While DIY is great, it’s like desert, to be enjoyed in small doses. If you go too far, you’ll most certainly regret it. Here are few examples for projects never to do by yourself.
DIY or do-it-yourself projects are all the rage in popular culture today. Everyone from Martha Stewart to the average next door neighbor is advocating DIY projects to improve homes on the cheap, and it’s true as well, in a lot of situations, DIY solutions are quite handy, especially when the problem is small and relatively easy to fix.
With the advent of YouTube however, and the sheer volume of videos available online providing step-by-step instructions for pretty much every home improvement project conceivable, some DIY enthusiasts have taken on a project that’s too ambitious, and suffered both physically and financially as a result of this.
While the benefits of DIY projects are obvious, especially in terms of monetary savings, there is a reason why certain aspects of home improvement have been left to dedicated professionals before video hosting websites came along.
Once your untrained hands have wrought damage to your home, the outlay to fix this damage may end up being a lot more exorbitant than hiring a professional would have been to begin with, and that isn’t even considering the possibility of injury and physical harm to you and even possibly everyone else in the house. Therefore caution is the watchword when attempting DIY home improvements, and if you’re not sure you have the skills required to handle the project you’re contemplating on attempting, you’d rather bite the bullet and call the men and women who are professionally trained to execute such tasks rather than taking on the risk of “improving” your home yourself.
There are certain aspects of DIY home improvements in particular that should definitely be steered clear from, as the risk is dangerously high and you’re likely to lose more than just money if things go wrong.
5 DIY home improvement projects that shouldn't ever be attempted
- Restructuring or demolition. I know the logic behind this one; why pay someone to come and breakdown your wall when all it takes is a hammer and a strong swinging arm? Especially considering that the prospect of taking a hammer to the wall brings out the ten year old in every red blooded American? The reason you don’t bring down the walls in your home yourself is because you might accidentally bring down a weight bearing wall, which could potentially trigger a partial or completely collapse of your home. Also, many a times, walls have plumbing, electric wiring systems and gas pipes concealed within them, and damaging any of the above can be exceedingly dangerous and costly to repair.
- Falling trees. While it seems easy really, take a power saw to the base of the tree and presto! It’s done. It isn’t that straightforward however. Complicated calculations have to be executed in terms of where the tree will fall, at what angle etc. and if you get this wrong, the next thing you know, your living room will have a massive tree trunk as a centerpiece with broken cement from the roof as additional decoration. Even if you do manage to get the numbers correct, getting rid of the tree once it is felled is more trouble than its worth. So just take the easy wait out, and call a professional tree feller.
- Roof work. If your roof has taken extensive damage through a storm, tornado or the like, it’s understandable to want to repair it immediately so that you prevent further damage to the exposed parts. Even if your roof just needs some work because time has taken a toll on its condition, people tend to think that roof work is easy, and to a certain degree, it is easier than a few other avenues of house related projects, but that doesn't mean you should go about attempting it yourself. The simple reason for this is that roofs are high. I know that’s stating the obvious, but it’s true nonetheless, roofs are really high up, and the higher you are, the more painful the fall. Most average Americans aren't prepared either physically or in terms of equipment, to make sure they can carry out a full blown roof repair safely and correctly. Especially if the roof needs to be changed completely, it is much better to call a professional, as new roof technology means the professionals can use the latest in ventilation and insulation friendly material so that you get the most out of your roof.
- Electric and gas work. I know what you’re thinking, kind of obvious isn’t it? Sadly though, a lot of people seem to attempt major electric and gas work despite the potential hazards. While switching out a bulb or changing a fuse is common practice, anything that requires major rewiring or adjustments to the wiring system should be left well alone until a qualified electrician is called. Electricity, if left unchecked can wreak havoc on your appliances, and if not grounded properly can be extremely dangerous to you and your family. The same goes for gas related projects, due to its highly flammable nature, even a small leak can lead to disaster, so leave it to the professionals.
- Plumbing. While water damage may not be as direct or instantaneous as electricity or gas, it is still quite potent and works slowly, meaning you might not realize that a huge problem exists until it’s very late. Leaks and cracks in plumbing can and will lead to mold, mosquitoes, etc. So while it isn't life threatening per se, leave it to qualified, experienced plumbers to fix whatever problems you may have, and modifications that you may need, as plumbing is really, really expensive work, and if you create a bigger problem, then the financial burden will be that much more significant.
While DIY is great, it’s like desert, to be enjoyed in small doses. If you go too far, you’ll most certainly regret it. You don’t need to call the pros for every small job, no one’s suggesting that, but if you have to make medium or large scale changes or modifications – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
About the author: Michael has a natural flair for interior and exterior home decor. He believes home improvements should not only be aesthetic but sensible and energy-efficient as well. Michael is a freelance writer who has had 12 years of experience as an interior designer. He currently writes for Champion Window Denver and other home improvement companies.