HGTV, DIY blogs, and home project videos on YouTube are only a few of the sources that are making DIY home renovation projects really popular right now. They certainly make it look quick and easy!
It’s important to remember that they’re usually done by professionals, and what you see might not actually be a reality! Chances are, it took many more hours and included plenty of extra work that didn’t make the final cut for that 30-minute time slot.
Before anyone starts a DIY improvement project, they should ask themselves if they have the experience and the skills necessary to complete this job in a timely manner (and not go way over budget!).
There are obviously some projects that are fine to take on, but for these big ones, it’s best to call in a professional.
Obviously, if you’re talking about changing a fuse, go right ahead. If it’s anything more complicated, like say, running a new line from a fusebox, don’t you dare! Please do not do electrical work on your own if you’re not an electrician.
It’s complicated and dangerous work, even more so in spaces like a bathroom or kitchen where water is present. Without the proper training, you can easily electrocute yourself, or cause a house fire.
Removing Asbestos, Lead Paint, or Mold
Professionals that are trained to remove these things exist because these things can be really dangerous. You’d be surprised at the great lengths that they have to go through just to remove these things.
Paying someone who is certified may be more expensive, which can lead people to think they can just DIY it to save some cash, but it’s completely worth it in the end to just pay a certified expert. In most cases, the removal of these materials is what makes them so dangerous because it kicks the particles up into the air.
Breathing in asbestos or mold can cause very serious health issues, and lead poisoning is extremely dangerous for children especially (although it is still a risk for adults as well).
Refinishing, Installing, or Replacing the Flooring
TV sure does make flooring look easy. You just rip up some carpet, throw down some vinyl planks, and voila! It’s a brand new space! The reality is that amateur work is instantly recognizable, and might take value away from the home.
Pulling up carpet can be labor-intensive, involves tons of hazards like carpet tacks and splintering wood, plus it gets really dirty with all of the dirt and dust that settles under it over the years (gross, right?!).
Refinishing your hardwoods sounds like a great way to save money until you get started and realize you need the proper tools, there’s sawdust everywhere, and you may have just ruined your irreplaceable 60-year-old hardwoods.
Removing a Wall
Sure, you have a great home that would just feel so much more inviting if you opened the floor plan a bit. It’s just one wall between the kitchen and the living room, and you’ve seen it done a thousand times on HGTV.
But after you get started, you realize that there are electrical outlets to deal with, possibly some plumbing, and did you check to make sure it’s not load-bearing?
What seems like a simple demo could end up costing you a ton of money, and potentially cause structural issues. You’ll wish you had called in the professionals to begin with.
Just like removing structures, adding structures to your home should definitely be handled by professionals. There are plenty of factors that come into play here, and the structural integrity of the addition might not be your biggest concern.
When adding on, you have to make sure that it complies with setbacks, isn’t over the top of something like a septic tank, and isn’t going to put too much strain on your HVAC.
Also, do you know the rules for how it can even be counted as HLA (heated living area), or that you have to pull permits with the city to do the work? This should definitely never be a DIY project.