I know...it's all over the internet, Pinterest, Twitter, TikTok, Insta, Facebook - you name it and you will find exclamations of DIY!! No need to hire anyone!! Well...as a Realtor®, homeowner,
DIY Projects Best Left for the Experts
Dated: September 13 2022
I know...it's all over the internet, Pinterest, Twitter, TikTok, Insta, Facebook - you name it and you will find exclamations of DIY!! No need to hire anyone!! Well...as a Realtor®, homeowner, wife, and veteran - I will tell you that some things are better left to a professional.
For instance, I have some friends in the real estate business that have been around for a while and simply wanted a budget-friendly way of updating their kitchen. They contemplated doing it themselves, but woke up from that dream, particularly because they do not have that much free time on their hands. They got quotes and estimates and landed a contractor. The contractor knew them, knew what they wanted, and went to work. Little did they know that those original kitchen cabinets were custom-made and not so easy to remove. To remove one, they had to remove everything. Removing all the cabinets led to having to redo more flooring than anticipated because the flooring ran into a room that was not intended for upgrades.
What would the DIY'er do in a similar situation? Was it supposed to be a quick weekend project? Did they even intend on replacing the flooring? Will they have time to get estimates and the best deal on new flooring when they discover what happened? More than likely, this DIY project would turn into an "I'll get to it when I get to it" and it will be put to the side. Maybe a month, two months, or a year goes by and the DIY'er gets back up the energy and gumption to tackle the project or they finally break down and hire the contractor they should have hired from the get-go. This is the same for taking down that one wall that makes your house too separated. You may not know how to tell if that wall is a load-bearing wall or if there are a lot of electrical wires and/or pipes running behind the wall.
Another nightmare of a DIY project is installing those really pretty Freestanding Soaking Tubs that sit on the floor. We bought our house about a year ago and unbeknownst to us - the very elegant-looking soaking tub was not installed correctly. Luckily, the bathtub is on the first story and it did not cause any foundational issues. However, we discovered that when you drain the bathtub the seal was not done correctly for the plumbing and most of the water was draining outside of the pipe. You got it!! Directly under the house and out the brick wall. Had the sellers hired a decent contractor to install the soaking tub, they may have changed their minds about this particular tub, since it is a nightmare to install properly. Or, they would have had the plumbing properly secured instead of just setting the tub on top of the drain with hopes that the soaking tub does not shift at all (which it did and what caused the issue).
Electricity!! Well...this one seems like a given when it comes to DIY projects. If you are not well-versed in how electricity works, let me give you one word that comes to mind - ELECTROCUTION!! This might be the biggest reason to hire a professional to come out and deal with certain electrical issues. I am not saying that you can't replace your electrical outlet - just make sure you turn off all the power. But, I am saying that in-depth electrical jobs should be left to the professional. You would not want an electrical fire to start within the walls of your home.
Roofing and Decking - let's just say, it seems like an easy task to get up there and nail down that loose roof shingle. But, what happens if you slip and take out more shingles than you went up there to fix in the first place? Or you don't just slip, you actually fall off the roof and are unable to work? Is your disability insurance going to cover all your finances? Do you even have short-term or long-term disability insurance? Is this something that you are willing to risk just to save a few dollars? Or, there might be something else wrong than just that loose shingle. It may have been loose longer than you thought and it's developed a leak that you need to take care of before that portion of your ceiling collapses. Roofs do need to be properly maintained - they should be pressure-washed occasionally to remove harmful algae or mold that may build up and make your roof compromised.
Let's talk about Landscaping! Please go out and mow your grass, weed your yard, and plant some pretty flowers that you will take care of. However, if you plan on putting in an irrigation system - leave that up to the professionals. There are numerous companies that you need to call and coordinate with before you start digging up your yard to ensure that you're not digging into gas or water pipes, or electrical lines. These mistakes could be life-threatening or they could wind up costing you a lot more than having hired a professional.
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