This article from RealtyTimes written by Jaymi Naciri has a lot of great advice about DIY—Do It Yourself. I’ve replaced a ceiling light with a ceiling fan, replaced doorknobs and shower heads, but beyond that…I'm gonna find a reputable tradesman. Even if you do have major DIY skills, for required repairs many times lenders will require a “licensed” person to do the work.
WHEN NOT TO TRY AND DIY
Written by Jaymi Naciri
You know the saying about your eyes being bigger than your stomach when you order a giant meal at a restaurant and then only eat a fraction? When it comes to DIY, your eyes can be bigger than your skill. Or your balance. Or your finesse.
Paint your room or pull up your carpet or plant some annuals or put together a bookcase. But when it comes to the tough stuff, it’s best to know when to call for help. Here are seven times you should call a guy instead of DIY.
1. Anything That Involves Water
You’re good with a wrench? You know where the water shut off valve is? You’re sure you can take all that pumbing apart and put it back together without any leaks or leftover pieces? Great. But we’re not so sure, and we’re calling a guy. We just don’t mess around with stuff that could flood the house and/or create a mold situation.
“Unless it’s something simple like unclogging a toilet or fixing a drain, messing with plumbing can cause major dilemmas (Just think about an overflowing toilet or unstoppable burst in a pipe...not fun), “said Huffington Post. It’s always better to ask a plumber before trying to tackle any plumbing issues on your own.”
2. Anything That Involves Electricity
We’ve heard that minor rewiring can be easy. But we’re just not fans of being electrocuted. So we’re going to leave that to an expert. “You usually don’t get a second chance with electricity,” said MSN. We couldn’t agree more.
3. Hanging Drywall
Give it a shot in an easily accessible area. Hanging drywall can actually be quite rewarding. But in a complicated installation area or one that is high up…no thanks. Watching a professional teeter around on those stilts makes the money spent well worth it. We look at it this way: we can pay the drywall pro up front, or pay it at the ER after we attempt to do it ourselves. [Nothing worse than a badly floated seam. I’ve had painters swear they can drywall with the best of them only to be left paying for a real drywall company to fix it for me. Not sure I can support Jaymi’s “give it a shot.”—Deborah]
As any good HGTV-obsessed design lover will agree, swinging a sledgehammer in a crusty old kitchen or bathroom looks like great fun. But you could also do great damage if you don’t know how to go about it. “Beyond the risks of asbestos, lead paint dust and other hazardous materials, do you really know what’s behind the walls of your home? Gas pipes, water lines and live electrical wires are just a few of the dangers,” said MSN. [I have first-hand experience that even a professional can miss something in demolition. Fortunately, he also knew how to fix it and where to get the materials.—Deborah]
5. Roof Repair
It’s tricky work, it’s dangerous, and it’s fraught with challenge. Plus, DIY patches on the roof could also end up damaging it even worse, cause a leak, and maybe even void that part of your home warranty. Most roofing companies will come out to give you a free estimate anyway, so no need to risk your safety. For extra protection, call your insurance company if you suspect there is a problem and have them come and check it out. It will cost you nothing.
6. Baseboards and Molding
Mitering corners can drive any sane person who didn’t nail algebra (and retain everything they learned) to madness. Unless you're confident you can properly calculate the angles and master that whole “measure twice, cut once” thing, you might want to leave this to the experts.
7. Paving Your Driveway
“Paving stones can turn a boring driveway into a focal point. And while they look relatively simple to install, the reality is that the measuring and positioning of paving stones can be tremendously time-consuming. (Think of it as a game of Tetris on steroids.) But a team of professionals can cut installation down to a day, depending on your driveway size,” said the Huffington Post.
With a complicated and/or time-intensive project like this, you just need to admit that you’re going to have a meltdown midway through the project and quite possibly flip out and toss the pavers across the lawn. Since you'll have to go ahead and hire someone to finish the project once you hit your tipping point anyway, you might as well just go ahead and make the call in the beginning.
The real bottom line is whether you have the skills (and the tools) to take on one of these jobs. There is the satisfaction of a job well-done. But it might also be worth an objective look at how much you really save (and not only in money) if you do the DIY job.