While everyone is talking about doing your own repairs, we thought we would discuss the repairs you should not do on your own. Performing home improvements, appliance repairs, and other such projects on your own is a great way of saving money. You have so many resources at your disposal to complete these projects: employees at your local home improvement store, experts on their personal blogs, and video tutorials on various websites. These can all help you complete a project accurately and safely.
However, there are certain projects and certain appliances that you should never undertake yourself. As safe as you intend to be, an accident with one of these appliances or improvements can lead to serious injuries, to you or to others. In some cases, they can lead to death. So, if you have a project you are planning on doing yourself, consider if it falls under one of the following. We want everyone to stay safe.
There is so much that can go wrong with equipment that is gas powered, industrial-use appliances have warning labels plastered all over them. Home appliances do as well, but people have become so blind to signage they go unnoticed. Gas appliances should never be worked on by yourself (unless you are a qualified expert with training and experience). If anything goes wrong with your gas furnace or water heater, call it in. The same goes for an oven or gas fueled dryer.
You may think you have fixed the problem, but the risk remains that it was not done completely. There is also the chance of doing further damage to the appliance, damage that could result in an undiscovered gas leak. If a leak occurs, the natural gas could fill the house and cause major health issues to you and your family; the gas could even suffocate them. You also risk the chance of catching the house on fire, especially if there are sources of heat or sparks (such as a cigarette). The house, as well as your neighbor’s house, could get caught in an explosion. While everyone wants to save money wherever they can, this is one area you do not want to risk it. Call in the professional.
You do not want to mess with wires either. It is one thing to install a new ceiling fan, the fixture is designed to just have the wires plug into them, and the wires in the ceiling are left out for that purpose. But to move those wires around, or attempt to install your own wiring to give a room an additional power outlet or to brighten a corner is not a good idea. There is a lot to consider when dealing with electricity, and if you do not have the proper training to understand all of these factors, then you should not handle the wiring.
Electrical currents and voltages should not be taken lightly. It takes professional electricians years to comprehend all of the eccentricities involved in their craft. While it may seem like a good idea to just add some wires into the circuit breaker and run it through the attic then back down into the mini wall you installed between the kitchen and the living room, it is not that simple. How strong is the current going through the wires? Can the circuit take the load going through it?
Handled improperly, the wiring in your home could become a danger to your family as well. Mishandled or exposed wires could spark and catch the house on fire. You could go to plug an appliance into your newly-installed outlet, only to get electricuted. To save yourself from a potential trip to the hospital – or worse – have a licensed professional perform the electrical work for you.
Home Improvement shows are everywhere. You can’t turn the TV on without finding one of these shows airing. They have somehow replaced the Saturday morning cartoons, and even the kids are enjoying them. They have, however, created a problem among DIYers. People are demolishing parts of their homes in an effort to replicate the effects they see in these shows. Without realizing it, where they may be taking out part of a wall to open the area up, they are actually causing structural stress to their homes.
They do not understand that not all walls are there to simply hide the the beams and guts of the house. Some are in place for a purpose, usually to support the weight of the roof or second floor in that part of the house. If there is a wall you want to take out, consult a professional before you do. They may tell you that it is a load bearing wall and what you were wanting to do on your own should not be done – at least not without a contractor’s help.
The same goes for your basement. Do not try to remove beams and pillars in an attempt to create a secondary living space or an additional room or two (doing this may require a building permit, anyway). You may not realize it, but those pieces of wood are there for a reason, and to remove them could cause part of your house to collapse into the basement.
Some things you see in these shows just cannot be replicated, as much as you may wish it so. To force the issue would be to create stress on your home’s structure, risking cracks, breaks, and implosions.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing repairs on your own. Not spending money on a contractor is a good reason to do them yourself. DIY projects also come with a sense of accomplishment. However, there are some things you should not do on your own. One of these days, you may become the expert with the blog, or the guy in the tutorial video, but not for these things; not without the proper training.
Be safe. Keep your family from having to go through the ordeal of a burned-down house or a hospital-ridden handyman. Your neighbors are also depending on you to keep your DIY projects from affecting them as well. There is nothing worse than having your next door neighbor tell you they told you so.