When to just say ‘no’ to a DIY project

Posted by Tom Kalinski Founder RE/MAX of Boulder on Monday, July 20th, 2015 at 10:56am.

Unless a member of the family is a trained, experienced professional in home construction and repair, hiring someone who is is always the better choice for what otherwise may be considered “do-it-yourself” jobs.

Here is a list of seven jobs better left up to a professional, according to Bradley K. Tuttle’s Real Estate Update:

1. Anything involving water

Just because someone knows where the water shut-off valve is and can handle a wrench doesn’t mean that he can take all the plumbing apart and put it back together without any leaks or leftover pieces. Don’t mess around with repairs that could flood the house and/or create a mold situation.

"Unless it's something simple like unclogging a toilet or fixing a drain, messing with plumbing can cause major dilemmas (just think about an overflowing toilet or unstoppable burst in a pipe... not fun)," reports the Huffington Post. It's always better to ask a plumber before trying to tackle any plumbing issues on your own."

2. Electrical work

Some have said minor rewiring can be easy, but so is getting electrocuted – even for those who know what they’re doing. Electrical work is best left to an expert who has a better of idea of how not to get electrocuted. As MSN reports, "You usually don't get a second chance with electricity."

3. Drywall

Hanging drywall is harder than it looks, especially in a complicated installation area or one that is high up. One need only watch a professional balance precariously on those stilts to know the cost to pay him or her is worth it.

4. Demolition

While destroying those rooms in the house that everyone is ready to say, “Good riddance!” to sounds like fun, doing so could cause great damage for those who don’t how to go about it. “Beyond the risks of asbestos, lead paint dust and other hazardous materials, do you really know what's behind the walls of your home? Gas pipes, water lines and live electrical wires are just a few of the dangers,” according to MSN.

5. Roof repairs

Repairing the roof is tricky, dangerous and challenging, plus poorly done DIY patches could damage it more or cause a leak, maybe even voiding that part of the home warranty. Most roofing companies provide free estimates, and even insurance companies will check it out without charge, which is worth the time in case the repairs are covered.

6. Baseboards and molding

Mitering corners requires someone who can confidently and properly calculate angles and have mastered the “measure twice, cut once” procedure. So for most people who didn’t master and/or retain what they learned in algebra, it’s best left to the experts.

7. Paving the driveway

"Paving stones can turn a boring driveway into a focal point. And while they look relatively simple to install, the reality is that the measuring and positioning of paving stones can be tremendously time-consuming (think of it as a game of Tetris on steroids),” the Huffington Post reports. “But a team of professionals can cut installation down to a day, depending on your driveway size."

Hire someone before the meltdown an amateur is sure to have halfway through the complicated project.


Tom Kalinski 
Owner and Founder
RE/MAX of Boulder

Leave a Comment