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It’s normal for homeowners to take pride in the maintenance of their property, but when a project comes with more risks than rewards, it’s best to leave it to a professional. Safety aside, pros are certified and well-educated in their specific area of expertise, so you can have peace of mind knowing the job will be done correctly, which will actually save you money should you make mistakes trying it on your own. There are also permit and structural issues that an expert is more privy to. While there’s nothing wrong with completing a DIY project providing you have the proper tools and know-how, leave the tricky repairs of the following projects to a pro.
Asbestos and Mold Removal
These projects aren’t possible to DIY even if you wanted to, because they require specialized processes and equipment to remove the hazardous waste to a specific facility that keeps these substances out of harm’s way. These professionals are licensed and certified to handle such materials. Keep in mind that no other project can go forward until asbestos and mold are removed.
If you’re not a licensed electrician, it’s extremely easy to electrocute yourself when working on this type of project, especially if you encounter hazards like damaged or exposed wiring. Existing repairs aside, installing new wiring requires knowledge about local codes and which permits need to be purchased.
Installing a Gas-Fueled Appliance
Whether it’s a water heater, oven, or clothes dryer, any gas-fueled appliance needs to be installed by a professional to ensure connections and fittings on the gas lines are free of leaks. Even one unsecure connection can create a buildup of gas in the home that could lead to fires, explosions, and carbon monoxide poisoning, which over 400 people die from each year. As a precautionary measure, install an audible carbon monoxide alarm in your home.
Refinishing Hardwood Floors
In order to maintain resilience and luster, hardwood floors need to be refinished from time to time, a project that’s more difficult than you may think — especially if you’re refinishing flooring that’s been covered with carpet or laminate. Floor sanders and edgers can be difficult pieces of equipment to manage and can potentially cause damage to the floor or injury to the operator, and the dust and adhesive from the sanding can be toxic. Leave this one to a pro.
Other than unclogging a toilet or throwing some Drano down a sink, plumbing issues should be left to an expert due to the intricate pipework that needs to be fixed or installed in a strategic manner to ensure everything works seamlessly. Trying to do your own plumbing could increase the risk of problems (like structural damage and mold due to leaks), which will cause you a lot more money in the long run.
Don’t even think about tearing down a wall or making any other major structural changes without professional assistance. Aside from the fact that you may endure personal injury and damage to your property (including the removal of a load-bearing wall that supports other areas of the home), a pro knows which projects require specific permits to avoid fines.
Trying to do labor-intensive home improvement projects can cause additional out-of-pocket expenses from property damage as well as injury. But before hiring a professional, make sure you do your homework. Ask to see applicable licenses, read reviews, and come up with a master list of thorough questions before hiring your pro.