When DIY is a “Don’t”
When DIY is a “Don’t”
You might think that as a professional builder, I would actively discourage DIY activities. However, I am actually quite a fan. If you’re the handy sort, I say, why not repaint your living room or install some new window trim or kitchen fixtures? There’s a lot to be said for saving some money and getting your creative design juices flowing.
However, there are times when personal safety (and perhaps sanity preservation) should take precedence over the desire to let your inner contractor have a go at things.
Here are a few areas you may want to consider approaching with caution:
Electrical Escapades – While it may be quite easy to change out a light switch or install a ceiling fan, replacing or repairing circuits or other large projects should only be done by professionals to prevent shocks, injuries or possible fires. On a personal note of experience, Victoria and I once opened up a wall in a ski apartment we were remodeling to find that the wires had all been joined together with aluminum foil. We were quite grateful to have not spontaneously combusted upon discovery of this incredible display of workmanship.
DIY Demolition – Open floor plans are beautiful, but think twice before tearing down walls yourself. Not knowing which walls are load-bearing and where plumbing or electrical lines are could be a recipe for irreparable damage. A professional can navigate the project from start to finish to keep you safe and your home intact.
Tree Trimming – Unfortunately, seemingly innocent trimming can often lead to tree toppling…onto your property, or worse yet, your neighbors (crushing their brand-new convertible with your giant fallen mesquite tree does not make for pleasant conversation). As skilled as you may be with power tools, it’s best to consult a certified arborist before you commence with any chopping.
Roof Repair – If you’ve got severe storm damage, it’s tempting to look for a quick fix for roof damage. But rather than running the risk of falling or injuring yourself, have your homeowners insurance claims adjuster verify the damage and schedule repair work with an experienced, reputable company. You’ll save time and money (and possibly hospital bills) in the long run.
Precarious Plumbing – The stakes can be high with plumbing. One mistake and you could have an indoor flash flood on your hands. Anything more complicated than changing fixtures, repairing a drain, or installing or unclogging a toilet is best left to a skilled plumber.
One of the best things about homeownership is the freedom to do as you wish with your own property. And as long as you choose your DIY projects with care, you’ll be able to enjoy your home in safety and serenity for years to come.