DIY Vs. Calling A Handyman – When You Should Hire A Professional?

Sometimes, problems in your home are better left to the professionals. Many homeowners (wrongly) think of themselves as professional DIY-ers. If an issue in their home pops up, it’s nothing they can’t fix after watching a few YouTube videos and reading a handful of blog posts, right?

DIY Vs. Calling a Handyman

But more often than not, fixing a problem inside your home without the proper training can spell disaster. Save yourself time, money, and injuries by letting trained professionals fix the problem for you.

Some questions to ask yourself when deciding whether you can fix a problem in your home yourself or if you should hire a contractor include:

How big are the repairs?

If your DIY project is something big like repainting your entire home, rewiring your entire electrical system, or renovating your basement, it will probably take a good amount of time to do right. Your time is valuable—and sometimes it makes more sense to hire out the work instead of spending a lot of time on a repair/renovation project.

How complicated are the repairs?

For projects that require more skill to successfully pull off, it’s usually a good idea to hire a specialized contractor. This is especially important if the project involves something dangerous like working with electrical wiring or to work on top of your roof. Saving money at the expense of your personal safety is never worth it.

Will this project require getting a permit?

If your home renovation or DIY project involves building a load-bearing structure, you need city approval before you start and to follow specific building codes. The process can get confusing if you’re not familiar with all the red tape—hiring a contractor will make sure you’re legally squared away before starting your project and that you’re following all the rules throughout the build. Keep in mind that while many contractors can help you with the permit process (or even handle it all themselves) you’ll ultimately be held responsible for getting all the proper paperwork.

When You Should Hire a Professional?

Here are some of the cases where you should not DIY and hire professionals –

Large Plumbing Issues

If your plumbing issue can’t easily be fixed with a bottle of Draino and a standard plunger, you need to call in some professional help. Your home’s plumbing is a delicate and intricate system—trying to fix a big plumbing clog or leak by yourself is never a good idea.

There are some plumbing updates you can do yourself. If your water pressure is low, you can try simple fixes like cleaning the showerhead and checking your water meter valve. If you have a leaky kitchen or bathroom sink, you can easily tighten up the trap or even fully replace the trap without harming other parts of your home’s plumbing.

But for bigger plumbing problems like suddenly not having any water flowing in your home, rapidly leaking fixtures, blocked sewer lines, or a natural gas leak coming from your water heater, you need a professional at your home ASAP. Plumbers have much more experience and a slew of technical equipment you don’t have at their disposal.

Building Foundation Problems

Fixing some small damages in your home’s flooring is much easier than recarpeting your entire house or putting together an intricate tile pattern in your bathroom. You can try to do those types of flooring updates by yourself, but it will take much longer and will often cost you a lot more than simply hiring a contractor from the start.

If the flooring issue is deeper than the surface and actually impacts the foundation of your home, you should never try to repair it yourself. Foundation problems are often much more serious than they appear to be from the naked eye. Having a licensed professional who knows what to look for and how to stop the foundation from becoming weaker and endangering the rest of your home is essential.

Electrical Repairs

Repair jobs that involve tinkering with your home’s electrical wiring should almost always be done by a professional electrician. Sure, you can replace a light bulb or even switch out a light fixture by yourself. But larger electrical tinkering can easily go south—fires and electrocution are common outcomes of improper electrical work.

Blown electrical fuses often happen when you’re using more electricity than your system can handle; you can easily fix this problem yourself by just towing the switch in your breaker box. But anything that involves exposed wiring should never be DIY. Major home renovations that involve rewiring your electrical system or adding more high-voltage appliances usually require obtaining permits before beginning the project. Electrical contractors can help you navigate the permit process as well as do the renovations quickly and safely.

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