Entire cable stations devoted to the do-it-yourself lifestyle have empowered homeowners to try their hand at becoming a contracting pro. This zeal to become the next Bob Vila has led to disastrous home additions, unsafe buildings, and homeowners with big bills and unfinished projects. Some projects are the perfect venue for the DIY culture. Other projects should be left to contractors and construction pros.
1. Home additions and structural work: Erecting solid walls isn’t the only project required for a new addition. A homeowner must also deal with laying the foundation, getting the electrical system right, and even installing the plumbing. The number of responsibilities for a DIY home addition are too great to list and beyond the scope of the average homeowner’s skill set.
2. Replacing the plumbing: Old homes usually need new plumbing systems and new homes occasionally suffer from a burst pipe or a mysterious leak. Replacing one of the pipes under the sink is an appropriate DIY project. Replacing all the pipes in the wall of the bathroom is definitely something to leave to the professionals. What a hassle it would be to handle a giant repair job and close up the wall, only to find that a leak remains.
3. Security systems and alarm installation: Store-bought home security equipment might be easy to install, but it’s not going to be monitored and there’s no guarantee that the devices will keep thieves and criminals out of the home. If a homeowner chooses it, a professional system offers active monitoring as well as a system where everything is connected and part of a live barrier of security protection.
4. Repair or replacement of the electrical system: New wiring of any kind tends to be a project best left to someone who has experience with the complexities of home wiring schemes. Major rewiring requires observance of city building codes, and a homeowner won’t know these specifics. Additionally, improper installation of electrical wires could create a fire hazard in the home. Old wires are dangerous, but improperly installed wires are just as much of a danger to families.
5. Paving the driveway: Whether a homeowner chooses beautiful paving stones or a traditional slab of concrete, the art of a smooth driveway is a project that could take a homeowner months. Paving crews take no more than a few hours to complete the entire job and a homeowner won’t have to live without a driveway for months and months until the last paving stone is in place. A DIY driveway is an excruciatingly long project, even if a homeowner manages to get the job done without error.
6. Knocking walls down: The idea of an “open concept” floor plan is a popular topic in real estate and home improvement conversations, but this project could lead to disaster and a destabilizing of the entire structure of the home. A house is built with important beams and supports that must not be moved or cut. Doing so means that the house could collapse without warning.
Don’t destroy a dream home by starting projects that are too complex and which require professional experience to complete. Homes today have many safety codes and regulations that must be followed, and a DIY homeowner could get in trouble by trying to take on a project that’s too complex and dangerous.