If you’ve recently started some home repairs, or plan to soon, you no doubt have a budget to stick to. As such, you may want to do as much of the renovation work yourself as possible. While this is a good idea in theory, and certainly can help you to cut costs, it’s important to keep in mind that unless you have the necessary experience, skills, and licenses, there are certain things you should steer clear of.
Many jobs are too dangerous to do yourself, and if you do them incorrectly or hurt yourself or anyone else in the process, the expenses you have to deal with as a result (not to mention the other negative consequences) can be hugely costly and cause long-ranging problems in your life.
It’s wise to be strategic about which renovation work you do and which things you choose to outsource to a qualified professional. Here’s what you need to consider as you plan out your remodeling projects.
Jobs to Leave to Professionals
There are multiple jobs which aren’t the best for a DIYer to do. For example, if you know your property was built at a time when asbestos was used, be careful not to knock down walls or ceilings if you don’t know what dangers could be hidden. Professionals who have the right training and licenses in asbestos removal must always be called to get the substance out. They will come in and test, first, to confirm it’s asbestos, and then remove the toxic material with specialized equipment.
Any kind of structural work needs to be handled by a qualified tradesperson, too. People with experience in building and carpentry, etc., know how to knock out internal walls and other structures safely, without the risk of a ceiling collapsing(whether inside a home or on a patio, deck, carport or other space).
Electrical work is also dangerous and needs to be conducted by an electrician. Check out the electrical safety tips AHS.com provides for more details, but in general say no to most electrical-related jobs apart from changing lightbulbs. For instance, steer clear of repairing appliances, replacing lead plugs or light switches, installing new power points, or handling switchboards, electrical sockets, and other equipment and fittings with live wires.
Other things to put on your leave-it-to-the-professionals list are:
- Gas-related jobs
- Laying floors
- Heating and cooling work
- Glazier tasks
- Extensive landscaping
Jobs You Can Tackle Yourself
Happily, there are plenty of jobs you can tackle yourself, even with limited experience. For example, why not look at researching and purchasing materials and other goods needed for your renovation, provided you know the sizings and specifications your contractor has for doing the installations.
Another good job for people interested in DIY is painting. It can be a little finicky and has a bit of a learning curve to begin with if you don’t have experience (especially when cutting in around architraves, windows, cornices, etc.), but once you get some practice in you should find this task a good fit. Doing it will save you considerable money, too.
Make sure you spend time preparing your painting jobs before you start, as this will help you to get better results. For example, wash walls before you paint them, fill holes with putty and sand them back once dry, tape up areas you don’t want to get paint on and lay drop sheets before you start using liquids.
Similarly, plastering is something suited to homeowners. To get you started, watch some of the many how-to videos that the major plaster manufacturers publish on their websites or YouTube specifically to help novices.
Other jobs you can tackle yourself include light demolition work that doesn’t require the use of chainsaws, sledgehammers, and other big tools (for example, sensibly remove unwanted carpet, cabinets, fixtures and fittings, appliances, floorboards, moldings, tile work, etc.); simple gardening work; and basic tiling jobs in small spaces.
Before you start doing any work on the renovations at your property, think about the dos and don’ts listed above. By tackling the tasks that are okay to do and leaving the rest for professionals, you’ll keep yourself and others safe, and save money over the long run, too.