Thanks to a plethora of online resources and television shows, do-it-yourself projects are more popular than ever. Home renovations ranging from minor upgrades and cleanups all the way to remodeling jobs and even room additions are now within the reach of homeowners with enough spare time, money, and energy to get the job done. And while DIY projects can be significantly less expensive than hiring contractors to do the same work, they’re not without their pitfalls.
Although many DIY jobs don’t require much—if any—home renovation and repair experience or expertise, others may be more complicated than they look, especially if you live in an older home. Some homeowners take on more than they can handle and end up with a room that’s unusable for weeks, and they often end up paying more while still having to rely on a professional contractor to finish the job.
While many DIY projects are still within the capabilities of most homeowners, it’s important to recognize which ones often need an expert’s steady hand, knowledge, and resources. So, if you’re thinking about taking on some major home upgrades, be sure to check out Blindster’s list of DIY projects that you should avoid:
Removing large trees and limbs from your lawn
Whether you need to clear space for an outdoor seating area, want to reclaim your lawn, or need to spare your roof from inevitable disaster, cutting down a tree or large limb is a job that’s best left to experts. While you may have access to all the tools necessary to cut down a tree or limb, it’s important to remember that you’re dealing with something that’s extremely heavy and unpredictable. In addition to putting yourself and your own home at risk, you could also do major damage to your neighbor’s homes as well.
Renovating an existing or installing a new bathroom
Bathrooms are huge selling points for homes. When a home has plenty of bathrooms that are beautifully designed and up to date, it’s value can increase significantly. In addition, it also makes the home a more pleasant place to live. Minor bathroom renovations, such as painting cabinets or changing flooring, are straightforward. But more invasive renovations that involve things like moving the placement or dimensions of toilets, tubs, and showers can be far trickier. If you don’t have experience working with plumbing, you should leave this project in the hands of professionals to avoid a home disaster.
Rewiring a room or your entire home
Electricity makes life much easier and more convenient, but it’s easy to forget how dangerous it can be. The average home has enough power running through its wires at any given time to seriously injure or even kill a person who touches it. In addition, faulty wiring can lead to power spikes, lost power, and even fires—especially if it’s near highly flammable things like insulation, drywall, and other materials. Even something as simple as wiring in a ceiling fan should be done by a professional with experience handling live wires. Not only will that keep you safe, but it will also give you peace of mind knowing that the job was done correctly, saving you time and money in the future.
Repairing a roof and replacing shingles
Most roofs have life expectancies of anywhere from 20 to 30 years. After they’ve passed that point, they’re more likely to take on a dingy and even discolored appearance. They also may leak with individual shingles peeling away from the roof or even falling off it. If your roof needs a repair, renovation, or complete re-do, you may be tempted to climb up there and begin taking care of business yourself. However, working on a roof isn’t just hard—it’s also dangerous. One-third of construction fatalities are due to workers falling off roofs, and homeowners don’t fare much better, particularly when they don’t have any experience working on a roof. Leave this job up to professional roofers and you’ll get a result that’s both satisfactory and safe.
Digging deep in your lawn or dirt
Installing a sprinkler system, planting trees and shrubs, and designing an outdoor area all involve digging in the grass and dirt. But did you know that your property may be a minefield of underground utility lines? The Common Ground Alliance Initiative reports that an underground line is damaged every six minutes nationwide due to homeowners and property owners digging without doing their due diligence. Simply calling 811 and confirming the location of underground utilities is sufficient for small projects, but you should leave bigger projects—digging out an in-ground swimming pool or space for a storm shelter—to the pros who have both the equipment and knowledge to avoid potential disasters.
Refinishing a wood floor using a sanding machine
Over time, wood floors can become dirty and dirty, and they often lose their shine and luster. When that happens, no amount of cleaning and wax will restore them to their original appearance. In fact, the only way to truly restore them is to remove the top layer of wood with a sanding machine. However, experts warn homeowners to avoid attempting this project themselves. Sanding such a large surface area requires experience both with various types of wood flooring and the machine itself. In the hands of an unskilled operator, the floor may end up uneven in both appearance and feel, due to some areas being sanded too much and others too little.
Removing popcorn ceilings or anything that may contain asbestos/lead paint
If your home was built within the past two decades or so, you’re probably off the hook when it comes to this tip. But if your home was constructed between 1940 and 1980, there’s a good chance it has popcorn ceilings, which may contain asbestos. These ceilings are often the bane of many homeowners’ existence, but trying to remove them yourself can expose you to potentially deadly asbestos-containing particles. In addition, certain areas of your home may contain lead paint. Knocking down walls or drilling into areas that contain lead paint—even if they’ve been painted over many times—can cause the lead to fall onto the floor or become airborne, putting you and your family members at risk of developing health complications. Always hire a professional to do any work that may result in coming into contact with asbestos or lead paint.