Updated: Dec 23, 2020
We get it. You just watched a home renovation TV show and you got carried away in the DIY craze. We’ve all been there. In the hopes of cutting costs and channeling your interior design skills, you might be tempted to pick up a hammer and give home repair a go. Sometimes, though, our DIY fantasies can overtake our actual abilities. Some home repairs can get dangerous or expensive if they go wrong. Here are some home improvements you should always leave to the pros.
1. Redoing your plumbing
Classic pitfall. Fixing a leaky sink or running toilet might not seem like a big deal. All you need is a wrench and a bucket, right? However, anything more advanced can not only lead to a headache but also hundreds of pounds in damage (thousands if you have to replace, say, the whole ceiling).
Connecting pipes may seem like a no brainer, but did you know that you might need a blowtorch to re-route sewer lines? Or that there is different tubing for hot water lines? If you did not and you are still planning to re-do your bathroom plumbing on your own, for the name of safety, don’t!
Unless you are sure of what the issue is, taking your bathroom apart can be risky as even hairline cracks in piping can cause leaks. These apparently inoffensive water leaks could cause electrocution, flooding, or mould problems in the long run.
2. Fixing your roof
Roofs are incredibly important structures as they provide shelter and keep rain and snow from getting inside your home. Therefore, you might be tempted to tackle a few missing shingles or fix that annoying ceiling leak that you have been postponing. We are here to tell you that it is not worth it. There are countless injuries caused by people falling of their roof and this is a statistic that you do not want to be a part of.
Even if it might seem like a small, quick fix, your best option is to hire a professional and not risk setting your home up for major interior deterioration as well as further damaging your roof’s structural integrity. An amateur job could cause major leaks and will void any warranty from the manufacturer.
3. Replacing your electrical panel
Installing a dimmer switch or changing a light bulb? Sure, go ahead. Installing a new electrical panel on your own, however, not the best idea. Besides the obvious safety concerns of setting your house on fire and electrocuting yourself (which should already be a reason not to touch that electric panel!), you might have a really hard time selling your home once you will disclose you did all the rewiring yourself. Moreover, you can risk violating electric codes and get issued with a notice of violation.
Here are some facts from ESFi (Electrical Safety Foundation International) that might convince you to let complicated wiring jobs to licensed professionals.
Home electrical fires account for around 51,000 fires
Nearly 500 deaths and 1,400 injuries result from home electrical incidents
Sixty-five percent of home fire deaths result from fires in homes without working smoke detectors
4. Installing a skylight (or any window really)
A window on the roof – we do not need it, but we all want it. A skylight can change a room completely as it opens and brightens up any space. Even though it might seem like a simple DIY, there are a lot of things that could go wrong.
Adding a window means that you need to cut out a part of the wall. If you do it wrong, you might put the structural integrity of your home at risk. Moreover, if you install the skylight incorrectly it will ultimately deteriorate, allowing water to enter your home and cause flooding, rot, or mould issues.