The do-it-yourself mantra has swept the nation, inspired by everything from television networks like HGTV, to magazine articles on how to re-floor your living room. While there is plenty of information available to help you tackle simple home projects, here are ten better left to professionals:

  1. Electrical – Limit electrical duties to changing bulbs or replacing fuses. Fiddling with electricity is dangerous and there are complex building codes to follow.
  2. Roof repairs – Insufficently repaired roofs can cause leaks you are not aware of until there is ceiing water damage and even collapse.
  3. Gas line work – Even an experienced do-it-yourselfer can make a mistake with a gas line. Dealing with a toxic, combustible fuel is best left to the pros.
  4. Plumbing – A “simple” leak repair can turn into a costly venture. Water leaks are difficult to diagnose and detect. You may think it is fixed while cosmetic and structural damage, or mold growth is happening.
  5. Tree removal – Small trees may be fine to remove on your own, but not ones taller than you. A tree is not the place for anyone but a professional with the proper safety equipment to operate a chainsaw.
  6. Replacing windows – Specialized tools are required to hang windows properly. If done incorrectly, your cost savings can vanish with water and air leaks, higher energy costs and pests.
  7. Demolition – While it may look fun to take a sledgehammer to a wall, you run the risk of hitting wiring, gas or water lines, or taking down a support wall.
  8. Driveway pavers – Installing paving stones requires measuring, balancing and arranging – all of which looks better and lasts longer when done by an expert.
  9. Insulation. Proper insulation is crucial for the energy efficiency of the home.
  10. Building a fence. Constructing an attractive and secure fence takes planning, measuring, proper footings and attention to detail. Only skilled professionals need attempt it

When in doubt, there are three rules of thumb for whether a job is too dangerous to DIY. They are: it could damage your home, it requires a permit, or you could be injured. These red flags should never be ignored, and are signs that it is project best left to a company with the proper licensing and expertise to handle the job.

 

A prudent man gives thought to his steps.  Proverbs 14:15 

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