Homeownership offers a unique opportunity to make your home truly your own. While DIY projects can be fun and save you money, certain repairs should only be handled by professionals.
From unwittingly removing load-bearing walls to mismeasuring, DIYers often find themselves in trouble. Here are five home repairs that should always be left to the pros.
1. Electrical Repairs
While changing out light bulbs or installing a new dryer power cord might be within the realm of a hardcore DIYer, any electrical repair should be left to a professional. A home appliance service plan can help with costly and dangerous repairs. Faulty wiring can cause serious problems including electrocution or house fires.
One of the most common electrical repair mistakes is crossing wires. This is typically a result of not stripping enough wire insulation or cutting them too short at the junction box. It can also happen if you use push-in connectors without proper supervision.
A professional electrician will save you money by making sure everything is done correctly the first time around. They can fix circuit breakers, change electrical panels and plugs, rewire, replace fuses, and repair faulty appliances. In addition to this, they will make sure that you are staying within your home’s wattage limit.
2. Plumbing Repairs
As a homeowner, there are some tasks you should always leave to the professionals. DIY mistakes could lead to costly consequences like a leaky basement, ruined carpet and more.
Plumbing is complicated and requires specialized tools to fix it correctly. For instance, installing the wrong sized valve or water pipe can lead to water leaks or even burst pipes. Moreover, using the incorrect pipe glue can also result in problems in the future.
Another common mistake that DIY plumbers make is forgetting to turn off the water supply before starting a project. This can cause flooding and massive water damage. It can also be a serious health issue if you drink contaminated water or breathe in harmful gases from a broken pipe. Moreover, it’s likely that your insurance company won’t cover any damage from the mistakes you make while attempting DIY plumbing repairs.
Painting is a great upgrade for any home or business and can freshen up rooms that may be looking shabby. However, painting is a very difficult and time-consuming task that can result in a poor finish or even cause damage if not done correctly.
One of the biggest mistakes DIYers make is not using drop cloths. Professional painting contractors always use them and they are a must for any large painting projects.
Another mistake is attempting to do more than you should when it comes to repairs on walls and ceilings. Trying to fix small dents in drywall with a bucket of joint compound is a project better left for professionals who can properly fill and sand the area to make it invisible. Attempting to do more than that can leave your drywall with a sloppy appearance and possible problems down the road.
4. Foundation Repair
Foundation problems can lead to serious and expensive home issues such as sticky doors and windows, uneven floors, cracked walls, and leaky basements. They’re usually caused by soil evaporation and drainage, which cause the foundation to shift and crack.
You’ll know if you have a foundation problem if the walls start bowing or leaning. You can also test your foundation by rolling a ball across the floor. If it rolls to the outside of the house, you have a sagging center beam and need a professional repair. A contractor can install steel push piers or helical piers under your home to stabilize it. These piers can support massive loads and work in almost any upper soil condition. This is considered a permanent solution for repairing your foundation.
5. Roof Repair
While tool-handy homeowners can handle some projects, such as fence repairs or laying a new kitchen floor, they may not have the expertise or safety equipment to tackle roof repair. Without a professional, even the smallest mistake can be costly.
A professional will carefully examine your shingles, looking for significant loss of granules or bald spots. They’ll also check for dents, cracks and missing shingles. They will replace damaged flashing and reseal areas where pipes, vents and chimneys protrude from the roof.
If a contractor finds a leak, they’ll find the source by mapping wet areas. They’ll also replace soffit panels and ridge vents to help prevent attic condensation that can cause wood rot. A professional will also replace or seal eaves and valley flashing as well as reseal pipe boots.