When your home needs repairs, it’s tempting to try to do them yourself to save on labor costs. But there’s a difference between tackling a quick, straightforward job and taking on an elaborate project that requires tools and expertise you may not have. Here are three home repairs that most homeowners need some professional help completing.
Patching a small leak, replacing a damaged shingle and installing a basic roof is something some homeowners can handle, but the bigger a project is, the more time and equipment it takes.
Affordable Comfort cautions, attempt DIY roof repairs only if you’re comfortable with heights, have plenty of time and the right safety gear to ensure no one gets hurt. Extensive roofing jobs require the right timing, so if doing it yourself means you’ll have to hurry or sacrifice accuracy in your repairs to get it done on time, call a pro. In some cases, the cost of renting ladders and scaffolding and disposing of old roofing reduces the savings you can expect from doing it yourself. In the end, hiring a roofing company can be a bargain.
Minor foundation cracks create a way for moisture and insects to enter your home. Over time, they tend to expand and can lead to more significant leaks, mold growth and damage to surrounding structures.
A-Best Foundation Repair explains that small cracks could be a manageable DIY project, provided you’ve done your research and have the proper materials. Powdered concrete patch is available at most hardware stores, and the better epoxy kits used by contractors can be purchased online. With a few household tools and an hour or two, it’s something you can do yourself.
Large cracks, however, could signal structural instability and, since that’s a safety issue, it’s best evaluated by an expert who can determine what’s causing them and how to fix them safely.
Working with electricity is a tricky business, and it’s critical to follow safety procedures to the letter. Simple tasks are within a knowledgeable homeowner’s capability, like installing a dimmer switch, replacing a simple light fixture or wiring a doorbell. Projects more complicated than that are just too risky — especially if your existing wiring is old or irregular. If the repair requires working with gas lines, it could even be illegal in your area.
Wesco Systems warns that before considering DIY electrical work, talk to your local planning office about regulations and permits. If a fire results from faulty wiring, it’s possible that your homeowner’s insurance won’t pay for the damage, so following code is a must. When it comes to extensive electrical repairs, call a professional if you are not 100% confident that you can perform them with the same level of expertise.
If you have the skills, equipment and confidence to perform these home repairs yourself, you can save money and feel a sense of well-earned pride for a job well done. Do it yourself when you can, but when in doubt, leave it to the pros.
If you are repairing your home before you put it on the market or you are looking for a new place, let us help you!