Some homeowners are pretty handy, which can be very convenient when a light bulb burns out or a door hinge needs to be tightened. But no matter how good you might be around the house, there are certain jobs that you should think twice about taking the DIY route for. Some jobs are just too big and complicated for homeowners and are best left to the professionals to handle.
Here are a few home improvement jobs that you probably shouldn’t take on yourself.
1. Fixing Electrical Wiring
It goes without saying that messing around with live wires puts you at risk of electrocution, not to mention electrical fires. Whether you’re trying to rewire the house, repair the electrical panel, or install wiring to a new space, this is not a job for an amateur. Besides, you might even have to get a permit to make any significant changes to the electricals in your house. This one’s just not worth risking the potential hazards that come with it.
2. Repairing Plumbing Pipes
Similar to meddling with the electricals, fussing with plumbing pipes can leave you with a big mess on your hands if you’re not skilled in this particular trade. Sure, you might be able to get away with minor jobs like unclogging a drain or hooking up your washing machine. But any major plumbing issues – like dismantling a toilet or fussing with the main plumbing line in any way – should be left to professional plumbers.
3. Repairing the Roof
Notice any peeling shingles or water damage in the attic? If so, your roof may require some attention, but not necessarily from you. For starters, climbing way up there is dangerous if the proper precautions aren’t taken. Further, do you really know what you’re doing once you’re up there? Honestly, roof repair is not a one-man job.
Instead, it usually takes a crew of experts to get the job done. Do yourself – and your house – a favor and call professional roofers to tackle any major roof repairs that may be required.
4. Removing Trees
Mature trees not only offer aesthetic appeal to your landscaping, but they can also provide some much-needed shade to your home as well as a certain amount of privacy and security. But big, old trees can also be a nuisance if they’re causing a big mess from leaves that are constantly falling. They could also be a bother if they’re too close to the home and provide intruders with an easier way to break into your house. Some old trees might even be diseased and will have to be removed as a result.
Whatever the reason for you wanting to remove your old trees, resist the urge to crack open the chainsaw and take it down yourself. If that tree happens to fall in the wrong direction, or you underestimated its reach once it’s horizontal, you could do some major damage and even cause serious injury. Even if the tree lands exactly where you want it, how will you remove it? And what will you do with the stump that’s left behind?
It would be much easier and even safer to consult with a tree service to take on this big job for you.
5. Removing Popcorn Ceilings
While they may have been popular back in the 80s and earlier, popcorn ceilings are nothing but an eyesore today. But as easy as it may sound to just scrape off that sprayed-on material to reveal a smoother surface, you run the risk of dealing with asbestos. This material may be harmless when left alone, but it can become a real hazard if it is disturbed and allowed to become airborne when it’s tampered with.
Ceiling specialists will test the area for the presence of asbestos, and if any is detected, they will deal with the popcorn ceiling removal accordingly. Even if no asbestos is found, the process of removing this material is an extremely messy, laborious, and time-consuming one that would be a nightmare for you to do on your own.
6. Applying Stucco
If your home’s exterior walls are looking a little tired, a fresh coat of stucco can breathe new life into them. But that doesn’t mean you should apply it yourself. A good stucco job can make a big improvement to the look of a home, but a shoddy job can make it look worse than before. And if you don’t do a perfect job, you could find yourself with bubbling and cracking in spots where the material was not applied evenly or properly.
Even if your home is covered in siding, that’s still not a job for the DIY homeowner to repair or replace. Professionals in masonry know what they’re doing and will get the job done right the first time around.
7. Repairing or Replacing Gutters
Gutters are super important for directing water runoff away from your home during bouts of precipitation to avoid water pooling at the base of your exterior walls. Without gutters, your home could easily be subject to water damage and even flooding if it rains particularly hard at any given time.
But if you notice that the gutters are bent, cut, or simply not doing their job properly, you might want to think twice about repairing them yourself. Your gutters are directly linked to your roof, so if you meddle with the gutters, you’ll ultimately end up messing around with the roof too. And we’ve already explained why the roof should be left to the professionals to deal with. You could end up causing more damage to the roof and even put yourself in danger.
8. Repairing the HVAC System
The summer season is the worst time for your A/C to konk out on you, and it will definitely require some immediate attention if it’s not working as it should. But that doesn’t mean you should tamper with the system or unit yourself. You might know a thing or two about your air conditioner or the HVAC system in general, but unless you’re an HVAC technician yourself, you probably don’t have the experience nor the knowledge necessary to fix whatever may be wrong with your system without potentially making things worse.
The Bottom Line
Owning a home inevitably means having to deal with repairs every once in a while. But that doesn’t mean you should take on every job that comes your way. In situations where the repairs are extensive or your safety is on the line, it always makes more sense to call in the pros. It’s not worth the hassle or the hazard, especially for these types of home improvement jobs.