You love working on your home yourself. There’s something thrilling about doing it yourself. Plus, you save money and the work often comes out similar in quality to what a professional would do.
At the same time, there are jobs that are a little scary to take on. What do you do about those? Here’s when you know it’s time to throw in the towel and let a pro handle the job.
Plumbing Repairs: Plumbing doesn’t seem like a difficult job, but it gets complicated very quickly – especially when it comes to sewage treatment. Plumbing carries your waste water, your drinking water, and water you depend on to clean yourself and your clothes, dishes, and everything else.
You will need to be an expert welder, pipe-fitter, and you’ll need to know a lot about plumbing, engineering, and how to manage high-pressure systems.
Most people are better off hiring a professional for this kind of work.
Anything Electrical: Electrical work is another thing that doesn’t seem all that difficult to DIY. But, it too can turn into a mess very quickly. If you open up your fuse panel, or your main panel, and you find yourself staring down a perplexing maze of wires, and you’re wondering which ones go where and which ones you can safely cut, stop.
Call in a professional.
It’s not worth the electrocution risk.
It’s also not worth you messing up your home and potentially setting it on fire. An electrician is a trained professional. What they do is serious work. They know how to safely wire up a home and what not to do.
It’s a trade. It’s not a hobby. And, most DIY’ers are hobbyists. Most electrical work also requires a permit. And, permitting can get messy – especially when it’s inspection time.
Garage Door Replacement: Replacing a garage door doesn’t seem like a difficult job. And, for the most part, it isn’t. You take the old door down. You put up the new door. A few bolts and the frame is in. And, the door is in place. What’s so hard about that?
The problem comes when you need to install the door opener spring. This spring is a high-tension spring. And, unfortunately, most people don’t give it the respect it deserves. Not only is this spring really hard to compress properly, it’s extremely dangerous once it is compressed.
Unless you are a professional installer, you need to hand this one off to a pro for the finishing work, at the very least. A Neighborhood Garage Door Service Company will do just fine.
Those springs, under tension, can damage not just the door, but can seriously injure or kill you (or someone else) if they are not installed properly, or if they break loose during installation.
Gas Lines: Most people know not to mess around with gas lines. The danger is obvious. If just a spark ignites the gas, your whole house can go up in flames. So, unless you do this for a living, you should bring in the gas company.
They will safely install, disconnect, reconnect, and test your gas lines and appliances.
Windows: Replacement windows should also be handled by a professional. Improper installation can cause catastrophic failure to the glass pack. And, while it may not cause you any personal harm, a good window system costs at least $600 per window, with upper-tier windows costing $1,500 or more, each.
So, it definitely will hurt your pocketbook.
Foundation Work: Anything having to do with the foundation of your home doesn’t even sound like fun work. And, for the most part, it’s not. To top it off, it’s complex work and a lot can go wrong. So much can go wrong that it’s actually cheaper to pay someone to do the job for you – regardless of the work to be done.
What makes foundations so tricky to work on is the fact that they’re almost always made of concrete. And, concrete can be really hard to work with. It’s hard, but also porous. It’s a good support structure, but it can crumble under enough weight. And, unless you’re a structural engineer, you’ll never really know which load-bearing beams need upgrading, where the support needs to be, and how to shift loads that sit on top of the foundation.
Literally one mistake can cause your house to cave in on itself. At the very least, it’s worth bringing in a professional for his engineering know-how.
Samuel Powell has worked as a handyman for his family run business ever since leaving school. He enjoys the work and meeting different people most weeks. In his spare time he writes for home renovation blogs and can be found online giving advice.