In the era of DIY home repair and upgrades, it’s not surprising that homeowners are tackling more and more projects outside of their comfort zone. Not only do they save money (hopefully) but they learn new skills along the way. While there is a long list of home repairs that can easily be tackled by your average homeowner, some complicated tasks should be left to the professionals. Faulty work could lead to bigger problems, safety issues, and your home not being up to the current building code – in addition to costing you more money in the long run.
Here’s a short list of repairs best left to the pros:
- Plumbing repairs or renovations. Swapping in a new toilet or shower head – no problem. Many DIYers can easily handle these tasks on their own. However, when it comes to rerouting pipes or cutting into the pipes, you should call a licensed plumber. Even the smallest leak could cause thousands of dollars in damage if left undetected and unrepaired. Water is a tricky element as well – it will follow the path of least resistance and sometimes a leak can actually be many feet away from the area where you notice the water. Hiring a professional is the best way to go for any repairs or modifications, especially if you need to pull a building permit.
- Electrical. Replacing a light fixture or a faulty light switch are usually within the wheelhouse of many DIYers. If you shut off the power at the breaker for that area of the house, you should be able to tackle those projects with ease. Like plumbing, any larger projects should be done by a licensed professional especially if you have an older home as the wiring can be tricky. Faulty wiring could cause major issues or even fires if the work is done incorrectly. You may also need a building permit for your project and only a licensed electrician can obtain that. You’ll need to make sure all updates and repairs are done to code – a professional will know the code and ensure your house is up to snuff. If you decide to sell your home in the future, this could be an issue if you decided to tackle major upgrades yourself!
- Roofing repairs or structural work. The foundation and the roof are two of the most important parts of your home. One of the major reasons that roof repair shouldn’t be a DIY project is because of the danger of falling. Professionals are used to climbing up and down ladders with tools and roofing supplies. In addition, if you don’t fix the roof correctly, you could make the situation worse causing thousands of dollars in repairs! Additionally, making any structural modifications to your home should be done by a pro. Removing walls, fixing foundations, etc. should only be done by a professional especially if they are supporting the weight of your home. You’ll need to determine how best to transfer that support and any errors could make your home unsafe to live in.
- Gas appliances. Not all homes have a gas appliance, but those that do – dryers, stoves, ovens, water heaters, etc. – should retain a licensed professional to install or repair any appliances. Even if you think you did a great job hooking up or even moving a gas line, a leak may not always be detectable by a homeowner. Professionals have ways of checking for leaks to make sure you and your family are safe.
- Major basement renovations. Cleaning up and making your basement more usable is often a great DIY project, but when it comes to adding walls, blocking off sections, or even digging out the floor to make the ceiling higher – that’s definitely a job for a professional. Many homeowners don’t realize that while it’s easier to hide mistakes made in the basement, there are also details for home safety that need to be added – including fire-blocking and vapor barriers. If your basement is prone to moisture, all that hard work could be done for nothing if it gets soggy and moldy!
We all love a great DIY project, but some tasks are just better left to the professionals. Even the best handyman skills can lead to errors that could cause thousands of dollars in damage and repairs and potential safety concerns. If you need to free up some funds to hire that professional, give us a call or stop into one of our branches. Litchfield Bancorp has several great options for making those home improvements!
Vice President, Lakeville Manager