Dangers of DIY: When It’s Best to Hire a Professional

| September 18, 2012

not DIY projects While fixing your home yourself is certainly a satisfying experience, there are inherent dangers in some DIY projects. The savvy homeowner knows when it’s best to hire a professional. Consider calling in the experts before attempting the following types of repairs.

High elevation tasks

Falls and slips from ladders and elevated locations such as trees and roofs can be more than uncomfortable — they can be fatal. Hiring a professional landscaper or roofing contractor who has the proper safety equipment for high elevations and knows how to work at heights is a much safer move.

Projects requiring power tools

Unless you’re a pro who knows how to wield dangerous tools like power saws, it’s often best to hire a professional for projects that require equipment that could take off a limb or damage your eyes. When it comes to tool accidents in DIY projects, the fault is almost always the operator’s, not the tool’s. A professional like a carpenter, who has years of experience, is much less likely than you to have an accident.

Electrical work

If you haven’t been schooled as an electrician, realize that you put yourself and your home in danger when you attempt to do your own electrical work. Potential risks include life-threatening electrical shock to yourself and others, damage to the equipment you’re trying to install or fix, power failure and even fire. You may also break wiring codes when you do the work, necessitating that it be redone if you decide to sell your home. Hire a licensed professional for your electrical project, and you can rest much easier.

Fixes involving toxins

Certain DIY jobs call for the use of chemical solvents or exposure to lead and other hazardous materials like asbestos. A professional will know the risks involved and how to safely deal with such potentially harmful substances. He or she will have access to proper protective gear such as special dual-cartridge respirators that protect your lungs while you’re working.

Additional benefits of avoiding unsafe repairs

DIY projects can also be dangerous after the repairs are made. For instance, if you attempt to fix the back porch stairs but botch the job, it’s possible that you, another member of the family or a visitor could fall through the stairs and sustain serious injury. Hiring a professional to fix your porch helps ensure that the repairs are completed up to code and won’t potentially harm anyone.

Hiring professionals to complete certain home repair projects can be costly, but the results of safety for you and a secure home environment are worth the expense.

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Category: Contractors, Home & Garden, Remodeling

About the Author ()

Julie Bawden-Davis is a Southern-California-based writer specializing in home and garden, real estate, small business and personal finance. Since 1985, her work has appeared in a wide variety of publications, including Family Circle, Ladies’ Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens, Entrepreneur and The Los Angeles Times. Julie is a University of California Certified Master Gardener and has written five gardening books, including Reader’s Digest Flower Gardening.