According to a survey by the US National Safety Council and 3M TEKK Protection, 26 percent of homeowners completing DIY projects injure themselves or someone in their household during the process. Avoid becoming a DIY statistic by refusing to tackle projects out of your range of expertise. While DIY projects can save you money from hiring out a contractor, there are a handful that should rarely be attempted without consulting an expert.
Kitchen Floor Plan Remodel
In most states, simple DIY projects (remodeling cabinets, changing plumbing fixtures or redoing countertops) don’t require permits. However, permits are typically required when altering an existing floor plan, removing doors or windows that result in a structural change or rerouting ductwork. A reputable contractor will know what permits are required, navigate the annoying paperwork process, and fill you in on any licensing laws.
Will anyone ever know you did the work yourself without permits? It’s tempting to think you can just tear down a wall or two and no one will be the wiser. But according to Realtor Magazine, home owners may be asked about permits when selling their home and must disclose any remodeling work. An appraiser and home inspector may also ask, which will likely result in a bank refusing a loan and the buyer moving onto the next home on the market.
Messing up a DIY electrical job can create a hazard when you least expect it. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical failures or malfunctions were responsible for 47,700 home structure fires in 2011, and caused 418 deaths, 1,570 injuries and $1.4 billion in property damage. If the threat of injury isn’t enough, keep in mind your homeowner’s insurance policy may not cover an electrical fire or related damage if you do the job yourself. Many policies require a licensed electrician and permit or they can and will deny an electric-related claim.
DIY Bathroom Demolition
Unless you built your home yourself or are a demolition expert, itâ€™s unlikely you really know whatâ€™s behind bathroom walls. From pipes to gas lines to electrical work, it’s a mystery you shouldn’t try to unveil. You could cut into a pipe, flatten a necessary load-bearing wall or slice a gas line. Older homes and buildings may also have lurking asbestos. Handling asbestos yourself could result in serious long-term health issues. Working with and removing asbestos requires specific work practices outlined by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Before you hire a contractor to deal with asbestos-related demolition projects, ask if they received EPA-approved training.
You might want to hire some pros to complete that sunroom project you’ve been dreaming about, so you can finally have the year-long lounging area you deserve. Installing solar panels afterward gives homeowners a chance to go green and save money while doing it. While installing your own DIY panels to light a small shed outdoors might work fine, installing them on your roof to power your entire sunroom, isn’t wise. Unlike homemade solar panels, the manufactured variety come with a 25-year warranty and generally carry proper certifications to quality for state and federal tax rebates. A licensed solar panel team can also help you figure out what rebates you qualify for and how to file appropriate energy incentives with the IRS.