If you’re thinking about doing a home repair project, we’re applauding you! It’s great to get involved in your home by rolling up your sleeves and doing the work yourself. It’s your place, after all, and it’s both fulfilling and cathartic to do your own remodeling and repairs. There are, however, some repairs that you should never try without experience. For one reason or another, the danger and likelihood of something going wrong outweighs the fulfillment that comes from the work itself. In those instances, hire a professional (or take a home-repair class and buy the appropriate safety equipment).
- Roof projects. Unless you are tethered to the roof, it’s just not safe to go up there. The possibility of falling off (especially while taking tools and equipment up and down a ladder) is too great, and the quality of injury that comes from those falls can be downright terrible.
- Gas line repairs. Gas line repairs (and other projects related to natural gas) are best left to professionals. Whether you can smell the gas or not, any visible significant damage to gas lines should warrant a call to a professional or fire department. Turn the gas off and contact someone to help you with this one, and make sure to open the windows and ventilate the house while you wait for them to arrive. If there is a strong smell of gas, just exit the home immediately.
- Electrical work. Unless you know what you’re doing, there are risks of electrocution and fire when working on electrical wiring within your home.
- Cutting down a large tree is dangerous. From possible falls to branches hurting others to a tree itself falling on your home (or loved ones), cutting down large trees is best left to the pros. Plus, they carry insurance!
- Toxic materials. When it comes to items such as asbestos, it’s best to let a professional remove them from your home. Additionally, there are laws about removing toxic materials that need to be followed. Pros know these laws and will make sure the removal is done correctly.
- Pest removal. Beyond using traps, getting rid of pests is usually something for the professionals to do. Whether that’s removing bee hives or dealing with a home overrun by rodents, pros will know where and how to best exterminate your pests. This is especially true if you have pets and kids in the home—spreading poisons around might be a very bad idea.
There are a lot of repairs that you can do yourself that bring a lot of joy when you accomplish them. But there are a few that are just not worth putting yourself, your loved ones, and your home at risk. It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and if you remember that, you’ll be making the right decisions when it comes to repairing your home.
Henry Duckstein Jr.