I’ve done this once with the easy stuff.
Twice with your medium work.
The third time was the advanced stuff.
An now we are up to the last set of “DIY or not to DIY” projects: The things that you really need to leave to the professionals. It’s these kinds of job that take a lot of skill, patience, and tools in order to complete; and while they aren’t impossible for you to do, there is no way under the sun I would recommend anyone to try these themselves.
Roof Repair: More so than just shingling I am talking about some serious roof repair. If you roof is leaking, warping, or if a meteor hits it and you have a giant hole in it, it’s time to call in a professional. Aside from the dangers of falling and injuring yourself (or worse…) you run the risk of repairing it wrong and having chronic problems stretching for weeks. It’s also much more dangerous to do during the summer months and could be impossible to do during the winter months. Simply re-shingling a roof CAN be a DIY job, but only if you’re getting help from someone with experience doing the job, or have extended experience yourself.
Replacing Windows: I was debating whether to place this in last weeks “advanced” tasks or to leave it here, and I ended up putting it in here for one main reason: The amount of money saved by doing it correctly the first time vs. having to go back and fix later. Because of the level of precision it takes to properly measure and, most importantly, seal a window I would recommend having a professional do this so that you aren’t losing money by having a draft or air leak. Having proper windows and proper sealants applied to the window ledges can save you a lot of money in your bills. The right windows insulate you home well enough that it can make a difference in your heating and cooling bills. According to this site (and you can trust him, he’s a doctor) the value of insulated windows is shown both in your wallet, and in the resale value of your home. Having a professional install these windows ensures that you will see this value by having it done right the first time.
Anything with the structure of the house: Houses have some wicked physics associated with them. They are built specific to the designs of the architect so that each load baring joint is put perfectly in place, each cornerstone is installed where it needs to be, and each board that makes up the skeleton of your home bares enough of the weight of the rest of the house so it doesn’t come crashing around you. Anytime that you are doing a project that involves working with or around the structure of your home it is imperative that you hire a professional to do this work. Preferably the contractor or architect who built your home because they will have the best knowledge of your home and how it is built.
Plumbing or Electrical work: Both of these require special permits or licenses to work on and shouldn’t be attempted by anyone who doesn’t have intimate knowledge of major plumbing and electrical. Although with both of these I am talking about major rewiring or installation problems. If you are changing the plates that go on your plugs, you don’t need to hire an electrician to do that; same with changing a faucet head, or changing the flapper in your toilet. What I am talking about is adding a new circuit breaker to your home, or adding something that will take a toll on your circuit breaker like a stereo system or surround sound. If you are installing a new sink or toilet into your home, or converting something into a bathroom this is when you want to call a contractor. Installing a hot water heater CAN be done yourself, but fixing or installing a sub-pump in your basement should be handled by a licensed plumber.
Well that does it for the DIY or not set. Stay tuned next Friday for the start of a new set of blog posts about your home.
If you have any questions about whether something should be done by yourself or by a contractor be sure and ask me. Also if anyone out there has any ideas for future blog posts or anything specific you want me to answer be sure and shoot me a line.
Build safe out there!