Going DIY with your home projects can save you money and help you learn valuable skills that make it easier to maintain a house. After all, you were capable of buying a home, so why shouldn’t you be able to take care of it?
While making the decision to DIY is admirable, it’s not always the best idea. Homeowners can end up doing more damage in their efforts to fix a problem. Sometimes this isn’t a big deal, but other times it can have disastrous (and expensive) consequences.
Even if you’re a seasoned DIYer, the five home maintenance and repair projects below are better left to the professionals.
Annual Air Conditioning Service
An air conditioning repair is something no homeowner wants to deal with in the heat of a sweltering summer. That’s why experts recommend having your air conditioning system serviced in the spring. To some homeowners, that means crawling in the attic to give the main equipment components a once over. Professional servicing is much more in-depth and technicians will crawl where few homeowners are willing to go.
Professional technicians know how to test the equipment, make adjustments and clean components for maximum efficiency. They’ll also examine the ductwork for leaks or loose connections that are causing you to lose 20-30% of the cooled air.
There are also a few HVAC repairs and maintenance measures that a homeowner can’t do on their own but are fairly simple for a professional technician. For example, recharging the system with refrigerant is something only a professional can do.
Updating and Maintaining Electrical Systems
Electrical malfunctions are a leading cause of residential fires. It’s one of the few things in a home that cause a serious danger if it’s not done correctly. If you aren’t careful or don’t know what you’re doing, a fire could spark up while you’re working on the electrical system or later after you think the problem is solved.
There’s also the issue of making sure electrical work is done to code. Some cities are very strict about electric codes. You may even need to get a permit for some projects that involve the electrical system.
Flipping a few switches when a circuit blows and replacing a lighting fixture are projects you can handle. Anything beyond that should be handled by a licensed electrician.
Plumbing Repairs and Fixes
DIY plumbing disasters can lead to extremely costly mistakes. Water is the exact opposite of fire, but it can be just as destructive. All it takes is one leak to cause flooding that damages your home and the stuff inside.
Plumbing is a part of the inner workings of a home that isn’t easy to access or analyze. It could also require cutting into the drywall to get to a pipe that needs repair. Rather than playing a guessing game, a professional plumber comes at the problem with a better understanding of potential causes and knows how to troubleshoot the situation.
The foundation of your home supports everything. If there’s a foundational problem it’s a structural engineering issue that absolutely needs to be handled by a professional. Homeowners do not have the knowledge and training to determine if a foundation repair or maintenance is needed, let alone how to go about fixing the problem.
Foundation repairs are often very expensive, but it’s something that you can’t put off. As soon as you see cracks, call a structural engineering to come out and take a look.
Removal of Destructive Pests
If termites, carpenter ants or carpenter bees have decided to move into your home it’s time to call a professional pest control company. Why should you call the pros instead of handling it yourself?
- They have access to pesticides and tools that are made for removing destructive insects from the cavities of a house. Average Joes aren’t allowed to handle certain pesticides and equipment.
- By the time homeowners discover destructive insects it’s usually reached an infestation level that’s beyond your capabilities. Every day that passes more damage is being done to the structure.
- The insect colony needs to be entirely removed or the problem could reoccur. This could require indoor and outdoor measures as well as searching for satellite colonies.
The tiniest of insects can create the biggest problems for a homeowner. Don’t mess around with DIY attempts. Call a professional exterminator the second you see insects burrowing into your house.