Home Renovation: Know When To DIY or Call An Expert

There are many projects around the home that can be quite dangerous to undertake without the necessary formal training. Some would require specialized equipment, while others would need a specific expertise. It’s a good idea to do some research about the job, so you have an idea what rules apply in your area. If in doubt, always call on the experts to be sure.

This doesn’t mean you can’t get ANY job done on your own. Here are some popular DIY jobs you can do if you really want to get your hands dirty:

  1. PAINTING – A fresh coat or two makes a world of difference. You can do all the prep work beforehand from washing the walls, filling holes to laying drop sheets. You can be your own interior decorator by installing wallpaper yourself.
  2. GARDENING – You can take on minor landscaping projects like laying a footpath, building a wooden deck, or a garden bed. But before embarking on any project, it’s best to check with the local council for any height and size restrictions.
  3. MINOR REPAIRS & MAINTENANCE – You can easily take on minor maintenance tasks around the house, if you’re fairly handy. Small jobs like cleaning gutters, fixing door hinges, or replacing broken tiles are easy to do. You can even make sure your your pool is crystal clear by keeping the pump and filter running smoothly.

With any DIY project, factor in everything before getting started–from the time you’ll need to complete the job, to the materials and equipment you might need. It’s important to take safety into account.

When should I hire a pro?

For some projects, like plumbing, electrical, gas, air conditioning or structural building jobs, it’s always better to hire a professional. It might even be a legal requirement in your area to do so. Deciding to DIY any of these jobs might get you in trouble with a fine or worse. Insurance companies don’t usually pay up either if anything goes wrong with your handiwork.

A few jobs that you’re better off hiring a pro:

  1. ELECTRICAL – It would definitely not be in your best interest to do ANY electrical work on your own, given the many risks live electrical current pose. Results could be fatal and not worth the amount of money you think you could be saving by DIY. Changing a lightbulb is perhaps the only DIY project anyone should be attempting to do at home Leave the rest to a seasoned professional, no matter how simple the project may seem, which includes replacing a light switch, repairing appliances or even replacing a plug.  
  2. PLUMBING – Your home plumbing, roof plumbing and drainage system needs to be worked on by a licensed professional.
  3. HIRE A BUILDER – If you’re thinking of knocking down walls to open up a few rooms, you’ll need to hire a licensed builder. You’ll need their expertise to decide if the wall is structural, otherwise your ceiling or the floor above could collapse.
  4. A/C & REFRIGERATION – Why? Because you need special training to handle the chemical refrigerants.

At the end of the day, it’s all about being sensible. Feel free to get your hands dirty and embark on a few home projects, but don’t forget to get help for those tasks where you don’t have the proper expertise or training to complete.

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