Know Your Home Repair Limits: When Not to DIY Your Repairs or Upgrades

If you spend enough time online, you can find videos that explain how to complete just about any home maintenance or repair task. While there are tons of home maintenance tasks that you can safely and effectively take care of on your own, there are just as many that should really be left to licensed professionals. Not sure which you should DIY and which you should leave for the pros? This guide from Aluminum Fences Direct can help you figure that out.

From Home Value to Bragging Rights, Benefits Abound

One of the best things about DIY projects is being able to point at something and say, “I did that!” Any repairs you make to the inside or outside of your house, including wiring, plumbing, or structural upgrades can increase the value to your home. So it’s tempting to want to go ahead and DIY. However, there are times when you should steer clear of your toolbox.

Sometimes the devil is in the details. Don’t know how to read a schematic? Don’t DIY. Hoping to save a few bucks by making that roof repair yourself, but you aren’t even sure how many shingles you need? Chances are good that it’s a mistake. Anytime a project is well beyond your familiarity and skill set, danger is inherent, or you simply lack the proper tools, it’s best to call a professional.

If you are renting your apartment or house, you should always check with your landlord before making any changes to the property. You may get permission to do projects yourself, or they might approve a professional to come in to complete the upgrade for you.

Plumbing Repairs, Maintenance & Projects

If you’re ultra-handy and have the right tools, you may be able to install a water heater or take care of other complicated tasks involving plumbing on your own. Just keep in mind that if your replacement requires you to make any specific changes to your electrical system or gas line connection, you will need to connect with a licensed plumber.

Attempting these complex changes on your own can land you with costly code violations. The average cost of a water heater, for example, varies depending on the type of water heater (with a tank or tankless, gas or electric), but you’ll likely spend between $650 and $2,500 depending on the cost of living in your area. Because this install includes both plumbing and electric, or plumbing and gas, you are far better off using a professional anyhow, and the cost of knowing it’s done right is worth it.

Other plumbing problems that require a professional consultation include any sort of leak that leads to major flooding inside or out, as well as unexplained and unpleasant odors around your yard and home. The latter can be a sign of a sewage backup or leak, which should be addressed ASAP to prevent further property damages and expenses. On the other hand, you can stop small leaks and even stop a running toilet on your own, to save time and expense.

Electrical & Gas Repairs & Maintenance Tasks

Working with electrical systems can be a tricky business, which is why calling a professional is generally recommended. If you try to cut costs by attempting repairs and updates on your own, you could end up with some serious problems later on, including issues selling your home, or even personal injuries or house fires. To avoid these hazards, be sure to call a licensed electrician whenever you need any sort of wiring work done around your home, which will cost an average of $50 to $100 per hour.

That doesn’t mean all electrical projects are off-limits. You can safely install light fixtures or new fans around your home, or you can also call a handyman to help out with these projects so long as outlets are already wired properly.

In addition to electrical work, any sort of project involving gas appliances or connections should also be left to licensed professionals. Bob Vila points out that attempting to install a new gas appliance or tamper with connections in your home may even be illegal in some areas, so trying to save money with these sort of DIY fixes could land you in jail or with heavy fines. Whether you have electrical, gas or other repairs or projects, always check local laws and codes before you attempt to DIY.

Adding to Your Exterior

There are many yard projects that you can do yourself if you have some carpentry skills. For instance, you can buy kits for sheds, pergolas, and even tiny houses through major supply stores that you can assemble yourself. However, if you are building something large or modifying your home’s footprint, you will need to check for permits.

You might need city permissions to add a fence to your property or pool, but installing an aluminum fence isn’t rocket science.  If you’re able to dig a hole and pour concrete in it, chances are, you can install an aluminum fence.  After all, the sections are all pre-assembled anyway.  Fences can add security and aesthetics to your property, so make sure to contact a trustworthy company like Aluminum Fences Direct for all the correct materials.

Staying Safe During Routine Cleaning and Maintenance

Homeowners have no shortage of projects they can tackle. While plumbing, gas and electrical are no-gos, other routine maintenance you should be able to safely DIY without worrying about serious damage or potential injuries, and taking care of these maintenance projects can protect you from having to call a professional in the first place.

We’ve all had our fill of wearing masks but it’s worth remembering that for some projects like deep cleaning, painting, sawing, sanding, or while using chemicals, you should wear protective glasses, gloves, and a mask. All that dust? Breathing it in can make you sick. If you DIY and there are particles or chemicals involved, definitely wear a mask.

Whether it’s lead paint or lead pipes, you need a contractor with lead-safe training. Yes, lead in the home is dangerous, especially for children, but removing it, if not done safely, can make things worse. So don’t wait. Get your home tested!

Known When NOT to DIY

Just because you can complete DIY home repair and maintenance projects, doesn’t mean you really should. DIY projects can certainly save you money, but attempting to take on certain home repairs solo can lead to more risk than reward. Choose wisely when it comes to completing maintenance and repair tasks for your home, and call in a pro for the tough stuff.

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