10 home remodeling projects you shouldn’t DIY
Major home structural changes
Go with a pro when it comes to making major structural changes like a bathroom remodel or building a deck. A contractor or architect can navigate tricky permits and licensing laws, and help avoid potentially dangerous situations.
Home electrical work
"You usually don't get a second chance with electricity,” Michael Johnston, executive director of standards and safety for the National Electrical Contractors Association told WalletPop. “It's not a job for a handyman."
Many building departments and homeowner’s insurance policies require that you get a permit, hire a licensed electrician and get an inspection if you want any electrical work done.
I’m all for the “out with the old, in with the new” mantra, but before you start swinging a sledgehammer, you may want to rethink this potentially dangerous project.
Beyond the risks of asbestos, lead paint dust and other hazardous materials, do you really know what’s behind the walls of your home? Gas pipes, water lines and live electrical wires are just a few of the dangers.
Adding custom features to your home
You may think you’re putting a personal touch on your home, but adding a funky color palette or guitar-shaped swimming pool may make your house less desirable on the market.
“Buyers want something unusual but not too quirky, such as a great curved or angled wall, a few limestone columns, a walk-in fireplace,” builder Orren Pickell told Chicago Tribune.
The bottom line: Strange homes don’t sell.
Home plumbing projects
Some plumbing projects can be tackled with minimal expertise – like maintaining your toilet or showerhead. When it comes to bigger projects, like putting in a bathtub or tackling a kitchen renovation, this detail is best left to a skilled pro. Mistakes can lead to leaky faucets or worse yet, damaged pipes or waterlogged walls down the road.
DIY tree removal
“Do It Yourself Tree Removal” ranks No. 1 on the DIY website HomeFixated.com’s list of projects to not DIY.
What could possibly go wrong with tall trees with power tools? Oh, heavy branches, sharp blades, telephone wires, and the possibility of 15-ft. falls – to start. Steer clear of taking this dangerous project to DIY task and hire an arborist.
Emergency roof repairs
So, a cyclone straight out of the “Wizard of Oz” just descended upon your house, making patches of your roof look like Swiss cheese. (Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration.) Fixing post-storm damage is a top priority, but don’t.
There are professionals capable of scaling rooftops and cleaning up the aftermath of such disasters. Plus, they can pin down additional structural weaknesses to help protect your home in the future.
Faux artistic finishes
This painting technique may seem easy, but faking a realistic stone or wood grain effect takes more than paint, a sponge and online tutorial. Many decorative styles take real artistic skill and years to perfect.
If you want your walls to look like they were painted by a Renaissance great, leave the art of painted illusion to the pros.
DIY animal removal
The baby squirrel that took up residence in your chimney was cute for a hot second, but now it’s getting bigger and needs to find new digs. Before you take on DIY wildlife removal (think bats, snakes, skunks and raccoons), consider the risk of bites, rabies or falling off roofs and ladders. Nothing destroys the fun of a DIY project quite like an aggressive mama animal attack.
Building your own backyard fence
If you survive the arduous task of digging post holes (unless you splurge for a power auger), there’s still math and geometry to contend with. Setting and stretching a fence is a tough DIY project and making everything level and lineup is easier said than done.