Are you considering investing in renovations and remodeling projects around the house? It is always a good idea, but not all projects are a good fit for DIY. Simpler tasks may be cost-effective to do yourself, but more complex projects often require specialized skills, tools, and knowledge that only professionals have. Trying to do dangerous or highly technical projects without the right expertise can lead to injuries, damage, code violations, and wasted time and money. So it’s important to know when to call in the experts.
There are many benefits to hiring professionals for home improvement projects. They have years of experience, access to high-quality materials, and the ability to diagnose and fix problems. They also know the building codes and offer warranties on their work. Professionals have all the necessary tools and equipment to complete projects safely and efficiently. For example, a professional roofer will have scaffolding, harnesses, and roofing nails that most DIYers don’t have.
According to Clever Real Estate’s 2022 True Cost Report, homeowners spend an average of $15,405 on home improvement projects each year. While DIY can save money on some projects, the risks and costs of mistakes often outweigh potential savings. Leaving complex, dangerous, or highly technical projects to qualified professionals helps ensure your satisfaction.
With this in mind, here are eight home improvement projects you should never DIY.
Plumbing projects are best left to the professionals. They involve complex systems and codes that can be dangerous and costly to attempt on your own. A small leak from an improperly installed pipe or toilet can quickly lead to extensive water damage, mold growth, rotting, and the risk of flooding.
Heating, cooling, and plumbing services are also intricately linked. Problems with one system can often impact the others. For example, a malfunctioning water heater can cause your furnace to overheat.
To avoid expensive mistakes down the road, always hire a licensed plumber for any plumbing repairs or installations. They have the training and experience to get the job done right. Attempting DIY plumbing without proper training can lead to improper installations, leaks that go undetected for long periods, and flooding disasters.
2. HVAC Installation and Repairs
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are complex and require specialized training to install, maintain, and repair. Improper installation can lead to serious safety hazards, such as carbon monoxide poisoning, gas leaks, and inadequate heating or cooling. To avoid these risks, always hire a trained HVAC technician for any HVAC project.
HVAC technicians have extensive knowledge of the complex components of HVAC systems. They have the proper tools and diagnostic skills to assess issues and make the right repairs accurately. Technicians can determine if an older system needs replacing or if specific parts need replacement. For new HVAC system installations, they ensure proper sizing, ductwork design, ventilation, gas line connections, condensate drainage, and control wiring.
Attempting DIY repairs without proper HVAC training can result in indoor air quality and comfort issues.
Roofing projects involve working at dangerous heights and require an understanding of proper materials, weatherproofing techniques, and building codes. Improper roofing installation often leads to leaks, mold growth, rot, structural damage, and even collapse over time. Always hire a roofer for roof repairs, replacements, or installations to get the job done safely and correctly the first time.
Licensed roofers have extensive experience working on rooftops safely using harnesses, scaffolding, and ladders. They can provide guidance on roofing materials that suit your home and climate, as well as any permits needed. For repairs, roofers have the skills to find and fix leaks to prevent ongoing water damage. When replacing a roof, they know how to properly install underlayment, flashing, ice shields, shingles, and roof vents to protect your home.
Don’t risk injury or thousands in damage by tackling roof work yourself.
4. Load-Bearing Wall Alterations
Load-bearing walls support the weight of the structure above them. Removing or altering these walls requires engineering knowledge to properly redistribute weight with beams, posts, footings, and supports. Mistakes can severely compromise your home’s structural integrity leading to cracks, shifting, sagging, and even collapse.
Always consult a structural engineer and hire a qualified contractor for load-bearing wall changes. The engineer will assess your existing framing and design modifications needed to maintain structural stability. A contractor can then make those changes safely, getting any needed permits. They have the skills to properly shore up floors and ceilings near the work area to prevent catastrophe while walls are altered.
5. Window and Door Replacements
Replacing windows and doors is far more complicated than it appears. Professional installation is needed to ensure proper flashing, sealing, shimming, anchoring, and finishing to prevent air and water leaks while maintaining structural safety. Attempting this yourself often leads to drafts, leaks, air infiltration, rot, and other costly issues down the road.
Qualified contractors have extensive experience removing old windows and doors safely and installing new ones properly. They have the tools to deliver a weathertight, secure installation that has operated smoothly for years. Professionals also handle permitting and can recommend energy-efficient models that suit your home’s style.
6. Tree Removal
Removing large, mature trees is extremely dangerous if not done correctly. Tree removal professionals have the equipment, ropes, rigging, climbing skills, and experience to safely remove trees to prevent damage to your home or property.
Tree removal also involves legal considerations. Professionals have proper insurance in case of accidents and damages. They can advise whether a tree is protected by local ordinances before removal.
While DIY can save money on small home improvement tasks, more complex and dangerous projects require hiring professional contractors. Their expertise, tools, and knowledge of building codes help ensure your satisfaction and home safety. Don’t risk injury, damage, or code violations by tackling plumbing, HVAC, roofing, structural changes, or other major projects yourself. Know your limits, and don’t hesitate to call in the experts when needed. The peace of mind and quality results will be well worth the investment.