Everyone loves a good do-it-yourself home repair project, and if you own a home, then you’ve surely tried your hand at a few. That’s smart. Basic home repair is easily learned by even the most inexperienced handyman, and it would cost you quite a bit of money to contract out every little thing that goes wrong with your house. There are, however, some home repair projects that are better left to the pros. When it comes to these problems, leave your pride at the door and open up the checkbook. Here are some things to keep in mind.
The Ones That Involve Permits
If your city or county requires a permit for a specific home repair, then that should probably tell you it’s a serious project. Putting aside the fact that professionals will handle the compliance side of things, it’s just best to leave these projects to the people who do them all the time. Some examples of this include tree removal, cutting out new windows, and new decks and fences.
The Ones That Could Fry You
You can surely replace a light fixture or ceiling fan yourself, but major electrical projects should always be left to the pros. Any time you need to add, remove, or move electrical wiring, you are risking serious injury if you don’t possess the skills of a master electrician. This goes double if you live in an older home where wiring can be incredibly dangerous. Poor wiring is also a major fire hazard. “Electrical fire hazards can remain dormant for months. This can lead electrical DIYers into a false sense of security after completing a project,” notes Homeowner’s Hub.
The Ones That Involve Creepy-Crawlies
Even if you were inclined to do it yourself (and most people’s phobias preclude them at the outset), trying to play exterminator yourself is a dumb idea. The job is too important to not do 100 percent correctly. While you may need various types of creepy-crawlies removed from your home, termites are the most important bug to banish. Termites can quickly cause structural damage that can cost you thousands — if it’s even repairable in the first place.
The Ones That Have to Do with Your Foundation
Foundational issues are among the most loathsome for any homeowner. Whether your home’s foundation is sagging, cracked, eroding, or water damaged, the problem needs to be corrected — and fast. This job is not only difficult, but it requires a lot of skill. Spotting foundation problems is your job, but fixing them is not. If you find a problem, you’d better leave it to the pros (the average cost of repairing a foundation is $5,838). There are few things more important than the ground you stand on.
The Ones That Involve In-Wall Pipes or Ductwork
If you need to get inside your walls to get to a problem with piping or ductwork, then you need to reconsider DIY. Call a pro. Not only will you possibly need a permit (see above), but plumbing and HVAC (central heating and air) are among the most complex systems in your home. Damaging one of these — especially your HVAC system — could be a $10,000-plus mistake. And as far as plumbing without expertise goes, well, that is self-explanatory. Or, as HomeValueLeads puts it: “two words: water damage … pipe connections and other trouble spots can spring leaks that may cost you dearly in the long run.”
Being a smart homeowner isn’t just knowing how to fix everything — it’s knowing your own limitations. Hiring pros for tough, dangerous, or highly specialized home projects will save you time, money, and a whole lot of unnecessary stress.
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