When someone decides that they need to make repairs or want to renovate their home, there is one major decision that affects everything else downstream.
Should you go DIY or hire a professional contractor?
There are trade-offs like time versus money, but quality of work and risk are also factors.
That’s why the answer to the question “DIY or hire a pro” really depends on the type of project.
Let’s take a look at when going DIY could be a good idea, and when it’s better to leave things to a professional.
Major plumbing work
The average homeowner should be qualified to replace a tap and it’s their decision whether or not they want to unclog or replace a toilet. However, any major plumbing work needs to be done by a professional. Only professionals can do work that requires certification, which would include installing a new hot water heater or another bathroom.
Only professionals should handle projects that could result in major water damage if something goes wrong as well. For example, you should let a professional move a shower head to another other wall. You don’t want to run the risk of a plumbing leak damaging the wall. Professionals will be insured to cover any damage caused and hopefully, they won’t cause any!
Major structural work
While you may see DIY enthusiasts ripping out walls of their homes, you should leave major structural work to the professionals. Don’t risk damaging structural walls or the floor of your home as it could cause serious damage to your home and put you in danger.
You should also leave major roof repairs to the pros. You might be able to put a cover over a hole in the roof after a storm, but you should let professional roofers replace or repair the roof. Most of us lack the proper safety equipment to work up there.
Note that you should call in a professional if you’ve been making the same repairs again and again, because this suggests there is a serious, underlying problem.
Anything involving lead
Lead remediation is essential whenever the home renovation or repair work creates lead dust. The most common scenario is when your project requires removing lead paint or lead pipes.
Working on lead paint or pipes is dangerous, because this creates a health hazard for you and your family. For example, sanding down before repainting or wallpapering them creates a long-term lead exposure risk for anyone in the home.
If you need more information on the hazards of working with lead, and what you should look for if looking for a contractor to work in a house that might content lead, there are resources that can teach you more like this guide on lead certification rules and regulation.
Contractors have to go through thorough training on how to protect themselves from the lead dust as well as remove it from the environment after the work is done. They may charge a premium for their services, but you can’t afford to put your family’s safety in jeopardy.
While there are many projects you can tackle yourself, there are a number of projects best left to the professionals. If there is significant risk to your home or your safety, call a professional.
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