All homeowners have lists of problems they would like to fix, and it's often tempting to take things into your own hands and do some repairs yourself. While do-it-yourself projects can save you money, they can drain your time, and can even be dangerous. While it's good to be confident, it's easy to get in over your head in home improvement, and that's a recipe for unfinished projects and a lackluster result during your next home inspection. Here's a guide to the DIY projects you shouldn't attempt:
While it might be reasonable for you to rewire a faulty floor lamp, in-wall electrical systems are often best left to a professional. The current that runs through your home is enough to do some serious damage if you get your wires crossed, and without a thorough understanding of how home circuits work, the chances of you making a mistake are relatively high. Even if you make it through the initial wiring challenges unscathed, electrical issues can build up over time. A simple mistake, such as nailing an in-wall wire down too tightly, can result in a fire hazard that stays in your wall for years on end.
Tiling a bathroom
Tiling is not a particularly difficult task, but you may not want to grout that bathroom yourself. While there's little doubt that you could complete the job, it's going to be a long slog with plenty of time spent kneeling on a hard floor. With many DIY prospects, it's important to weigh the money you'll save against the time you'll spend. While it will cost some money to hire a professional tiler, they will undoubtedly finish the job quickly. If you start things yourself, that might not be the case.
Plumbing issues resemble electrical problems in their complexity, and it's easy to wade into danger without realizing it. Many homes feature aging plumbing systems that have been poorly maintained over the years. If you start fiddling with this complex balancing act as an amateur, you risk causing serious problems that may not reveal themselves for months or years. Of course, when plumbing fails, the results are catastrophic, and can include severe water damage that affects your home and possessions. Call a pro when dealing with anything more than a clogged toilet.
Sometimes it seems trivial to knock out a wall and expand one room into another. While demolishing the wall might be simple, the structural damage that action wreaks on your house could be very significant. Most amateur builders have a limited understanding of their home's structural requirements, and removing a critical load-bearing part of the structure can create problems that don't reveal themselves until much later. To avoid having your bedroom fall through the ceiling into your kitchen, leave major structural work to someone who knows construction.
It might look easy to climb up on the roof and fix some shingles with a hammer, but think twice before you get out the ladder. Crawling around on a roof can be an easy way to end up in the hospital, and the risk might not be worth it: If you don't know what you're doing, your shoddy roofing work could lead to leaks and other hard-to-fix damages.
Even if you stick to simple projects, it's important to avoid getting overwhelmed by a new DIY endeavor. Always make sure you have the proper tools to complete a task before you start, and do research to plan your task ahead of time. Nothing is more dispiriting than a half-finished project, so make sure you have everything you need to succeed up front.