Maybe it’s to save money. Maybe it’s to save time. Maybe it’s to savour the pride of completing a job yourself. Whatever the reason, many people like to DIY. But sometimes what saves you money leaves you wanting for quality. Sometimes what saves you time, in the beginning, ends up causing you a lot more time down the road. Sometimes that pride turns to disappointment when a DIY accomplishment turns into a DIY nightmare. You don’t want to end up spending more time and money fixing your mistakes than you were saving in the first place. Some DIY should be left to the professionals. Here are our most important top 5 definitely don’t-do-it-yourself jobs.
MAJOR STRUCTURAL CHANGES
Consulting a professional contractor will ensure your job is completed in the right way and determine any permits or laws that are associated with your renovations. Knocking down walls isn’t a simple task; behind those walls could be electrical wiring, plumbing or gas pipes that could cause huge (and expensive) problems if they’re damaged or tampered with. You don’t want to knock down a load-bearing wall and the next thing you know the ceiling is sagging and you’re facing huge repair costs. Rather than take an unnecessary risk, consult a professional first.
This is a common renovation hazard in older homes. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral and has been used for years in older homes and businesses for its insulating properties. It’s resistant to heat and electricity and is a good sound insulator. But asbestos is also toxic, and while it’s possible to perform DIY asbestos removal, it’s not recommended. Aside from the inherent dangers of toxicity, there are laws that govern the removal of asbestos because it can pose a danger to others in close proximity (like your neighbours). Don’t gamble with your health or risk the wrath of the law. Hire a professional.
It’s one thing to flip a fuse switch on or off, but it’s quite another to attempt to repair faulty wiring or any other electrical issues without professional help. Working with electrical wires can be deadly and being aware of the proper precautions and knowledge is crucial. Unless you’re an electrician don’t attempt electrical rewiring. Also, many people attempt light fixture installation but do so before they find out what’s behind the wall they’re drilling holes into. Big mistake.
Cutting down trees should definitely be left to the professionals. Period. Attempting to do this yourself not only risks the safety of your house but the safety of your person. Tree removal requires climbing, heights, and working with dangerous tools. Saving money means nothing if the result is losing a limb. Not convinced yet? Go on YouTube and type in ‘tree removal gone wrong’ and you’ll see what we’re talking about.
ANYTHING INVOLVING GAS
Keep hands off with anything to do with gas. Installing a new stove, hot water heater or dryer may seem straightforward, but natural gas can be lethal, so always play it safe. Messing around with gas risks a potential explosion or carbon monoxide poisoning.
Knowing when to do it yourself and when to hire a professional contractor is something many homeowners learn by trial and error. Don’t learn the hard way; know your skills and choose your battles. Contact trained and certified professionals who are capable and equipped to handle these complex and hazardous jobs. Never attempt a job that puts your time, money, and, most importantly, your personal safety, at risk.