5 DIY Home Maintenance Mistakes and How to Fix Them

Sometimes it better to not DIY

Guest Post by Andrea Davis

When embarking on home improvements and renovations, it’s important to separate the do-it-yourself projects from those best handled by professionals. Attempting to handle a professional job on your own could lead to expensive repairs and additional renovations. Here are some DIY disasters and how to fix them with professional help:

#1 Fixing plumbing pipes

If the plumbing starts to go out in your basement or attic — or underneath your kitchen and bathroom sinks — be extremely careful in how you go about fixing them. Homeowners often think that they can twist pipes with a wrench to get a clog out, but this can lead to a pipe coming off and water puddling all over the floor. Moreover, when pipes have more extreme damage like holes, rust or cracks, they need to be replaced. Don’t attempt to buy new pipes without some guidance; you could get end up getting the wrong materials or the wrong size.

 That’s when you need to find a licensed local plumber. Plumbers have the knowledge and experience to safely and quickly fix your plumbing issues, whereas attempting to do the job without experience will likely lead to costly repairs — including new flooring or insulation, depending on the extent of damage.

#2 Replacing windows

image via North Georgia Replacement Windows, Inc.

There are many factors to consider when replacing your windows. First, windows don’t typically come with a frame, which means additional materials and installment costs. Second, you need to consider how you will safely remove the old window and frame. Homeowners who don’t have experience with window replacement run the risk of damaging the old window frame and breaking the glass, which could lead to a dangerous mess and the need for costly repairs. Local window professionals offer the tools and knowledge necessary to remove old windows and frames. They can also suggest new frames for replacement windows.

#3 Demolishing walls

If you’re planning to remodel or add to your home and are looking to save a few dollars by doing the demolition work yourself, first consider the average remodeling costs before you start swinging the sledgehammer. If you DIY a remodel, you could run into plumbing pipes, electrical wires and structural beams meant to hold up the roof. Depending on the age of your home, could also run into lead, asbestos, radon and other hazardous materials that could infect your lungs. You never know what’s lurking behind the walls of your home, but you do know that you don’t want to spend money on extensive infrastructure repairs or medical bills. To be safe, you should always at least consult with a general contractor before attempting to demolish and remodel anything yourself.

#4 Felling trees

While some homeowners may choose to trim branches on their own, felling trees is another matter entirely. There are a lot of risks involved with felling trees, including:

  • Sharp tools causing injury
  • Branches hitting power or phone lines
  • Trees hitting the landscape (bushes, lawn, fence, etc.)
  • Trees falling onto the home
  • Trees falling onto a child or pet

In short, there are many risks involved with DIY tree removal — and there are many municipal regulations and restrictions involved as well. Homeowners should hire a tree service or certified arborist to remove a tree.

#5 Building a fence

image via TruBlue House Care of Farmington

Constructing a fence around your front or back yard might sound easy, but like window replacement, there are a wide variety of factors involved in the process. Materials, design and  geometry all play a major part. Unless you’ve installed a few fences in your time, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with a fence that’s crooked, weak against the elements and set up for quick decay. Fence installation professionals know which materials hold up best against your climate conditions, and they know how deep to dig so the fence withstands pets, children and intruders. You can always install smaller fences around your gardens or porches, but you should leave the bigger installations to the professional.

Andrea Davis is the editor at HomeAdvisor, which connects homeowners with home improvement professionals in their area for free. Connect with Andrea on Google+

Photos courtesy of DesignMine

Cover image via quickenloans.co

Lindsay is the the Senior Manager of Media Engagement for Coldwell Banker Real Estate and manages the brand’s media and social media department. She is also a licensed real estate professional. In 2017, she was named a top 20 social influencer in the real estate industry in the annual Swanepoel 200 power rankings.

Lindsay lives in Livingston, NJ with her college sweetheart and now husband Joe and recently welcomed another Joe into her life as she became a mom in June 2016. Lindsay and her two Joes love spending their time playing with their cat Rory, watching sports and vacationing in Cape Cod.

3 Comments

  1. Buzz
    January 22, 2015

    May we add #6 Using DIY Termite Control? Hardware store products for termite control, do a very poor job. Usually people see winged termites and use these products. The truth is that Windex will kill winged termites. But those aren’t the termites that are eating your home. If you see winged termites you have a bigger problem than off-the shelf products can handle. Call a licensed professional for inspection and control.

    Reply
  2. Sujjain Thomas
    February 2, 2017

    Hello,

    My name is Sujain Thomas, I’m looking for “Home Decor” related Sites and blogs, I recently came across your blog and found it very interesting.

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    Reply
  3. Americas Generators
    February 9, 2017

    It is not really easy to do a home maintenance. If you are a homeowner, you can possibly make mistakes. Sometimes, it’s better to have a real professional who will rightfully examine your home and tell you the real situation and what possible solution to do with it.

    Reply

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