If you’re still in quarantine, you may think it’s a good time to get some projects done around the house. While we encourage you to take care of your home, it’s important not to overstep your limitations. You might watch HGTV and think how easy it looks to take on certain projects, but looks can be deceiving. HGTV must fit an entire home renovation into a 30-minute or hour-long show, so there’s plenty of editing going on. While you may consider yourself to be pretty handy, you don’t want to realize midway through a project that you’ve bitten off more than you can chew. Here we separate the projects you can do yourself from a few that are best left to the professionals.
Projects That Can Be DIY
Painting is a great way to give any room a face-lift. While you may want to save the larger projects for the pros, painting a small room is something you can easily complete with the right tools and materials.
Installing the front door
The front door is the first thing everyone sees, so be sure it makes the right impression. Some exterior doors are available prehung with a weather-stripped frame, so all you need is a few tools to install it.
Installing a fire pit
You can easily purchase a portable fire pit, but if you want to get your hands dirty and feel the joy of building something yourself, a fire pit is a way to go. It will not only improve the look of your backyard but also give you an additional entertainment spot to enjoy with company.
Changing cabinetry hardware
With a little research, you may find knobs and handles that fit your existing cabinetry better than what you have now. While it may seem like a modest change, it can have an impact on the overall aesthetic of the room.
Installing plumbing fixtures
Faucets with scratches, dulled finishes, or other wear can make your kitchen and bath look dated and even unsanitary. Try swapping out your old fixtures for new ones, and give these rooms an instant update.
When It’s Time to Call the Pros
Any major plumbing or electrical work
Whether it’s a leaking pipe from an improper install or an electrical shock–or even a fire–as the result of faulty wiring, the risks of trying to do electrical and plumbing work yourself greatly outweigh the benefits. Don’t take the chance of harming yourself or damaging your home. And there may not be a plumber or electrician readily available to come around and fix your mistake.
Removing a wall
Let’s be honest: The demo process looks like something that would be really enjoyable. But before you take a sledgehammer to an interior wall, it’s crucial to make sure it’s not load-bearing. If you tear down a load-bearing wall, your home may become structurally unsound and could even collapse.
It may seem like a straightforward job to put in a new window, but the smallest gap can cause your energy bills to increase and make your beautiful replacement windows look shabby. And if you break a window during installation or measure the opening incorrectly, you’re left with an expensive problem and nobody to blame but yourself. If you hire a professional contractor, these mistakes are far less likely to occur, and if they do, you’re not financially responsible for them.
Besides the obvious risks of standing on the top of your house, if you repair your roof improperly, you’re setting your home up for major interior damage. While it may be just a case of replacing a few missing shingles, there may be hidden issues you’re not prepared for. A bad DIY job can cause leaks in the attic or water to drain behind the siding instead of into the gutter.
A tiling project may look easy and straightforward, but when it comes time to cut tiles to fit corners or around appliances or faucets, you need real skills. Leave it to a professional to cut the tile to the exact measurements and fit it properly.
Home improvement projects are always a great way to spend your time, but be sure to know your limits. There are plenty of small projects you can accomplish yourself, but if you have any doubts about whether you need a professional, it’s best to be on the safe side and call one in. If it’s something you’re not sure you can handle, don’t take the risk.