DIY or not: when to hire a pro
As a home inspector, I have witnessed many instances of do-it-yourself projects that may not have been a good idea. Sometimes these things are just unsightly. Sometimes they
can be dangerous. Maintaining a new home requires a lot of attention. Things will break, that is a guarantee. You may even want to change the look of your home. When is it a good idea to do-it-yourself and when would it be better to hire a pro?
Here are some suggestions:
Anytime anything needs to be done with electricity, hire an electrician. There are many reasons for this, but the most important one is that electricians know things that ordinary folks do not. The repercussions of improperly installed or repaired electricity can be disastrous. My advice is unless you are a licensed electrician, hire one for anything you need to have done.
If you are making any major structural changes to your home, hire a professional. At a minimum, get a consultation about load bearing and non-load bearing walls. Removing one improperly could lead to great damage to your home.
If you are making any major additions to your home, hire a professional. This includes decks. Permits are required for certain structural changes. These requirements vary, depending on where you live. There are both legal and safety issues to be concerned with if you make major additions without proper permitting and inspection.
Paint away! Painting can make a big difference in your house. You can absolutely do-it-yourself. That being said, make sure you are following guidelines on the products being used to ensure safe use and proper ventilation. Also, try to make sure your windows can be opened and closed, that you do not paint over any electrical outlets, and that you cover your floors while painting.
These are just a few examples. Depending on your level of understanding of home repairs, you can certainly do a lot to your home. Always make sure, if your are going to do-it-yourself, that your understand both why what your are doing is necessary and how to properly do it. If you have any doubts, call a professional. Safety is the most important thing.