Home Projects that Should Always be Handled by a Pro


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At The House Shop we fully support your DIY efforts. After all, property ownership is all about maintaining and improving your investment. There’s no better way to do that than by handling projects on your own whenever you can. But that doesn’t mean you should take on projects that are completely outside of your wheelhouse.

Too often property owners end up spending more money repairing a project that got out of hand than they would have if they had chosen to hire a professional from the get-go. Knowing when to call a pro can also save you a lot of time and aggravation.

Let’s take a look at four types of home projects to get a better idea of what most property owners can DIY versus work that requires the help of a professional.

ELECTRICAL WORK

What You Can Handle

Replacing a light fixture or changing out an outlet is fairly straightforward, but electrical work can be extremely dangerous. Even simple projects can become an emergency if someone gets shocked. For that reason, most electric work should be left to a licensed electrician.

What You Should Hand Off to a Pro

Electric safety services, energy audits, rewiring, adding new circuit breaker and getting a house up to code are all examples of projects homeowners should let a professional complete. Because of the danger involved, it’s always best to play it safe with electrical projects. If it’s beyond the basics, hire an electrician.

HVAC SERVICING AND REPAIR

What You Can Handle

Because HVAC systems are so complex there’s not too much most owners can do to service and repair them. But basic maintenance, such as changing out the air filters, is easy enough for anyone to do. A good rule of thumb is to focus your attention on keeping the system clean so it can run efficiently.

What You Should Hand Off to a Pro

If your HVAC isn’t running as efficiently as it has in the past it’s time to call a heating and cooling specialist. They’ll be able to analyze the situation quickly and identify the problem, even if it means crawling through corners of the attic to check duct connections. HVAC professionals also have access to parts that are difficult or impossible for consumers to get.

Refrigerant problems are the perfect example. When the refrigerant is low only a licensed professional can order and inject more refrigerant into the system. If you have a warranty on your HVAC system you also have to be careful because DIY work could nullify it.

PLUMBING ISSUES

What You Can Handle

Minor issues are typically within a DIYer’s capabilities. Unclogging a toilet, tightening a faucet and replacing a showerhead are plumbing fixes that can be easily handled with a few basic tools and know how. Of course, all owners should also know how to turn off water valves and the water main in case you have a major water leak.

What You Should Hand Off to a Pro

Anything beyond the minor problems should be handled by a professional licensed plumber. Replacing a toilet, adding a second sink to the master bathroom and any work that requires going into the walls or altering the pipework is something that’s best left to someone with experience. Another plumbing project to hand off to a pro is water heater repair. You may be able to clean out the system, but replacing or repairing it takes expertise.

FOUNDATION REPAIR

What You Can Handle

Nothing. Your job is simply to keep an eye on things and watch out for signs of foundation problems. If you spot them, call a structural engineer ASAP.

What You Should Hand Off to a Pro

Foundation work is no small project. It can be a day’s work just assessing the problem and coming up with a solution that will correct the problem for the foreseeable future. The problem could be structural, geographical or a combination of the two. The repair work itself is usually a huge undertaking that requires a team of experts.

Getting hands-on at your house is highly beneficial for owners. You can save a little money, gain valuable skills and become more familiar with the property. But try as you might, sometimes hiring a professional is the smartest and safest decision.


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