While the dictionary definition of a homeowner comes down to a person who simply owns a home, in reality, there’s much more to it. You see, what a lot of people don’t tell you is that owning a house is a lot of work. The amount of maintenance that has to take place here is incredible, the utility bill is several times larger than if you were to live in an apartment and things get broken all the time.
Sure, apartments also encounter malfunction but unless an appliance is broken, there is a significant chance that fixing the issue will be someone else’s responsibility. In a house, you at least know that it is all down to you. Same goes for home improvements.
Now, while a lot of homeowners take a substantial amount of pride in being self-reliant, sometimes, the problem in question is a bit out of their league. Not only can trying to fix an electrical circuit without any previous knowledge be unlikely but it is also life-threatening. Furthermore, even with the fixes that don’t pose a danger to your life, there is always a chance that you will make the things worse, which will result in a heftier repair cost further down the line.
At the end of the day, being a homeowner requires you to be responsible and with this in mind, here are some fixes and house improvements that you don’t want to deal with on your own. Instead, you should entrust them to trained and equipped professionals, like a responsible adult.
1. Projects involving electrical hazards
There is a reason why we named the risk of electrocution in the very introduction, seeing as how on its own, this phenomenon causes about 4000 injuries each year. Apart from this, about 400 people get electrocuted to death on an annual basis, which is a horrifying statistic. From the financial standpoint, about $1.6 billion in property damage are a direct result of laymen repair attempts, while the side-effects cause about $4 billion of damage in total. This is probably why projects involving electrical hazards are always best left to professionals.
Unlike with electrical issues, plumbing is usually a field where there is no immediate life-threatening hazard. This comes with both positive and a negative side. On the up-side, some of the minor plumbing problems you can easily fix on your own. We are talking about the low pressure, slow draining sink and a running toilet.
The downside of this is the fact that such minor projects may give one self-confidence to attempt an even more complicated repair, which usually ends up further messing things up. Not only will this result in a serious property damage but also cause a problem that is even more expensive to repair by a professional. In other words, calling your plumber right away will cost you less than calling him after you’ve already tried to DIY remedy the situation.
Still, in order to do as much damage control as possible, you might want to inquire about the location of your household’s main valve, so that you can turn it off in a case of a leak.
3. Structural changes
The next thing that needs to find its place on this list is the issue of structural changes to your home. Now, a lot of people mistake structural changes with cosmetic ones, which are fairly easy to pull off DIY (most of the time). With structural changes, however, you are changing the property’s floor plan, moving walls and altering the overall living space of your property. Needless to say, this is quite dangerous and even creates a hazard of seriously damaging your home in the process.
On the other hand, the fact that you are hiring a contractor doesn’t mean that your work here is done. You still need to prepare the grounds for this project by cleaning out the outdoors for an easier commute and protecting your furniture by placing it in a storage unit. Keep in mind that you will have to act quickly, which is why a local storage facility is your safest bet. For instance, people remodeling in homes in Victoria probably want to look for a storage Melbourne facility, rather than go further in their search.
Finally, while roofing may not be perceived as something that difficult, it still takes place at a great height. In fact, about a third of all fall-related fatalities in the construction business is attributed to the fall from the roof. Apart from this, the risk of you doing a poor job (especially with no previous experience) is quite substantial and, seeing as how the roof covers a large portion of your home, this isn’t something that will go unnoticed.
Apart from this, roofing is a lengthy and arduous process, which is why you need to put these things on paper and try to calculate whether taking so many off-days to finish it on your own is actually worth it. Keep in mind, though, that you might need those off-days later on and that during this leave you aren’t likely to recharge your batteries (which is what they are for in the first place). In other words, while a lot of people believe that a DIY is always a money-saving idea, it doesn’t necessarily have to be so.
At the end of the day, you need to keep in mind that the safety is not the only reason to outsource some of your home improvement projects. You see, the cost of pulling off a DIY project may be greater than the one of just hiring a contractor.
First of all, you would have to get all the right equipment. Second, you would have the purchase the materials yourself, while a contractor can probably get them at a better price. Finally, a professional can wrap the project up faster than you can and seeing as how the time is money, pulling a DIY operation in such a situation puts you at a clear financial loss.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should hire a professional to install a beaded board or install a new faucet but in a situation where you need a major repair or remodeling, it is probably the best choice, both financially and safety-wise.
Bio: David Koller is a freelance blogger passionately interested in minor house fixes and home décor.