6 DOs and DON’Ts of DIY
Be it Mr. Fix-It, Weekend Warrior, or whatever you call yourself this week, from Pinterest, to YouTube tutorials and, hey, even Hack-a-Day, people are becoming more invested in their home ownership and are taking a proactive approach to home maintenance.
In fact, some of you are probably planning some weekend projects right now! …that or they’re being planned FOR you. Sorry, guys. Hate to burst your bubble.
Yes, the weekend is the perfect time to take stock of what needs to be done around the house, and there are plenty of things that people can do by themselves quite easily, maybe even with a little bit of help. Nothing like installing a light fixture for some father/son bonding, right?
There are a few things, though, that are probably better left to the professionals. It might be tempting to try them yourself to save money, but it’ll end up costing you more in the long run.
1) Internal Systems
Electrical, plumbing, HVAC… …seriously. Just don’t. I don’t care how easy it looks on TV, the risks of being electrocuted, flooding your house, or seriously damaging your air ducts in the dog days of summer just isn’t worth it.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Installing a dimmer switch, caulking your bathtub or changing the air vent is one thing, but for the heavier projects, call the professional. Believe me, it’s nothing personal. These guys have been to SCHOOL to do what they do and they do it every day. You, however, do not.
You wouldn’t want to put them out of a job, right? Right!
It’s a long way to the ground while clutching a toolbox and shingles on a ladder perched on a roof at a 45 degree angle. You can probably safely patch a couple of shingles on a flat roof on your own, but chances are, you don’t have either the equipment or expertise to repair a roof of any greater magnitude.
Not without severely damaging it… …or you.
Hopefully the words “highly combustable” have scared most of you away from this job. For the rest of you, the risk of gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning might be pretty dissuasive.
Again, way too much that can go wrong and no room for error.
Well… with all the NO’s of DIY, is there anything left?
1) Hardware Installation
Light fixtures, faucets, light cabinetry, doors, doorhandles, you name it. Most of these can be bought at local hardware stores, and not only is there helpful staff to make sure that everything is compatible with your existing home setup, they typically come with a detailed manual. So, as long as you follow the instructions (and don’t have any “extra” pieces left over), you should be fine.
2) Curb Appeal
Painting in the movies or sit-coms is typically a recipe for lots of slapstick comedy and a big mess. In real life, though, it’s one of the easiest weekend projects you can accomplish. Find the right paint and primer for your surface, call a couple of friends over, and get to work! Just remember. You can never have too many drop cloths … …or friends.
This might also be the perfect time to fix the deck, plant a garden, sod the lawn or lay stones for the patio. The only limit is your stamina and how many pounds you can lift.
That and the heat. Stay hydrated!
3) Unclog the Sink
Okay, this is one of the few plumbing projects that you CAN do… …but don’t go crazy. If the clog is more involved than a simple plunger or replacing the grease trap, it may be time to call a professional on this one. Otherwise, hit YouTube and have at it!
What ever projects you have lined up this weekend, be safe, know your limits, and have fun.
First Baldwin Insurance