DIY: To Do or Not to Do

When Should You Hire a Contractor

Harvard released a study highlighting the substantial growth of the home improvement industry. The researchers also noticed that homeowners are doing the renovation themselves. This information is not surprising since most of us stayed home.

Knowing that we can do home repairs ourselves is empowering. It is also an excellent alternative to going online. The Bob Vila website enumerates other benefits of doing DIY. But one should not overdo it. The key here is moderation.

Some things are better in the hands of professionals. Here are reasons why:

Safety First

We can never predict the future. But we can prepare for any eventualities. In this case, you can mitigate any adverse results by weighing the pros and cons of undertaking the DIY project. Ask yourself if one false move can cause grave injury to you or members of your household.

Let us take routine maintenance of your heating and cooling system. With all the YouTube videos about this, cleaning would be a breeze. But think twice about furnace repair. Carbon monoxide poisoning tops the reason why you should not do this yourself.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is highly likely if your furnace runs on natural gas. Attempting to repair your furnace will lead to the release of this highly toxic (and odorless) gas. It will lead to death. Although you can prevent this from happening by installing carbon monoxide detectors in your house, why tempt fate?

If you take on this chore, you might not do the job correctly. You may have unintentionally caused pipes to leak. Thus, your furnace becomes a fire hazard.

Tree pruning is another chore that you should leave in the hands of specialists. Trimming off unsightly twigs is one thing. But removing diseased branches is entirely different. The said appendage might fall on an unsuspecting passerby.

Repair Cost

Other than utter boredom, the other reason why we undertake DIY projects is to save money. By foregoing contractors, you do not have to pay for labor. Thus, you can divert the funds to buy materials. But this may not always be the case.

Let us elaborate on the tree pruning example. Your inexperience may lead you to cut on the appendage at a random angle. It might lead to the unexpected breaking of that particular limb. The worst-case scenario would be the branch falling on someone or your house.

Insisting on doing this may lead to more costly repairs. As we point out in the tree pruning example, the branch may land on your roof. This incident may necessitate the replacement of the entire roof. It may be more expensive to fix the said damage than hiring an arborist in the first place.

You can avoid this incident if you ask for professional help. The arborist will carefully study the tree before doing anything. He may assess the severity of the wood rot to plan how to cut the branch off. Thus, he would get rid of the limb without causing any damage.

Let us revisit the furnace repair example. In an attempt to keep the costs low, you may have bought a part that does not fit your heating system. Although it is not a sub-standard component, it does not match your heater. The incident makes the furnace unusable.

Warranty Issues

When you hire a specialist, you are not only paying for their expertise and their tools. But you are also ensuring that any existing warranties remain to enforce. Let us go back to the furnace repair example.

When you hire a licensed contractor, you are employing the help of someone who met the requirements set by the government. Other entities, such as the furnace manufacturer, recognize his credentials and trust that he knows what he is doing. The company producing the heater trusts him not to destroy the unit. Thus, they will honor the existing warranty if their product breaks down again.

On the other hand, insisting on doing the chore yourself may void the active guarantee. If the furnace breaks down after you attempt to fix it, you may be liable to pay for the total repair cost. It would equate to the cost of the materials plus labor. The amount may be more than the specialist’s original asking price.

CNN reported that crafting increases dopamine, which is responsible for our good mood. It helps combat depression and stress. But we must not go beyond our capacity. It will not only result in expensive repair jobs. But it can also lead to injuries or possibly even death.

Before you undertake any project, you must weigh the pros and cons of the job. If the task takes more than a weekend to finish, you might want to consider hiring a specialist to do the chore for you. If it involves water and electricity, you definitely need professional help.

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