January 20th, 2015
It’s easy for homeowners to get caught up in the world of Pinterest and do-it-yourself blogs. While unique, custom projects can be a great way to personalize or spruce up your home, some projects are better left to professional contractors. Next time a friend or client has a brilliant idea to attempt one of these projects on their own, let them know why some things are best when left in the hands of pros.
1. Tree Removal: Whether it’s cutting down an overgrown tree or digging up a giant stump, this project can be an accident waiting to happen, especially if the tree is close to your house. Working from a height of 10 or 15 feet with large power tools can be dangerous enough, but add the factor of falling branches, and the risk of injury or damage to your car, house, or telephone lines increases even more. Removing a stump can be risky, too, as roots growing close to water or electrical pipes can cause serious damage as they are pulled up or moved.
2. Electrical and Plumbing Work: Not only can messing up electrical work in your home create much more serious issues, you also generally need a permit and inspection to do this kind of work. Bigger plumbing problems and projects like installing a shower or sink should only be attempted by professionals. Incorrect installation or repair can lead to damaged pipes or waterlogged walls, along with other expensive issues.
3. Pool Repair and Installation: Both above and in-ground pools are difficult to repair without special tools and products. While simple projects around the pool are fine to do yourself, repairing cracks in the foundation or remodeling your pool is something that a professional is better equipped for.
The same goes for pool installation. You may think you are saving a lot of money by installing a swimming pool by yourself, but as PoolProducts.com cautions, installing a vinyl or fiberglass pool is a very big job. A task of this magnitude requires some serious homework before you decide to it take on, plus you may have to rent or buy large construction equipment, or even hire help to do the job right. Measurements must be precise, permits and inspections must be passed, and you must consider how the ground and concrete will settle and shift over time.
4. Removing a Wall: It may seem like a good idea to knock down a small wall in your house to open up the kitchen or create a bigger living room, but it isn’t as easy as it may appear. If the wall is load-bearing or supports any part of the house, or if it holds electrical or plumbing, you could cause serious damage to the structure of your home.
Popular Mechanics recommends consulting with a building engineer before attempting to knock down a wall. A building engineer can give you advice on the best way to remove the wall and let you know if any special permits are needed.
5. Flooring: Homeowners might want to call a professional if they plan to rip up carpet or lay new tile. You might not know what’s underneath your carpet and if the subfloor is damaged or rotten, you could wind up spending thousands in extra costs just to repair it. Laying tile is another delicate and very precise project—if the tiles aren’t cut perfectly, laid completely straight, or if one of them cracks, you may have to start all over. If you’re not experienced in flooring, it may be best to leave it to a flooring expert.