Homeowners have a great deal of responsibility for maintenance and repairs. If you’ve owned your own home for a long time, you’ve likely found some projects that you could successfully DIY. There’s certainly some pride to be had in fixing things yourself instead of having to pay a potentially costly repair bill. Still, it’s important not to overestimate your own abilities.
There’s never any shame in calling in the pros, and some jobs will require a technician, either due to their complexity or the fact that the repairs simply aren’t safe. Here are three things you should leave to the pros before turning small problems into big problems.
1. Electrical Work
When it comes to the most dangerous jobs you should never attempt on your own at home, electric work has to be at the top of the list. The dangers of doing your own electric work are plenty, and making a mistake that just costs money is the least of it. In case it somehow needs saying, trying to DIY an electrical job comes with a high chance of being shocked for it. Even a minor shock may lead to some internal injuries, and the danger of a deadly electrocution is quite real. In fact, even professionals suffer fatal electrical accidents on the job each year.
You also risk starting an electrical fire if you try to handle this kind of work yourself. If you’re lucky, you might fry some equipment, and if you’re unlucky, an improper installation could lead to a full house fire. About the only kind of work you should do on systems that require electricity is a minor electronics repair, such as fixing an unplugged appliance. Otherwise, leave it to the pros, or check out some refurbished electronics.
Finding some refurbished products to replace electronics that are out of warranty is a much better option than causing a major incident in your house. Sometimes, you can even find new products, such as the latest tablet models, refurbs for iPhones, and stellar headphones.
Next to electrical work, attempting to handle your own plumbing jobs is probably the riskiest thing an average homeowner could do. Just for starters, it’s easy to violate health and safety codes without even realizing you’re doing it, and code violations can lead to hefty fines.
There’s also the fact that using the wrong kinds of pipes, washers, or other components can set the timer ticking for a dangerous flood. That’s if you don’t just cause one immediately with a blatant mistake, of course. Look at it like this: if a mistake with the job you’re planning could lead to unsafe conditions or significant damage to your home, leave it up to the professionals.
3. HVAC Maintenance and Repairs
Your HVAC system is among the most important in your home, considering that it keeps your house livable during the extreme seasons. Because of this, any attempted maintenance you do on your air conditioner should be limited to simple jobs like replacing the filter. If it isn’t obvious why you shouldn’t do DIY HVAC repairs, trying to take on a bigger job like fixing a refrigerant leak can lead you down a road of mistakes that results in a full HVAC unit replacement.
If you do have to call the pros out for a problem with your HVAC unit, it’s a good opportunity to ask about ways to boost your indoor air quality. As unbelievable as it may sound, indoor air can actually be more polluted than outdoor air, thanks to contaminants like pollen, mold spores, and simple dust. A technician can recommend indoor air filters and other solutions during routine HVAC repairs.