Painting Your Home’s Exterior
About seven years ago, I bought a drab, blue-gray bungalow that I had professionally repainted. I actually envisioned my dad and I tackling the huge project since our house wasn’t very tall. I came to my senses when I realized that everything had to be taped and primed!
Painting a house can be a dangerous and massive undertaking. Not only do you work on scaffolding, but you have to deal with a significant amount of chemical fumes from the paint, primer, solvent and sealer you’ll be using.
When considering the high cost of renting scaffolding, ladders and paint sprayers, I realized that I faced a bigger job than I thought. Even if you really love to paint, consider that a significant amount of time and precision is required for such a task.
Trimming Large Trees
Ever see the home insurance TV commercial where a guy is trimming a tree in his yard, the branch falls and smashes his neighbor’s car? Don’t be that guy. If you have a dead or broken tree limb in your yard that needs trimming, you may want to leave it to the experts if you lack experience or the safety know-how required.
You may need power tools, heavy equipment and an aerial lift to access high branches. If you need large limbs removed urgently after a storm, professionals can swiftly maneuver around power lines and rooftops. Although professional tree trimmers charge between $50 and $200 per hour depending on the tree’s height and size, it could be money well spent.
Replacing Your Garage Door
At first glance, replacing a garage door doesn’t seem like a tall order if you have some helping hands available. But, the size and weight of a garage door can pose a major risk to an inexperienced installer.
Moreover, installing a garage door requires replacing torsion springs, which can be dangerous since the steel springs are so tightly wound. Replacing or repairing a garage door requires specific tools and parts that are often hard to find. You can avoid injury by hiring a contractor.
You run the risk of shocking yourself or damaging wires if you opt to take on an electrical project yourself. You could lose power due to a surge, or an outlet could malfunction. More importantly, most home insurance companies require that a licensed electrician perform such tasks.
Working with live electrical wires can be deadly if you don’t take proper precautions. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 400 people are electrocuted every year; roughly 70 of those are fatal. Additionally, more than 360,000 residential fires happen yearly – the main cause being electrical malfunctions. Those blazes resulted in nearly 2,500 deaths. Needless to say, the stakes are high when taking on DIY electrical projects. Please be careful.
While it’s tempting to save money by tackling your own carpeting project, it may not be as cost effective as you think. Carpet installation requires precise room measuring and laying sub-flooring, which can be tedious. This is all before you have to properly lay tack strips, use a carpet stretcher and a staple gun.
Novice carpet layers can compromise the appearance and integrity of the product with incorrect cuts and improper stretching. This could result in a waste of carpeting and money.
Even small roof repairs can pose a serious safety hazard because of the unevenness and height of your roof. Big and small projects can also require hauling heavy equipment around the roof. If roofing is improperly installed, it could result in leaks, mildew and wall damage to the house’s interior.
Above all, most home warranties require that a certified roofer perform repairs. If you’re performing the job, it could void your warranty. Hire a contractor with the appropriate skills, equipment and expertise.
There’s more work than meets the eye with most home additions – electrical wiring, gas lines, plumbing, window installation and more. Projects like expanding a bathroom or finishing a basement can involve a heavy workload of pouring concrete, wall framing and roofing. Such high-maintenance tasks require project management skills and professional contractor experience. It may be wise to consult a reputable contractor before beginning a project.
There is a long list of home improvement projects too dangerous or complicated to be DIY. If you’re unsure that you have the skills to complete a renovation, play it safe and consult a professional. If you have safety tips regarding DIY projects, please leave them below.
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