While those with a professional background in contracting, construction, or related trades are welcome to look away, this post is for those American who have, are, or will be attempting to complete home renovation projects alone.
Investing in your home by staying on top of updates and necessary renovations is an important part of being a responsible home owner. However, some want to add value so badly, that they are willing to complete these renos alone, even if they have never even attempted anything similar in the past. In some cases, this positive, get-to-it attitude gives great returns, however there are certain projects which only the trained and skilled should attempt. Trying to bypass hiring a professional can not only have the potential of backfiring, it can end in a total and complete disaster.
Here are some projects you should never take on unless you have the licensing to do it legally:
- Electrical Work
There are a few reasons while electricians are always in high demand. For one, even if you plan on trying to get the wiring done yourself after finding a video tutorial on YouTube, you still need to hire an electrician. Why? Because in order for you not to void your own home insurance, you need to have an electrician come and sign off on the work done. By doing so, they certify that everything is up to code and is deemed safe. If something is off, you’ll most likely end up paying him to fix it and then give his stamp of approval. Was it even worth you trying in that case? Most often the answer is no. Another reason why DIY is not the best option for electrical work is because the risks created by doing it wrong are huge. Electrical fires are a common cause for home destruction in America, and if the insurance company finds out that it was due to your “fiddling”, you’ll get no help at all.
Plumbing is heavy-duty work which requires a lot of specialized equipment and tools. However, sometimes eager DIY advocates have no problem renting the equipment and getting down to work. The problem is that there is a lot more to plumbing than putting in tubes. Like an electrician, it’s a specialized trade with a specific code which the plumber uses to make sure that you and your family are safe in your home. There are a lot of risks involved with pressure and such, so if you do end up trying to manage it yourself, be prepared to get messy and risk ruining other aspects of your house, like floors, ceilings, walls, and more. Having a good relationship with a qualified and honest plumbing service is never a bad thing. That way you have access to qualified technicians for all types of emergencies regarding your plumbing problems, no worrying or waiting for parts to get in.
- Gas Work
Installing or modifying the natural gas in your home is probably a game that you should not play. Not only is having a gas leak a big possibility with even bigger repercussions, you also need a professional’s stamp of approval, very similarly as what you need from an electrician for electrical work. The safety of your family, and that of your home insurance policy, rests in this rule.
- Structural Work
If you are looking to add value to your home with the smallest financial investment on your end, the last thing you would want to happen is to have your home sink or collapse. However, this is a real possibility for those who attempt to do structural work without a full understanding of what it entails. Putting up additions, moving walls, or opening a space should all be approved and overseen by a qualified professional. Of course, you can jump in and do the dry walling and the painting, however let the engineers calculate the bearing loads of walls and beams while you calculate the returns on your home renovation investment.
Adding value to your home through renovations can be a great way to boost your investment portfolio. However, it’s never worth it if it’s not done correctly. Always look for good quality and thoroughness when hiring a contractor to work on your home, and if you are going to do it yourself, get a second opinion on your work.