Home improvement projects can seem deceptively easy and straightforward. After all, how hard could it be to install some new flooring, update the kitchen cabinets, or give the bathroom a makeover? While some minor renovations like painting or decorating can likely be handled by ambitious DIYers, major home upgrades are best left to the professionals.
The Importance of Hiring a Professional
In September 2022, the data from home insurance claim statistics showed that 6% of insured homes made a claim in 2020. The majority of these were for property damage. Faulty electrical work, leaky plumbing, structural damage, and other issues caused by inexperienced DIYers can lead to expensive repairs, injuries, and even loss of life.
Hiring a licensed, bonded, and insured contractor significantly reduces the risks associated with home renovations. Professionals have the skills, experience, and proper tools to complete projects correctly and safely. They can also pull necessary permits, provide certified inspections and warranties, and prevent costly mistakes that often plague DIY jobs. With the peace of mind that comes from expert workmanship, the added cost of hiring a pro is well worth it.
Home Improvement Projects You Shouldn’t DIY
While no two homes or DIYers are alike, the following major home upgrades should generally be left to the experts.
Repiping or replacing major plumbing supply lines in a home is an enormously complex job that requires specialized skills and tools. Plumbers must correctly plan new pipe routes, join fittings, transition between pipe materials, support the pipes properly, pressure test for leaks, and more. With the rising trend of homes moving toward tankless water heaters for their numerous benefits, many homeowners seek out reviews to find the best units available. Specifically, the Navien tankless water heater reviews provide insightful information on one of the leading brands in the market.
Even small mistakes in any step of a plumbing project can easily lead to catastrophic water damage, flooding, mold growth, rotting walls and foundations, high ongoing water bills due to leaks, and other expensive issues. The average homeowner does not have the necessary expertise to complete a repiping successfully.
Correctly running new supply lines means understanding building codes, working in tight spaces, sweating copper joints, using power tools properly, and working with all types of pipes from PEX to cast iron. For major plumbing projects like repiping, always hire a professional plumber with the skills, experience, and proper equipment to do the job safely and correctly.
2. Electrical System Upgrades
Taking on electrical projects without proper training and licensure is extremely dangerous and should never be attempted by amateur DIYers. Faulty electrical work often leads to fires, electrocution, damaged appliances, and other serious safety hazards. Even seemingly simple tasks like installing a new light fixture, upgrading wiring, or replacing an electrical panel can go horribly wrong if not done correctly.
Electrical systems involve complex components like load calculations, short circuit ratings, conduit bending, proper grounding, and more. The average homeowner does not have the necessary skills or knowledge. All electrical projects should only be handled by licensed electricians who have undergone multi-year training programs and apprenticeships to become certified experts.
3. HVAC Installation
Taking on the installation of a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system without professional HVAC contractor expertise is extremely ill-advised. HVAC systems have specific technical requirements for load calculations, ductwork design, wiring, refrigerant handling, permits, and more. Improper installation often leads to system failures, frequent repairs, exorbitant energy bills, inadequate heating or cooling, mold risks, and poor indoor air quality.
HVAC contractors employ teams who have undertaken multi-year training programs to become experts in all aspects of residential and commercial HVAC systems. They use advanced software and analysis to properly size new systems for your home’s specific needs. The team handles all ductwork design, plumbing, electrical requirements, permitting, and inspections. This comprehensive approach maximizes performance and provides the peace of mind that comes with certified, warrantied workmanship.
4. Gas Line Installations
Gas line leaks from faulty installations or repairs can lead to deadly fires and explosions. The average DIYer does not have the specialized training needed to safely handle gas line projects. All gas line installations, extensions, appliance hookups, and repairs should only be performed by licensed plumbers with specific gas line expertise.
Professional plumbers follow strict protocols and building codes to ensure no risks of leaks, fires, or explosions. Licensure also requires gas line plumbers to carry liability insurance and bonding to cover any potential mistakes. It is recommended not to take risks with DIY gas line projects, as the consequences can be catastrophic.
5. Mold Remediation
Attempting DIY mold removal often exacerbates the problem due to improper containment and cleanup protocols. Mold spores easily spread to other areas of the home if not properly contained and can be inhaled during removal, posing health risks. Large-scale mold growth requires professional mold remediation for a safe, effective solution.
Remediation experts use specialized tools like HEPA vacuums, air scrubbers, dehumidifiers, protective gear, and antimicrobial solutions to fully contain, kill, and safely remove all mold from the home while following industry standards. They also properly dispose of contaminated materials. Improper mold cleanup, like using bleach or painting over mold, allows spores to remain and continue spreading.
Don’t risk inadvertently making a mold issue worse through DIY attempts. Hire certified mold remediation pros to fix the problem right.
6. Asbestos Removal
Asbestos exposure through improper removal techniques can be deadly, causing serious diseases like mesothelioma, lung cancer, and more. Never attempt to disturb or remove asbestos yourself. Specialized training, protective equipment, and containment procedures are mandatory.
Always hire a professional asbestos abatement contractor for removal. They will isolate the work area, wear respirators and protective suits, use specialized vacuums and disposal techniques, conduct air monitoring, and more. Certification is required for asbestos removal professionals under EPA regulations for safety. Protect yourself and your family by leaving asbestos removal to the experts.
7. Lead Paint Removal
Lead paint dust is highly toxic if inhaled or ingested, especially to young children. It can lead to developmental issues and serious health conditions. Removing lead paint without proper training on containment, personal protective equipment, waste handling, and cleanup methods can dangerously contaminate an entire home.
Professional lead abatement contractors are the only safe option for removing lead paint. They follow protocols to eliminate lead dust and residue completely. Certification in lead-safe work practices is required. Don’t risk your or your family’s health; always hire lead abatement pros.
While DIYers may be tempted to save money by tackling major home upgrades themselves, certain projects require skills, tools, and expertise the average homeowner simply doesn’t have. Electrical, plumbing, HVAC, roofing, structural, and other complex renovations should always be left to trained, licensed professionals.
Executing these projects safely and correctly the first time avoids the headaches, hazards, and costs of DIY repairs gone wrong. Hiring a pro to handle the heavy lifting of complicated home improvements provides peace of mind and protects your most valuable investment – your home.