The trend of DIY home improvement is also raising a good question: When do you do a project by yourself, and when do you need the help of a professional? Because many home improvement projects tend to come with a large price tag, more homeowners are tempted to do everything themselves; but that’s no always going to save you money in the end—especially when the project requires more than basic skills.
A good rule of thumb to consider is that if a job requires a permit, you might want to hire a professional contractor. Those kinds of jobs usually can be dangerous if not performed correctly.
Here are some examples of home improvement projects that require a professional touch:
Performing electrical repairs when you aren’t knowledgeable poses serious risks. Any project that involves wiring is extremely dangerous to a DIYer. You most likely don’t have the correct tools and will overlook certain safety precautions. Hire a professional electrician to ensure the job gets done right.
While certain plumbing jobs like replacing toilets or fixing a leaky faucet can be done by yourself, anything that requires extensive repairs to a water heater, sewage system, washer, dryer, dishwasher, or anything else that hooks into the plumbing deserves the attention of a professional. Additionally, you might want to consider hiring a professional for drain cleaning and inspection.
Cabinetry & Carpentry
Unless you are highly skilled in carpentry, you should never attempt to create, mount, or repair cabinets or other items that require carpentry, like furniture. A professional carpenter will have the correct tools and know-how to handle the tasks. Furthermore, they will know how to stay safe while doing the work.
When it comes to heating and air conditioning (HVAC), keeping any warranties on system means using a licensed professional. Otherwise, you void the warranty and could even worsen the problem.
Hardwood and carpeting repairs and installation, alongside any refinishing might seem doable for a novice handyman, but you probably won’t have the correct toolkit. Professionals will employ the right techniques for a number of flooring types. You won’t have to worry about buckling or curling floors in the future.
Factors To Consider When Considering DIY or a Professional
If you are still having trouble with deciding whether or not to hire a professional, consider the following factors.
Skills and Experience
Be honest here. Do you really know what you’re doing? Follow a YouTube video or tutorial online doesn’t mean you are 100% confident with doing the job. What looks simple in a video could be much more difficult than you imagined, especially when unforeseen issues pop up. Even a slight mistake could cause the cost of repairs to exponentially increase, and you will then be forced to call a professional to fix the mistake anyway. Save yourself time and money by hiring a professional to do the job right the first time.
Do you have an entire day to do a DIY job? What about a week? If you’re like most homeowners, you have other responsibilities to worry about. Complicated home improvements and renovations can take weeks to complete, especially when you have a limited amount of time to do the tasks. Consider a professional if you only have a short frame of time each day to work on the job. After all, a professional contractor does these kinds of repairs and improvements for a living, so they’ll have the time to commit!
Many cities and states enforce certain building codes that cover anything from adding additions to your home, doing electrical work, or even building a pool or patio. In most cases, you will need a permit for your project, even before you begin. Since local professionals will know the permit process in your region, hiring one eliminates the chances of getting the wrong permit or doing something that violates code.
In short, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC improvements and repairs all require the skills of a professional. DIYers don’t have the tools nor the know-how to handle major tasks, and even when you try, you can end up requiring professional assistance. To avoid a higher cost and have a greater peace of mind, go with the pros who know how to do the job right!
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