5 DIY Projects you Really Shouldn't Do

Written by Posted On Thursday, 11 May 2017 15:42

Though home improvement books and TV shows make creating, installing or repairing this or that aspect of the home look easy, it's good to be reminded that the people who are on these shows or write these books are professionals. The fact is that there are some so-called DIY projects that no layperson should consider doing. Here are five of them:


Complex Electrical Repairs

Most grown-ups can screw in a lightbulb, and some can trust themselves to replace a wall or ceiling fixture. Anything more complicated requires a professional electrician. There are 51,000 electrical fires every year, which kill about 500 people and cause close to a billion dollars in damage. Some were caused by DIYer mistakes.


Roof Work

No layperson needs to go up on their roof. An exception may be if the roof is flat and whatever repair job needs to be done is fairly straightforward. Many home improvement books give directions on how to replace or repair a shingle or a tile made of slate or fired clay, but the homeowner who’s not a professional roofer should not attempt to do a roofing job. A reputable roofing contractor not only knows what they’re doing, but is protected and protects the client with insurance and worker’s compensation.


Cleaning an Oriental Rug

An heirloom-level Oriental rug is most likely made of sumptuous fabrics such as wool or silk and special, jewel-tone dyes that must be cleaned and handled with greater care than rugs or carpets made of synthetics. Many a special rug has been ruined by a heedless DIYer. As with pool or electrical repair, the Tabriz or Kashan that needs cleaning should be treated by an outfit that specializes in oriental rug cleaning.


Pool Repairs

Some pool repairs are appropriate for a DIYer such as securing a ladder or replacing tile, but serious jobs such as repairing leaks or fixing the heating unit should be left to a professional. Even preparing a pool for summer or winter may be beyond the skill sets of some homeowners. If the job is too complex, the homeowner should go online, look up "pool builders near me", find at least three pool contractors with good reputations and recommendations, and put the job out for bid.


Repairing a Gas Appliance

Home improvement books have pages and pages devoted to installing and repairing gas appliances, from water heaters to stoves. Gas appliance repair and installation is another thing that DIYers should not attempt. Installing an appliance may or may not be easy, but one thing DIYers tend to forget is to check for leaks. Leaks are not only found in the appliance’s tubing, but in the vents and the chimney flue. They can be caused by everything from a faulty connection that looks sound to a bird’s nest in the chimney. The result can be carbon monoxide seeping into the rooms of the house. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that’s responsible for 400 deaths every year.


Finding a Contractor

Even if a homeowner knows there are some jobs they shouldn’t do themselves, it’s still important to hire a contractor who knows how to do the job well. The homeowner needs to do research and ask friends, coworkers and neighbors for recommendations. Though belonging to a professional organization doesn’t guarantee that the contractor does stellar work, it does give the homeowner an idea that they know something about the job at hand. Consumer sites such as the Better Business Bureau are good resources. The contractor should not have unresolved complaints against them on the BBB's site.


The contractor, whether for roof repair, electrical work or installing a gas heater or stove, should work out of a brick and mortar building and have an address and contact numbers. They should be willing to give the homeowner an estimate, sign a written contract, be up-to-date on local building codes and have the right insurances. This improves the odds that the job will be done in a safe and thorough manner.

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Carol Evenson

Carol is a home renovation specialist with a background in organization and sales. She assists realtors with business management and growth.


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