Those of us who pride ourselves on being DIY experts like to think there’s no job we can’t handle.
If we run into something we don’t know, we’ll Google it, look it up in a book, or just wing it.
While there’s nothing wrong with being self-reliant, our pride can definitely get us in trouble.
When it comes to home upkeep, the idea of DIY is to save money and headache, not increase both.
Much as DIYers might hate to admit it, there are some jobs that just aren’t safe to do by ourselves.
There are just certain aspects of home maintenance that pose too great a risk to try and fix with duct tape and a little elbow grease.
To help you avoid wrecking your home, you should probably avoid a DIY project in these 5 areas.
1. Underground Plumbing
While just about anybody can handle a leaky faucet, the plumping running under your house is a different story.
It’s tempting to try these projects yourself. After all, the most common plumbing projects usually involve:
- Frozen pipes
- Clogged pipes
- Leaking pipes
- Adding or replacing pipes
In all of these instances, it would seem like a little bit of DIY ingenuity could get the job done, right? Wrong.
The problem is that plumbing is laid out in a very deliberate way, and often in an intricate network. You may alter one area, only to find that you’ve damaged another.
Even just digging to find a pipe poses the risk of bursting it. This will flood your house, your yard, or both.
When it comes to anything involving underground plumbing, call in a plumber.
2. Electrical Wiring
Any job involving electricity is dangerous.
The Ohio State University reports that it only takes between 100 and 200 mA of current to kill you.
To put that in perspective, a toaster oven runs at over 600 mA. That’s enough to kill you three times over.
I understand the impulse to try and do a rewiring job yourself. It can be a pain waiting on a contractor to finish tearing out your walls, running all the wires, and getting your power flowing again.
But no amount of money and time saved is worth your life. Unless you have extensive training and plenty of experience, save electrical jobs for the professionals.
3. Room Expansions
One of the most complicated jobs you can undertake is a room expansion in your home.
This is an intricate affair that can not only come out looking terrible but also potentially kill you.
Knocking Out Support Beams
Whether you realize it or not, your walls were designed to support the weight of your home, especially your ceiling.
Haphazardly tearing down walls and beams could have you literally bringing the house down.
When you start tearing into the recesses of your home, you may encounter mold that you didn’t know was there.
While it’s better to know it’s there, even minor traces of mold can make you seriously ill or kill you. If you didn’t know it was there, you certainly won’t be protected against it.
Even if you can avoid crashing your roof or being poisoned, there’s a lot of know-how required to pull off a successful room expansion.
You have to measure angles correctly, alter electrical wiring (we talked about why that’s a bad idea), and you need many different tools and materials.
Messing up even one of these factors can leave your home looking awful and being valued for a lot less.
We’ve all cut our own grass or raked our own leaves at one point or another. That’s simple enough.
But trying to completely change the layout of your yard space can quickly lead to disaster.
For one thing, you have to have a clear image of what you want your property to look like when you’re finished. Most people just don’t have the experience to pull it off.
In addition, a DIY landscaping job could risk your septic tank, your plumbing, and even the foundations of your home.
It’s a project best left to someone with the tools and experience needed to get the job done right.