Maintaining and repairing your home DIY-style can be fulfilling in dozens of ways. It helps you feel more connected to your home, and it can help you save money while reducing your environmental waste. After all, if you have the stuff around your home to complete a home project, you don’t have to invest in brand-new materials that have a more significant environmental toll. Repairing instead of replacing is a solid part of sustainable home ownership.
Yet, even though you should DIY as much as you can, there are some home repairs you might want to leave to the experts. Instead of risking your safety or the security of your home, you should hire pros for the following home tasks:
In truth, laying a strip of asphalt shingles isn’t that difficult — but transporting dozens of bundles of shingles to the top of your house, laying hundreds of strips evenly and finishing your roof is a labor- and time-intensive process. If you don’t do it perfectly, not only could you jeopardize the safety of your home, but you are incredibly likely to waste roofing materials, which contain a variety of components impossible to recycle and toxic within landfills.
If your roof is made of more sustainable shingle material like wood shake, slate or clay, or if it’s a flat, or even a green roof, you need even more time and effort to get things right. You will undoubtedly save money, time and heartache by hiring professional roofers for any roofing project.
Admittedly, there are some plumbing projects you can DIY without trouble, like replacing your showerheads and faucets or implementing some greener plumbing strategies. When it comes to getting into your home’s pipes, though, you need an expert. As with roofing, the stakes of getting plumbing wrong are high; you could unknowingly flood your home, causing extensive water damage that takes much more money to resolve.
Equally disastrous, you could accidentally pump dangerous chemicals into your city’s water, which could go on to compromise your surrounding environment. Though plumbers can be expensive, it is much safer to call a professional to fix your pipes than to risk an even worse problem in your home.
You are unlikely to experiment with electrical work if you have little or no experience with it, and that’s a good thing. Electricity is dangerous; it can seriously injure and even kill you if you don’t take the right precautions, and electrical mistakes can cause your electronics to malfunction (at best) or your home to catch fire (at worst).
If you have never performed electrical work before, even a relatively simple job like installing an outlet or changing a light fixture can be fraught with danger, so you should take advantage of professional electrical services.
Your home simply isn’t functional without your appliances. Your fridge, range, washer/dryer, dishwasher, garbage disposal, air conditioner and more make your home a more comfortable and practical space, and when they break down, it can feel like you are back in the dark ages. What’s more, many homeowners don’t realize that appliances can secretly function at less than peak efficiency, wasting energy that contributes to your carbon footprint.
While there are some appliance maintenance tasks you can and should manage yourself — especially cleaning — when an appliance breaks down, you need to call an expert to diagnose the problem and perform repairs. You can search the web for specialists in whatever appliance is ailing; “washing machine repair near me” should yield several affordable and professional results.
Drywall Installation and Repair
Like shingles, drywall itself isn’t difficult to work with; even beginners can cut drywall and use patches. However, it takes experience to hang sheetrock perfectly straight and apply tape and mud without creating unseemly lines and bulges. Drywall is incredibly unforgiving, and any mistakes you make in patching or hanging drywall will be visible forever.
Also like shingles, drywall isn’t recyclable, and because of the environmental toll in producing drywall, waste should be avoided at all costs. Unless you want to see your poor drywall job every day until you move, you would do well to hire a drywall pro.
If you want to install molding and trim like crown moldings, wainscoting or baseboards around your home, you might want someone with experience to handle that job. Molding is tricky and it’s often not cheap. If you misjudge your corners, you can end up with a lot of waste and a lot of frustration. You can find a handyman in your area worthy of this task, or look into hiring a molding professional.
It should go without saying that if you are a plumber by trade, have gained some experience working in a repair shop or for a contractor, or have been lucky enough to have someone knowledgeable teach you some skills, you might be able to complete these tasks efficiently and safely. Many homeowners, however, would gain more satisfaction by outsourcing such difficult projects to the pros and focusing their efforts on more doable DIYs.