Home improvement DIY is largely popular and successful (I mean, look at all the blogs out there). There are so many how-tos and YouTube videos on projects, it’s easier than ever to save some money by doing it yourself.
But what about the projects you shouldn’t attempt?
I interviewed a neighborhood handyman and some local home professionals, and here were their opinions on which home improvements projects just shouldn’t be DIYed.
This one is a no-brainer to me. Your HVAC system handles the heating and cooling in your home. And it’s a pretty complex unit.
If you do something wrong on accident, that could cause big problems for you. Mistakes or incorrect installation of parts could cause it to run inefficiently (costing you money), break it further (costing you more money), and it can even threaten your life. Seriously, don’t mess around with your HVAC system.
HVAC issues can be really hard to diagnose without the specific skill set of HVAC professionals. So just don’t DIY anything with your HVAC system.
This is another no-brainer to me. I’m not an electrician. Electricity can be really dangerous (life-threatening, starts fires, etc.) and I’m not going to mess around with that.
If you mess up wiring in the installation you could electrocute yourself or cause a fire from faulty wiring.
Just leave the electrical work to the pros.
3.Roof Repair And Installation
Your roof is vital in protecting you and the very foundations for your home. If something is installed correctly, or a sneaky leak isn’t identified and fixed, a tiny problem can become huge and expensive in the next couple years. Maybe sooner.
Roof repair and installation is an area the pros see a lot of mistakes happen and warranties get voided because they were done without professional help. So don’t attempt this project unless you’re sure you have the tools and skill set to do it like a pro.
4.Window Installation And Replacement
Much like roof repair and installation, the pros see a lot of expensive mistakes happen with DIY window installation.
Your windows are part of keeping water out and the desired warm/cool air in depending on the season.
Leaky windows (you’re not necessarily going to see the obvious leaks) can cost you a lot in wasted energy. And even more in water damage if you don’t catch it soon enough.
Most warranties will be voided on windows that are not installed by a pro.
Additionally, just aesthetically speaking, you want them to look good.
If you want to recoup the value you spend on new windows, they’ll need to look and work well too.
Big changes to structure can compromise the stability of your home if it’s not done correctly.
The pros say that a few misplaced holes or broken boards and suddenly you have an expensive structural fix on your hands.
Furthermore, you don’t know what’s behind your walls. Do you have mold? Pests? Are you wearing the proper safety gear to handle it?
Make sure you’re either the pro or you have a pro on sight to help you with these big remodels.
When disturbed, asbestos can cause severe and long-term illness. The pros strongly recommend you leave it’s removal to the pros.
Since you won’t always know if your home as asbestos, it’s a good idea to get it checked out by a professional before you start any work on your floors, walls, insulation, or anything with that material.
Obviously there’s some flexibility to this one. You don’t need a pro for a small tree that didn’t make it necessarily.
However, big trees should only be handled by professionals. They have the right tools to make a clean cut and remove the stump with the least amount of damage to your property.
They’ll also be able to avoid contact with electrical lines.
And tree removal pros will have the right insurances and warranties that will protect you, your property, and your neighbors property.
From an ease standpoint, it’s nice that they’ll pick up branches and haul it away for you too if you’d like.
Stay Safe When You DIY
The pros I talked to were very supportive of DIY. But strongly recommended pros on these projects.
Here are a few ways they recommend you stay safe when you DIY:
- Make sure your tools are sharpened/work correctly, and that you’re using them safely and correctly.
- Clear out an area before you start a project.
- Wear personal safety equipment like safety glasses, gloves, face masks, helmets, or anything else required for the job.
- Use a tools safety guard when they’re not in use.
- Work with a partner.
- Keep first aid on hand.
- When you hire a pro, make sure they have the proper insurances, credentials, and licenses to do the job you’re hiring them for.