If you want to improve your home but aren’t sure about splashing out on a contractor, you are not alone. So many people around the world make improvements to their home without hiring any extra help at all. The DIY industry is booming; during the COVID-19 pandemic, with most families quarantined in their own homes with nothing to do, numerous people took this opportunity to undergo some DIY. But does our enthusiasm for home-spun improvements ever reach a limit?
While it sounds like a fun premise, DIY can turn quickly into a disaster. This is not to ward anyone off even attempting a DIY project but is simply a cautionary tale about the “cute” image of DIY. We picture families in paint-stained overalls, rolling paint onto the walls and laughing together. We picture learning to woodwork; we picture hilarious mishaps which are quickly solved; we picture a bonding experience. But anyone who has ever undergone a large DIY project will tell you, home improvement turns from cute to catastrophic pretty fast if you aren’t a skilled handyman yourself. Here are eight home improvement projects you should definitely not do yourself.
Electrical work is the number one project that should never be done by an amateur. This is simply because it is highly dangerous. Drilling through a wall or attempting to replace electrical wiring in your walls can give you a potentially fatal electric shock. If you drill through your wall and hit a wire, you can die from the voltage which will surge through the drill and into your body. It is highly dangerous and should never be done in a DIY project.
Electrical work is also highly technical and without training or prior knowledge, it is unlikely an amateur homeowner will get it right. Not only is it dangerous, but it is probable that you will have to hire an electrician to rewire your DIY job anyway. This is definitely a task best left to those in the know.
Painting a wall. How hard can it be? This is one of the most popular DIY jobs because it seems like the simplest task in the world. Get some paint, a roller and a tray, throw on some old clothes and get to work. You’ll be done by lunchtime. Right?
Wrong. Painting, even simple wall painting, is a technique that takes a while to master. Not only is it exhausting for your arm, but it also requires meticulous layering if you want the wall to look even by the end of the project. It is very easy to make your walls look patchy and damp if you do not correctly layer the paint. Besides, around the edges and up against furniture or moldings, painting is actually very technical and tricky. It is advisable that you put down the overalls and research professional painting services for your home improvement project.
Roofing or Guttering
If your roof is damaged by weather or old age, you might consider replacing those missing tiles yourself. After all, hiring a professional roofing company is expensive and can take weeks to organize. If you have a ladder and some courage, you may want to just get it over and done with yourself. Similarly, keeping your gutters free of leaves and debris can prevent you from having plumbing or rotting issues in the future. These are both very important aspects of your home which should be maintained – but can you DIY?
If you are an experienced builder yourself, go for it. Otherwise, leave it to the pros. Although you may have to pay a pretty penny for your roofing and guttering maintenance, this is not a task to take lightly. If you lose your balance, the consequences can be extremely serious. Plus, it can be very challenging to actually replace roof tiles without specialist equipment and adhesives. Stick to your day job, and let the experienced builders do theirs.
Replacing A Floor
We all know it is easy to wear out a floor. Daily wear and tear, plus kids, plus pets, equals a shabby, worn-out look when guests walk in. You desperately want to fix it – is it really worth hiring someone to lay some floorboards?
Depending on the type of flooring you wish to install, you could potentially do the job yourself. If it is simply pulling up an old carpet and putting down your new, made-to-measure carpet, this is achievable with some time and elbow grease. No problem. The buck stops there, however. Hardwood or stone flooring is not for DIY enthusiasts. But why?
New hard flooring costs a lot of money, even without the cost of having it laid. You may be tempted to scrimp on the laying part, and focus your budget on the quality of the stone or wood you are installing. The problem is, if this flooring is improperly laid, it is very difficult to re-do. You could wind up having to start all over again, due to the fact that pulling up the wood or stone will likely damage both the floor material and the concrete beneath. Leave it to the experts, and enjoy your beautiful new flooring for years to come.
Plumbing The Bathroom
Water damage. The silent killer. If you have ever experienced damp, leaks, a burst pipe or even flooding in your home, you will know that it is not a scenario you would wish on even your worst enemy. Water is the source of all life, but its destructive forces are just as powerful. If you need to replace your plumbing system or fix a large leak that is damaging your home, the last thing you need is a botched DIY job.
Plumbers are expensive, yes. They are expensive because they have years of experience, the tools and equipment, and the cost of their training under their belt. Do you know what is more expensive than hiring a plumber to fix a leak? Replacing an entire floor or wall which is ruined by a large leak in your home. Hire the plumber. Don’t think twice.
Gardening is so relaxing. Planting vegetables and flowers and spending time in nature are scientifically proven to boost mental health and reduce anxiety. The way gardening affects our mood and calms us down might make you want to undergo a larger gardening project, without help from an expert. If you are a seasoned gardener, this might not seem like a hefty task. But even the most confident vegetable grower or flowerbed layer would find a full landscaping project challenging and exhausting.
Landscaping often involves digging into your existing garden space in order to build some kind of architectural structure, such as a raised bed, a gravel path or water feature. This involves meticulous designing, specialist equipment, and multiple workers to execute it correctly. If you wish to landscape your garden, it is better to budget for a professional landscape artist who can facilitate the project with swift and well-prepared ease.
Needless to say, if the foundational structure of your home is damaged by water or simply by aging, it needs immediate attention. The foundations of your home are essential to your living safety. If the foundations are compromised, the very structure of your home is unsafe and can be highly vulnerable to any damage. Do not attempt to re-strengthen or replace the foundational elements of your home. Only trust a professional construction company to implement such an important project for your safety.
Laying A Driveway
The quality of your driveway affects many aspects of your home life. Firstly, if the driveway is uneven and rough, it can damage the tires of your car, wearing them out and forcing you to replace them far more often than needed. Secondly, your driveway is the first impression others will get from your home when they visit. If it is unsightly, messy, or even dangerous, it does not set your home in a good light for others. Thirdly, a well-laid, pristine driveway adds value to your home when it is time to sell up and move on.
Unfortunately, replacing your driveway can cost thousands. No matter how tempting it is, attempting to lay tarmac or gravel in your driveway without professional assistance will likely result in a job which looks unsightly and does not actually add value to your home. This is best done by highly specialist equipment and by those who can make your driveway dreams come true, providing you with a beautiful entryway to your home for years and years to come.
DIY is a fun prospect, but it is easy to bite off more than you can chew. Assess the needs of your home improvement and make a decision that will allow you to sit back, relax, and let the professionals make your dream home come to life!