Many people go DIY to save money or simply because they enjoy the reward of doing themselves. However, there are certain tasks that can be better left to the pros, not just because they’re more complex, but because they can also be dangerous if things go wrong. Here are just a few of those tasks that you shouldn’t attempt to do yourself.
Anything involving electrics
Unless you yourself are a licensed electrician, you should leave electrics well alone. Incorrectly wired electrics can have all kinds of dangerous consequences from starting fires to giving people electric shocks. There are a few minor tasks like changing a light fitting or replacing a socket which can be DIYed fairly safely providing you have some basic electric knowledge. However, you should avoid wiring in new sockets and light fittings. In some states, it may even be illegal to do electrical work without it being officially signed off by a licensed electrician.
Plumbing work (especially gas plumbing)
Plumbing is much like electrics in that it requires a lot of skill and can be just as dangerous if piping is incorrectly fitted. If water plumbing isn’t properly fitted you could flood your home, while incorrectly fitted gas plumbing can be much more disastrous leading to carbon monoxide leaks and even explosions. There are a few minor jobs like unblocking a toilet and replacing a u-bend under the sink, which you can and should do yourself. However, you should always let a qualified plumber handle more complex plumbing – especially when gas is involved (it’s illegal to touch gas plumbing in most cases without a license due to the sheer risks involved).
Repairing a damaged roof
Roof repair can also have its dangers. You may fall off the roof or fall through it and injure yourself if you don’t know where to tread and don’t have the right equipment. Obviously, the dangers do depend on the height and the incline of the roof – a single story flat roof may not be as treacherous. There are also the dangers of getting roof repair wrong. A roof that isn’t repaired correctly could collapse. Some types of roof repair such as reshingling a roof can also be fairly complex and can benefit from training. For this reason, it’s always worth calling in the pros to handle anything roof-related.
Knocking down internal walls
Knocking down walls is common when creating an open plan downstairs layout or when combining a separate toilet room and bathroom together. As fun as it may seem to have the opportunity to swing a sledgehammer around, this job often requires a lot of planning and precision. There could be pipes or wiring in the walls that need to be relocated. You also need to consider whether it’s a load-bearing wall and whether removing it will compromise the structural integrity of your home (the whole upper floor could come crashing down!). Building contractors will be able to safely remove any interior walls for you and ensure that piping and electrics is relocated and that walls above are securely supported.
Many homes were built with materials that have since been found to be toxic. Common examples include lead paint and asbestos. While it’s not advised that you remove lead paint yourself, it can be done a lot more safely than removing asbestos oneself. The danger with asbestos is that if it gets disturbed, particles of the material can often be released into the air, which can then be breathed in. This can cause lung irritation, including the risk of a potentially deadly cancer known as mesothelioma. Because it’s so difficult to remove asbestos without releasing particles into the air, you’re best off hiring professionals to safely remove it.