There are plenty of home projects that are easy to do with the right tools and preparation, but there are many others that should be left to professionals in that field. Especially in today’s age of YouTube and other online videos, it can be simple to teach yourself how to fix many problems such as changing filters, painting, or unclogging a toilet.
However, projects that have to do with plumbing, electricity, gas, or dangerous equipment shouldn’t be attempted unless you are absolutely sure you have the training and credentials necessary to get the job done safely. Some home maintenance projects require specific equipment, expertise, or even permits to complete. Some problems can be more expensive to fix if you mess with them before bringing in someone who knows more about what they are doing. Some can be dangerous or even fatal if approached incorrectly.
To keep you, your family, and your home safe, and to save money in the long run, make sure you call in professionals for complex and/or dangerous home repairs. The following is a list of some such problems that you should avoid for DIY projects.
Most roofs are high enough off the ground that it’s dangerous to work on them. It’s easy to accidentally lose your balance and fall, especially if you are doing a job that you’re not accustomed to. Roofing is also more complex than it might seem and requires quite a bit of knowledge and skill. And if you mess something up, it can result in costly structural damage or pesky mold infestations.
If you find any hazardous materials in your home, such as asbestos or lead, you need to hire a professional to remove it. There are laws governing such projects, and you can cause serious health problems if you try to tackle these materials on your own.
Making changes to the structural parts of your home can be dangerous, whether you’re building a deck, knocking down a wall, or adding whole new rooms. It can be difficult to determine exactly how everything comes together and overlaps in your home, including weight-bearing structures, utility lines, plumbing, etc. You should also be wary about installing your own windows, because this is often done incorrectly by amateurs, resulting in drafts and leaks.
From changing light bulbs to checking fuses, simple electrical maintenance is fine to do on your own. On the other hand, complex electrical problems and any kind of wiring work needs to be handled by a professional. Electrical wiring is incredibly dangerous to work with if you don’t know what you’re doing, and if you install anything improperly, it can cause a fire. Also, many electrical projects have laws attached to them to make sure that the building is up to code. You don’t want to find out that you can’t sell your house without paying for expensive repairs when it comes time to move.
Some plumbing maintenance is simple enough to do on your own. Go ahead and try your hand at installing fixtures or unclogging a toilet, but leave anything more complicated to a professional. If something goes wrong with your plumbing work, you can end up with a messy flood in your home that causes much more damage.
Natural gas is dangerous, with both the threat of carbon monoxide poisoning and flammability. Leave any projects that include the gas line to professionals.
HVAC is one of the most complicated systems in your home. Simple maintenance like changing filters is easy enough to do yourself, but it’s incredibly easy to mess up an HVAC installation, and you most likely void any warranties by doing it yourself.
It’s safe and easy enough to remove small branches from the trees in your yard, but it’s dangerous to attempt serious branch removal. Large branches, especially if they are high up, are extremely dangerous to remove if you don’t know what you’re doing and can hurt you or your house. Leave tree removal to the professionals.
It’s incredibly stressful to find unwanted wildlife in your home, whether it’s a squirrel, raccoon, bird or other animal. You probably want it out immediately, but it’s much safer to call in a professional. Wild animals are unpredictable and can carry serious diseases such as rabies. It’s better to be safe than sorry when handling animals up close.
It’s a great idea to perform maintenance around your house to save money and become self-sufficient. However, even if an Internet video makes it seem easy, don’t attempt complex or dangerous repairs if you aren’t completely prepared. You won’t save any money if a project is completely incorrectly the first time, and you might even lose money in the long run. Not to mention the injuries that can arise from being unprepared. Especially if you have to handle electrical wiring, plumbing, gas lines, heights, or hazardous materials, leave certain projects to the professionals.