It can be difficult not to recoil in horror after hearing about how expensive some home fixes can be. For that reason, lots of people out there want to do as much as they can themselves, so they don’t have to pay a premium for someone else’s time. While there are probably more jobs around the home that you can do yourself than jobs you can’t, the ones that need professionals are often indispensable for keeping your home in tip-top shape.
As tempting as it may be, make sure to call in the heavies if you have to work on any of the jobs listed below:
Installing an air conditioning unit
This, of course, doesn’t apply to ready-to-use portable units, but an individual should never try to install a dedicated A/C unit all by their lonesome. In fact, many jurisdictions actually require by law that any A/C unit be installed by a licensed professional. An air conditioner makes use of chemicals known as refrigerants to help cool air to be distributed throughout the house. These chemicals are often extremely volatile, posing a massive risk to the environment and the health of the occupants of the house if not properly handled. Also, a professional is much better equipped to properly advise you as to what size A/C unit you should purchase and where to put it.
Fixing a garage door on rollers
If you have a garage door that slowly rolls itself down along many individual rollers, it might not seem like a huge deal to fix up any part of that door. What you might not realize is that each individual spring that works to move the door is under immense amounts of pressure, and the slightest provocation could have it flying at extremely fast speeds directly into your body. Leave it to the professionals, please.
Installing a range hood
A range hood installation doesn’t necessarily require professional help, but you should, at the bare minimum, have a second or even third person on hand to help you lift it properly. If there’s a place nearby where you can connect it to power, then you won’t need to call in any help. If you find out that you do, in fact, need a power hookup closer to the hood, you’ll need the services of a licensed electrician. Also, when working out where the range hood will vent to, there’s a good chance you’ll need to call in someone who can help make sure you’re doing so correctly.
Removing a wall
This one might sound a little weird at first. How could removing something through sheer destruction get complicated? Well, some walls are load-bearing and directly contribute to the overall structural integrity of your home. A contractor knows best here. Get their opinion first before knocking down any walls. You risk your ceiling caving in or getting hurt in general if you take out the wrong wall.
This is yet another job that might sound uncomplicated at first, but can easily end up costing you a lot of money in the long run. For a window to be considered as properly installed, there should be no air leaks that could result in your home being unable to conserve heat or the lack thereof. Improperly sealed windows mean that your climate control unit needs to work extra hard to maintain the desired temperature – a fact that will make itself readily apparent when you check your heating and cooling bill at the end of the month.
The reason why just about every modestly sized town has its own dedicated tree removal service (or a few) isn’t that people want to make a quick buck taking trees down for people. Tree removal is a very involved process that requires a lot of planning, specialized tools, and know-how to pull off properly. Many things have to be considered, such as the safest place for the tree to fall, if that’s an appropriate way to remove the tree in the first place. It isn’t uncommon for tree removal specialists to have to take down a tree bit by bit, first starting with the limbs and then by slowly cutting small portions that are then hoisted away. You risk hurting yourself as well as damaging nearby property if you decide to go on it alone.
If you notice that a small portion of your roof is starting to show signs of wear, it might seem like a fairly smart idea to hop on a ladder and just replace a few shingles. The truth is far from that in reality. There’s a particular reason why a small portion of your roof started to go first, plus you have no idea how many nearby shingles have been damaged as a result. A professional roofer will properly diagnose and fix your roof, all while replacing it with the right materials. This ensures that your DIY patch-up job doesn’t actually result in your roof having a noticeably different weak spot. Doing work on rooftops is also extremely dangerous. Thousands of people become wheelchair users every year due to falling off of roofs doing “routine” maintenance.
Adding a gas stove
Unless you’re a fan of exploding kitchens, leave adding anything gas-powered to the professionals. When you hire a professional, you can rest easy knowing that there are no gas leaks to worry about, plus the system will be as efficient as modern installation techniques allow. As tempting as it might be, when dealing with gas lines, this isn’t an area where even the slightest kind of imperfection is acceptable.
Large additions or renovations
Unfortunately, bureaucracy has permeated many aspects of our lives, with updating our homes being one of them. You might think that since it’s your property, nothing is stopping you from making a shed in your backyard of any shape or size, right? In reality, many municipalities regulate how tall a shed must be, as well as other finer details you might not be aware of. This often means filing for permits and dealing with the city to get whatever addition or renovation you’d like rubber-stamped for approval. Whatever money you save by navigating all of the red tape yourself is heavily offset by the time commitment. Contractors work with the city all the time, and they are well-aware of how to get permits expediently, as well as what’s likely to be approved versus what won’t.
When it comes to your home’s air circulation, you shouldn’t be sparing any expense to make sure everything is above board. Some minor pieces can be found at online suppliers such as aclube.com, but in general, you should leave these things to people who have studied these systems extensively. One of the main concerns is to ensure that there are no Freon leaks in your HVAC system. This common coolant is toxic to both the environment and human beings, so it needs to be handled carefully. There’s a reason why home repairs to HVAC systems more often than not completely void the manufacturer’s warranty.
Are there some pesky raccoons in your attic that you’d like to be evicted? Well, while these animals are small, they do tend to carry a lot of diseases, and there’s the fact that your local municipality might frown on you removing animals yourself. A single scratch can end up being infected extremely easily. The average person simply doesn’t know enough about how these pests function and operate to humanely as well as properly ensure their removal from any given property.
Installing a water heater
Sure, you can buy the water heater yourself and bring it to your home, but leave the actual installation to people who are well-versed with all of the electrical systems and gas hookups that are going to be required. Lots have to be considered with regards to code adherence and general safety philosophies to the point that the average homeowner is severely outclassed by even a beginner level professional in the industry. Call a licensed plumber to get the job done, period.
Pumping out a septic tank
It’s doubtful that many people are going to be disappointed to hear this, but getting a septic tank cleared out is something that’s absolutely not for the weekend handyman. Permits are required to deal with the septic tank waste. Also, very expensive equipment is required to properly pump out the tank. These are two things most people don’t just have on hand.
The general trend here is that anything that requires extreme amounts of precision or has significant amounts of scientific backing behind it typically needs the help of an industry professional. Fixing a leaky faucet or building a table doesn’t require anything besides the tools and the time, while making sure everything in your kitchen is wired properly as to not blow any fuses requires a lot more attention to detail. Most of the errors done by people trying to do these jobs themselves can actually be more costly to undo than it is to get fixed, so think twice before you suit up thinking you’re about to save yourself a boatload of cash.