4 Household Fix-Its You Really Don't Want to Do Yourself
You’re the dependable, “handy” person everyone in your family or neighborhood calls for help. Thanks to your cleverness and your nimble fingers, you’ve helped lots of people with many repairs, and you’ve probably done a few small renovations in your home as well. But even though you can trust the steadiness of your hands and the quickness of your wits, you should probably stay away from the repair projects listed on this page.
When you let a professional handle the repairs, that doesn’t mean you forfeit your title as the king or queen of DIY—it just means you have the wisdom to let a trained individual take over for more dangerous or delicate projects. So whenever your home needs any of the repairs listed below, let a professional fix it instead of tackling it yourself.
You can probably change a faucet or shower head by yourself, and really handy people can probably handle installing a toilet. However, you should stay away from the actual piping portion of your plumbing when you do renovations, additions, or repairs.
Why? It depends on the type of pipe. With copper pipes, you’ll have to use a blow torch to meld them, and that requires a lot of safety equipment and training. After all, what would happen if you didn’t meld the pipes together securely enough?
PVC pipes require a certain kind of waterproof glue, and you need to know how much of the pipe to overlap with the connecting pieces. You don’t want to experiment with trial and error on this one—even the smallest leak can lead to serious problems. You can lose several litres of water a day, and that’ll hike up your water bill. The water could also flood and destroy parts of your home, leading to thousands of dollars in damage.
Let a professional who knows how to properly attach pipes take care of your plumbing. He or she may accept your assistance, but you should let the plumber actually attach the pipes together so they won’t burst, leak, or bend.
Again, you can probably handle fixing a light switch or installing a ceiling fan—any avid DIYer can tackle adding fixtures to his or her home. You already know that you need to turn off the power when you install or repair anything attached to the power grid in your home. However, you should not handle the wiring by yourself whether you turn your power off or not.
When you finish a basement, an attic, a garage, or an addition, or you simply want to renovate your home, you need a professional to come in and install the wiring. If you do it by yourself, you could accidentally splice the wires incorrectly, or you could accidentally expose a wire or stick the wires near flammable materials. You don’t want a small mistake to burn your house down.
You also need a lot of safety equipment to prevent electrocution during this process, and only an experienced electrician would have this kind of equipment on hand. Just let the professionals handle it so you can avoid any costly and permanent mistakes.
It seems all too easy to just find a stepladder and climb up on your roof to replace shingles—but you really shouldn’t try to do this job on your own. Even if you have someone to spot you, that person probably can’t catch you very well if you fall off the roof. You probably don’t have access to safety harnesses that’ll keep you on the roof either.
You can probably get away with replacing 10 or fewer shingles by yourself at a time. However, if you have to make more extensive repairs than that, you’ll have to stay on your roof longer, which exponentially increases your change of injury, especially if you have a steep roof. Let a roofing contractor fix your roof for you instead of taking unnecessary risks.
4. Repairing Gas Appliances
You already know that you shouldn’t tackle pipe replacements or repairs on your own—and that advice doesn’t end with water pipes. You should also leave any gas lines and gas appliance to the professionals.
What gas appliances do you own? Stoves, clothes dryers, ovens, hot water heaters, and fireplaces all use natural gas, so when anything goes wrong in any of those appliances, call an expert instead of fixing it yourself. Even the tiniest repair mistake can leave a hole for natural gas to leak through, and that leak could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, which kills hundreds of people every year.
If you let a professional fix your gas appliances, you won’t have to worry about any gas leaking into your home. You can take care of other DIY projects around your home in the meantime, like painting that room or unsticking that window.
Professional repair-people help us avoid a lot of unfortunate accidents. Call a plumber, electrician, or roofer for your repair project today.