Thinking about undertaking a do-it-yourself project? Are you sure you’re up to the task?
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great guides and books out there, not to mention the click hole that is Pinterest.
While handy homeowners can make lots of improvements, some really should be left to experts. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re a danger to yourself and your home.
For these five jobs, play it safe. Call a contractor.
Doing some remodeling? Tearing out an interior wall might really open up your space.
Don’t go grabbing a sledgehammer quite yet. The wall could simply be a room divider, but it might be holding up a lot of weight. If the wall is load bearing, and you unknowingly knock it out, more than just the wall will come tumbling down. A contractor knows how to determine if a wall has a structural purpose. The wall might also be concealing plumbing, electrical or HVAC components.
Hiring a contractor to assess a wall’s function is comparatively affordable. Just imagine the cost if you mistakenly remove a supporting wall or tear into electrical lines or water pipes. It’s worth the call, right?
Gas is a perfectly safe fuel for a water heater if it’s set up correctly. But there’s no margin for error.
Mess up the job and suffer the consequences: fire, explosion or a potentially deadly carbon monoxide leak. Carbon monoxide poisoning causes “flu-like” symptoms, such as headache, stomachache, vomiting and dizziness.
There’s worse news: Carbon monoxide can sneak up on sleeping people with deadly results. That’s why a gas water heater requires a competent, experienced installer. Make the call.
You can probably put in a new kitchen faucet. However, if you’re doing significant remodeling that involves plumbing, contact an expert.
For instance, bathroom renovations often mean moving sinks, toilets, bathtubs and showers. Initially, it may seem far less expensive to do it yourself. After all, the average bathroom overhaul costs more than $9,000. If you botch the plumbing, though, you may not even realize it immediately. Misaligned or poorly tightened pipes can leak into walls or floors causing fairly expensive damage.
You may never know about a mistake until water has weakened the surrounding structure. A simple call prevents this.
Sure, you know that when you do electrical work, you need to turn off the main power switch. (You do, right?) Lots of homeowners put in ceiling fans and replace electric switches without incident.
Beyond that, you’re asking for trouble. Major electrical work often requires a permit from your local municipality, and that’s a tip that the job is likely beyond your scope.
The safety issue is another clue. If you’re repairing or expanding your home’s electrical system, you don’t have a lot of wiggle room. You don’t want to risk a house fire or serious (even fatal) electrical shock. Pick up the phone.
Asbestos is a terrific insulator. Unfortunately, if its fibers get into the air, it’s a terrible health hazard. The insulator causes breathing problems, respiratory tract inflammation, lung damage and cancer. Asbestos is not something to fool around with.
When asbestos is sealed up nice and tight, it’s not a problem. The danger appears when those fibers escape. Perhaps a protective barrier disintegrates, an accident or fire occurs, or removal is done improperly.
Don’t open yourself up to a serious health hazard. If you need to get rid of asbestos in your home, contact a contractor.
You’ve made the smart decision to consult a contractor. Now all you have to do is find a reputable one. Here are some tips:
If the answer is yes, get on with your Home Improvement era Tim Allen self and go make your house better than ever!
If the answer is no, I’m going to ask you nicely to put the drill down.
What’s one home improvement project you probably should have called a professional for? Let me know in the comments below!