Tackling home projects first became popular with the help of do-it-yourself books, and now the Internet offers a plethora of instructive videos to attempt almost any job.
But some home improvements or repairs are better left up to a professional – before you spend a wealth of time, effort and money on a project you’ll never complete or that could cause even more damage to your home.
While some projects are still worth the trouble to do yourself, what you should attempt versus what you should hire someone to do depends a great deal on how dangerous the project is and how much it’ll cost you to fix if you are unsuccessful, according to Yahoo! Homes.
The website provides these suggestions on what projects are “do-it-yourselfers” and which ones require a professional’s skill:
Do not attempt this at home
Plumbing – Unless it’s fixing a drain or unclogging toilet, few plumbing projects are meant for the amateur because mistakes are costly: a sudden pipe burst can fill your home with water in minutes. And plumbing that's not properly tested can leak and pool, causing water damage and mold, an even worse problem with possible several health consequences.
Decks – While they seem simple, if not done correctly decks can collapse, harming property as well as people.
Electrical – It’s even difficult for electricians to keep up with the numerous electrical codes but, even more importantly, improperly installed electric works can cause fires at any point, putting everyone in the home and the home itself at risk. And a major shock during installation could kill you.
Demolition – Too many things can go wrong during demolition – such as breaking off the water shutoff valve, resulting in flooding of the home – and, more often than not, they’re expensive to repair.
For the do-it-yourself guru
Painting – The worst thing that can happen when you paint yourself is a bad paint job. Use plenty of painter’s tape, ask about a good primer and buy enough paint. This is when you might want to watch some YouTube videos on technique, choosing color, etc.
Tiling – While tiling requires patience and attention to detail, most people are capable of installing a vinyl tile floor. And tile backsplash will add value to your kitchen and is such a small job, it’s not necessary to pay a premium for a contractor.
Drywall work – Installing large-scale drywall may be too much for some, while others are fairly capable. Start with a small space, like a bathroom, and see how it goes. And anyone can patch some drywall; It just takes patience and a small flat spatula.
Installing trim – The worst that can happen is that you’ll cut some pieces short; consult with others who have also tackled this job to make it easier.
Owner and Founder
RE/MAX of Boulder