Picture this: You’re up on your roof without decent fall protection. A storm has recently gone through your neighbourhood and you’ve lost a few shingles and there’s a tiny leak in the ceiling above your kitchen. Things are going fine and you’ve been nailing away at replacement shingles, when a gust of wind picks up just as you’ve got a nail gun primed. You tumble down the side of your roof, directly in the path of your neighbour’s house, and you along with all of your tools hits the side of the neighbour house, damaging it along the way. Not only have you hurt yourself, but now you might be liable for damage to your neighbour’s house as well!
This might sound a bit dramatic, but trust us, these kinds of DIY home remodeling and renovation nightmares happen all the time. Because most of us aren’t experts and haven’t seen it all when it comes to renovations, we can’t possibly know all the things that can go wrong in a project. This is why it often takes longer than we expect, costs more than we planned for, and is more of a pain in our bums that we ever thought it would be.
With that said, of course there are home projects that you can DIY. After all, there are countless websites, YouTube videos and manuals to DIY your kitchen, bathroom and other areas of your house. To guide you through what you can and can’t do, however, we’re here to save the day. The following DIY jobs are ones you definitely ought to leave to the professionals, which will allow you to stick to the jobs you know you can do yourself safely!
Sanding your floors
Taking a sander to your floors sounds simple enough. And really, it should be. But the reality of pulling up carpets and sanding down the wood floor underneath is not simple at all. The biggest thing here is that you may end up ruining the beautiful wood floor that you’ve put so much effort into. Original wood floors can’t be replaced once you’ve ruined it, so send this one to a professional. Here’s a couple more reasons why it’s best not to DIY wood floors:
- Finding the right equipment: Purchasing or even hiring a floor sander that is large enough to tackle a big room will be extremely expensive, and you’ll need to learn how to properly work it without gouging the floors. The rental machines are also usually not as powerful as professionals, meaning it will take you longer, and leaves you open to more mistakes.
- Sanding too thin: When you aren’t using good equipment, you can end up taking off too much when sanding, leading to extremely thin wood floorboards that can’t support the weight and crack easily, ruining the floor.
Demolition that hasn’t been looked at by a professional
Demolition is actually one of the fun things about home remodeling and renovation. Taking a sledgehammer and some frustrations out on sheetrock can be great fun both mentally and physically. The problem, however, lays in load bearing walls. While there’s plenty of tutorials about identifying these walls that literally hold your house up, we think it’s foolish to start tearing down walls without consulting an expert first. If you were to tear down a load bearing wall, you’re looking at structural damage that you can’t fix. Or at the least, a very big mess. Houses are built differently depending on frames and styles, so one size does not fit all when identifying these walls.
Roofing and re-shingling
Remember our scenario in the beginning of this article? A bad fall, or sometimes even deadly, can happen without the right tools like fall protection roof railings. Besides safety, there’s also some basic things that can go wrong when you try and DIY a job that’s meant for a professional. Let’s go through some of the main ones.
- Mismatched patch: While this might be the least of your worries, it’s super frustrating and easy to do. Matching new shingles to old shingles can be an absolute pain. Often when you are up on the roof matching the colours, they look like a perfect fit, but then from far away it’s quite obvious where you’ve patched up. Professionals are experienced in this and will blend in replacement shingles perfectly with your old ones.
- Time: Re-roofing is one of the most time consuming DIY projects out there. While you might save a small amount of money by doing it yourself, the time you invest will not be worth it.
- Warranties: Many roofing companies will offer a warranty with their work, meaning that you’re covered if something went wrong in a few months or even a couple of years, depending on the warranty. If you make a mistake while DIY-ing your roof, there’s no protection and you’ll need to hire all the tools again and get back up there.
- Some insulation is very difficult to install. While those with attic space can often simply lay down blankets of insulation, those with flat roofs or previous damp problems need to hire a professional to assess the type and amount of insulation.
- Tiling a bathroom sounds easy enough, and it is unless you’re dealing with a bathtub and shower area. Water leakage is quite common from poorly installed tiling or caulking in a bathroom, so it’s important you know exactly what you’re doing, or to call a professional.
- Electrical contractors are specialists, and deal with highly dangerous situations all the time. You likely do not have this experience, and it’s vital (literarily), to not take on electrical wiring yourself. Electrocution is still a common cause of death or injury, so is not something to mess with.