The DIY movement can be credited with reigniting the sense of independence that homeowners had lost over the course of the last century. And on paper, it seems like a terrific movement: it’s economical, saving homeowners from having to pay high hourly wages to tradesmen; and it helps homeowners forge a real connection with their house, to pour their (sometimes literal) blood, sweat and tears into its maintenance.
But as well intentioned as the DIY movement is, it doesn’t work for every household task. Some die-hard DIYers have assumed they can handle larger tasks, exclusively reserved for professionals, only to make costly errors or, worse yet, hurt themselves.
By all means, “DIY” the small stuff. Paint your walls, sand and refinish your table, mount your own shelves and create your own garden. But when it comes to the following four household tasks, you should pick up your phone and dial a pro.
Don’t Go in Over Your Head on Plumbing
There are some small, low-stakes plumbing tasks you can undoubtedly handle, but hire a pro to fix your leaky drain pipes, install new pipes, clean your clogged drains or do any major plumbing appliance installation, like installing a sump pump or backwater valve.
The risk/reward ratio is just not worth it for self-plumbing. If you happen to do the job right (which is difficult, given that professional plumbers spend years mastering their craft), you’ve saved a couple hundred bucks. If you get it wrong, you are left with a messy, volatile water system that will poses a hazard to your home and family, and will cost far more than a hundred to fix.
Leave Electrical Work to the Pros
The threat of electrocution should be enough to deter even the most foolhardy homeowner from attempting electrical work. Especially where home rewiring is concerned, there is a lot of specialized knowledge at play, and even a single wrong move can have disastrous consequences.
If you want your house rewired, a new circuit breaker installed or large appliances wired, just call an electrician. Think of it as paying the “stay alive” tax.
DIY Roofing Just Isn’t Worth It
Roofing is surprisingly tricky to do right. Homeowners who consider themselves otherwise handy have struggled to do it correctly, resulting in leaky ceilings and costly water damage. That’s not even mentioning the fact that it’s a relatively dangerous task.
Roof repair – maybe you can pull that off. But a full re-roofing job is going to take you too long, cost you too much energy and be too much of a risk. Shop around different roofers in your area and find a quote you’re comfortable paying. Instead of labouring away on the roof, you’ll get to sit back and relax inside.
Demolition May Seem Fun, But Don’t DIY
Do you know which of your walls are load bearing and which are not? You probably don’t. And even if you do, it’s still not a wise idea to undertake demolition yourself, as tearing down a wall improperly can still cause lots of problems. When your ceiling accidentally crumbles down on yours, you’re going to wish you had just called a demolition expert.