Hands Off When It Comes to These Home Repair Projects
Your reasons for doing repairs yourself are clear enough: It saves money, makes for a fun hobby, and gives you a sense of pride in your own skills with a hammer, screwdriver, or paintbrush. But DIY has a dark side that few people talk about.
Many things could go wrong and lead to a trip to the emergency room. You could fall off a ladder or electrocute yourself, not to mention cut, slash, or stab your hands and feet using any number of power tools that are much more intense than you might think. Then there’s the risk of a botched job that does even more damage to your home.
However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t tackle something simple like replacing a leaky faucet or patching a hole in the drywall, but certain parts of the home or its systems are better left to the professionals. Here’s a quick walkthrough for each one.
One mistake when repairing the foundation could harm the integrity of your entire house, so hands off. In fact, it may take a structural engineer to properly diagnose the problems that caused those bowed or leaning walls and floor cracks, as well as a whole host of specialized tools to fix them. Get ready for a hefty bill, though, as this work costs around $6,000 on average.
If you want to do roof repairs on your own, there’s the risk of taking a nasty spill from the top of your house to consider, but that’s not all. Damaging or loosening a single tile while walking on the roof could lead to water leaking into your attic during the next rainstorm. This would become a much more difficult problem to deal with, making bringing in a professional to repair your roof a worthwhile investment (the average roof repair costs $650). If your roof is not repairable, you’ll have to get it replaced which is quite costly ($4,900 - $14,100 according to Angie’s List).
Shock: That one word accurately describes why fiddling around with the wiring is not a wise decision. Besides that, your electrical system is much more complex than you think, requiring real expertise, as opposed to a bit of amateur internet research. Unfortunately, the price tag may rise to around $5,000 for serious upgrades.
Attempting to fix your heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system will expose you to high-voltage electricity, toxic fumes, and flammable gases. That’s too much for an amateur to handle, and the bill for proper service could be as low as $40, according to the experts at Neworx, though a refrigerant leak could easily increase that figure into the thousands.
The danger in mending a broken furnace, boiler, stove, or oven can be summed up in two words: carbon monoxide. When this colorless, odorless gas leaks inside your home in large volumes, the results are often deadly. As such, get ready to shell out a few hundred dollars to make the problem go away without getting your hands dirty.
Water leaks can do a lot of damage. That means there’s no time for a weekend DIY warrior to learn how to replace pipes, buy the materials, and finish the job before things get out of control. For basic plumbing services, you’ll pay between $45 and $65 per hour for most visits from a plumber.
This is basically your home’s sewage system. Do you want to deal with that? No, of course not. It’s extremely unpleasant, not to mention toxic and hazardous to your health. Unfortunately, repairs could run into the tens of thousands of dollars if you need a new leach field, for example. In other words, hire someone to help you deal with septic tank issues when they arise.
Before You Get Started on Any Repairs
Whenever you do repairs on your home, it’s incredibly important to get quotes from multiple professionals. Also, don’t be afraid to ask them some difficult questions about their qualifications and experience. Before they set to work on repairing your home, put furniture and decorations in storage so they don’t get damaged or interfere with the work. Remember to include this price in your overall budget for the renovations.
When the work’s all done, you may feel a twinge of regret at not having tackled it all yourself. However, that’s a small price to pay for your health and safety, as well as the quality craftsmanship from a seasoned professional.
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