done right.
When in Doubt, Ask an Expert
General Contractors make their living by correcting problems created by DIY projects gone wrong. Once you pay someone to fix a botched DIY job, you have already spent money trying to fix the problem yourself. Now you’ve wasted time and you haven’t saved any money.
Online research is a great starting point, but it’s no substitute for experience and the right tools. Ask someone who’s actually in this line of work for advice. It could save you a lot of aggravation.