DIY is a useful skill to have; you can save money on simple repairs, teach your kids to be self-sufficient, and you can keep your house in good condition for a low fee. However, there is a reason that plumbers, electricians, and other professionals haven’t gone out of business. There are some repairs that are too dangerous for you to do yourself, and attempting to tackle anything too complicated could result in further damage, and an even bigger bill to have your handiwork redone properly. Worse, you could seriously injure yourself, and the person helping you.
It’s good to spend a weekend doing easy home improvements around the house, but just to be safe, here is a list of things you should leave to the experts.
Repairing a light fixture or changing a socket cover are probably the only things you should attempt to do yourself. Anything beyond that is way above your pay-grade. Even jobs that you think look easy should be left to a trained electrician. In some instances, you must have a permit to get the work done, and a professional will be your only option. Extending or replacing circuits is dangerous business if you don’t know what you’re doing. Any mistakes on your part could result in you burning down the house at best, or death by electrocution at worst.
There are also building codes that are mandated for safety purposes; not being up to code may affect you now if you ever try to sell your home.
There are quite a few plumbing jobs that should be easy to do yourself. Unblocking the drains either requires a good plunger and some elbow grease, a solution of baking soda and vinegar to clear the blockage, or you can even clear it by hand as a last resort. Plastic traps are easy enough to remove, but metal ones may require some tools and muscle power. Once the pipe is removed, you can push out the blockage. Where you can get into trouble is if you try to modify your plumbing system, which includes extending hot water lines or re-routing your sewer pipes.
Working with hot water means copper pipes, and that requires a blowtorch. Unless you have some serious welding experience, it’s best to leave the torch jobs to a plumber. While this isn’t as dangerous as electric work, plumbing problems can get out of hand fast and lead to an expensive and wet future. Your brief plumbing career won’t seem like such a money saver once you should pay to fix the wet damage to your house, and pay to have your work redone properly.
Even with well-meaning guides on the internet, fixing a roof can easily go very wrong. Fixing a leak is the most common thing that a roofing company will get called in to fix after the homeowner has made a botch job. They usually just keep adding caulk and think that will fix the leak, but usually it doesn’t. The result of their challenging work is a soggy attic and a lot of wasted caulk. A pro can patch the leak using real roofing materials, not just caulk.
Doing your own roof repairs also isn’t recommended for one obvious reason; it’s easy to fall off. Repairing a roof shingle or two admittedly isn’t a complicated job, but it’s getting up and down and carrying your tools with you that pose the risk of injury or death. Even for trained professionals, roof work is dangerous. Aside from the danger involved, roofing work also requires experience to get it right. If you bite off more than you can chew, you may end up with a leaky roof and expensive water damage.
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been used for about 150 years on a large commercial scale. It is a versatile product and is ideal as fireproofing and insulation. Unfortunately, it can also be deadly causing serious lung diseases such as mesothelioma, asbestos’s and lung cancer. This is the biggest reason why you need to hire an expert to help you remove it.
Asbestos abatement teams are typically hired to rid commercial properties of the toxic insulation. While it’s possible to perform a DIY asbestos removal, it’s not recommended. Aside from the inherent dangers of toxicity, there are many laws that govern the removal of asbestos because it can pose a danger to those near, like your neighbors.