If you’re someone who has a lot of DIY skills under your belt, or you have a knack for picking up technical tips easily up your sleeve, you’re probably always swooping in to save the day when something goes wrong. And that’s worked for a long time, and you’re known as a bit of a handy person around your neighbourhood.
But all good things tend to come to an end, and one day there’s going to be something you just can’t fix. Or there’s going to be a particularly tense job that you just don’t know what to do in; it’s these situations where a professional would always be best, and you might end up making a problem worse if you go at it.
So let’s take a quick look at the list of situations where your DIY skills would be put to better use elsewhere, and use them as learning opportunities to see how to handle something similar next time.
First, Always Approach with Caution
Before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s take the time to remember this idea. This is a very good first general rule to live your DIY lifestyle by, and will always make sure you’re missing as many accidents or mistakes as you can. If you’ve got a broken part of your house or your garden on your hands, and you don’t know what the problem is or if you have the right tools to fix it, take your time and assess the situation properly. Just because the water main is potentially burst doesn’t mean you go rushing in tools first!
If the situation is going to be dangerous to anyone in the immediate vicinity, make sure everyone clears out and doesn’t go near the area until the problem has been fixed. That immediately squares away any further accidents happening, and reduces the potential code red in your household down to a code yellow. Now you’ve just got to find out what’s happening, turn off any power or water supply to the area, and go from there! Easier said than done of course, but there’s always help at the end of the phone when things go awry.
You Might Want to Leave the Floors Alone
The floors in your house can have a lot of problems. If you’ve got carpet, there can be plenty of runners, and dirt and mess can be trodden into them at any second by an army of pets or children. At the same time, if you’ve got hardwood floors or visible floorboards, they can become loose and creaky, and even begin to crack and break on you. And if this happens on the upper floor, there’s a good chance too much commotion in bedroom will send someone hurtling through the ceiling.
But trying to fix any of these matters yourself can be extremely hard to pull off, so you best be on the phone to a professional before you try anything. Sanding down floorboards alone can be a risky job, seeing as there’s plenty of bumpy or rough areas you can miss or accidentally sand into the wood. And walking over those in bare feet can hurt a lot, not to mention seriously decrease how much a home could be worth if and when you decide to sell up.
And then there’s the stairs you might not fix in properly, or the exposed nails someone could bang their head on when they go into the under stairs closet for a mop and broom. And the creaky floorboard could be a sign of a more serious problem, such as some pesky termites or a bit of subsidence, and pulling apart a floor could very well send the problem terminal!
Most Plumbing Situations
If it’s just a blocked sink, sure, go ahead and unscrew the pipe underneath to clear out the blockage and then get back to business. Just make sure you remember to turn the water off and get a bucket to catch any lingering in the pipe itself! But if a job seems a lot larger than that, take a step back and call a plumber out; it’s their job to make sure everything gets put back together, and they’ve got the skilled responsibility to back this up.
You can easily wipe away limescale around the sink, and tighten up pipes with a bit of tape and industrial foam if need be. You can also recaulk any breakages or cracks in the sink or toilet bowl, seeing as water will be flushed straight past these watertight worries. But if you need to repipe the entirety of a bathroom or kitchen system, you’re going to need someone with all the right tools and equipment to do it for you.
Similarly, if the aforementioned blockage above isn’t in the pipe you can reach under the sink, you’re going to need to call in the big guns to find the actual source of the problem for you. It can get rather stinky and disgusting when opening up the drain outside to take a look, but a professional will be able to combat this, and even get paid to do so! So feel free to Learn more about their sewer and drain cleaning services. You always want value and worth to go into your house, and a shoddy hobby job is never the best solution.
Don’t Knock Through Any Walls
Unless you’re absolutely sure that it isn’t a load bearing wall and therefore is non-essential to keeping your house standing around you. You’ve got four walls keeping you safe, happy, and warm day in and day out, you wouldn’t want to ruin that!
The walls in your house are, more often than not, put there for a reason, so be sure to know the reason before any work gets done. It’s unlikely that the entire house will collapse if you do so, but there’s a good chance the ceiling that constitutes the floor of the room above will fall onto your head, or the beams holding up your house will begin to sag away.
And you might not even notice that happening, and it’ll turn into a secret killer down the line. So put the sledgehammer down and call a professional, even if just for an evaluation or estimation of what kind of demo work you can get up to.
Electrical Wiring is Touchy as Well
There is a lot of danger involved in trying to rewire your own house, seeing wires feed in and out of our walls, bring energy to every system we have installed, and can pack a punch if messed with. You need to be absolutely sure you’ve turned off the power supply before you start fiddling, and all appliances need to be unplugged to make sure there’s no chance a power surge will break them.
Being shocked by any voltage of electricity is going to hurt, but if you don’t know what amp or volt amounts are lethal, there’s a good chance you’re playing with fire. Even just 0.1amps flowing through your body will put you into hospital, and this amount of power could very easily be used by your TV, toaster, or microwave. Be very careful if you’ve got a plan to switch out the lights or add in further features.
Try Not to Tile
Sure, it seems like an easy job, and the tiles in your bathroom are looking a little worse for wear after all that repeated steam. You could get the place done in an afternoon; it’d be no trouble! But, like most things in life, it takes a little more practice and skill than just thinking ‘I can fix that.’
You can head to the home-depot section of your local DIY store, you can pick up tiles on their own or buy great big slabs you can cut yourself, but there’s a very good chance this will turn into shoddy work. It’s hard to stay on the straight and narrow when you haven’t got industrial cutting tools and material to trim that fights back!
So now’s your chance to get your kitchen backsplash or your shower redone with pride and style, so call in a professional to brighten your place up a little. Tiles are mostly there for aesthetic purposes anyway, so there’s no harm in taking a bit more time with them than most DIY jobs out there.
Are You a DIY Maestro?
Maybe you are, maybe you aren’t, but the rules tend to stay the same. If you didn’t spend years studying how to fix specific electrical faults, or you didn’t have the chance to pick up a tile cutter on the way home, try to leave the work to the professionals.
It can work out a lot cheaper on your time and money and effort; all in all, it’ll be worth it just for the double return you could make!