The Hidden Risks of Even the Easiest Home Decor DIY Projects

We’ve all been there. There’s something that needs doing around the house –  perhaps a seemingly simple repair or maybe a little bit of light renovation work – and we find ourselves thinking, hmmm. I reckon I could save some money and give that a go myself.

You may well be right, but before you reach for that paintbrush or hammer, take a moment to consider the hidden risks of even the “easiest” home DIY and decor projects.

Fitting a New Light Fixture

One of the top DIY jobs that seems an easy fix but comes with a serious health risk is installing a new light fitting. Yes, loads of online tutorials make this particular task seem like a piece of cake; but if you want to avoid the danger of electrocution (who doesn’t?), you’re better off calling in the professionals.

Plumbing Work

A leaky sink may be fairly easy to sort out, but anything remotely tricky should involve getting in the professionals. After all, this is exactly what your homeowners insurance policy is for. The proximity of plumbing and electrical elements in a bathroom means that you run the double gauntlet of electrocution and flooding by attempting any major repairs or remodeling yourself.

Repairing Drywall

If you’re planning a renovation of your property’s interior and are thinking of tackling the drywall yourself, think again. Please. Even with all the right tools, repairing drywall is a difficult, and messy job that requires considerable skill and experience. In terms of the risk factor, you’re likely to end up with substandard results and have to call in the professionals to fix your “work.”

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Installing a Skylight

A skylight is a wonderful way to make a space look brighter and fresher. There’s a big but, though. If a skylight isn’t installed properly (ie, you have a go at doing it yourself), it’ll leak, and cause a huge headache. As well as flooding, there’s the potential for rot and mold – not the effect you were going for. Take care when commissioning the services of a professional to carry out this job, too. Be sure that there’s a warranty both on the skylight and the contractor’s labor.

Removing Old Insulation

Remember those health risks we mentioned at the top? It’s not just electrocution to worry about. Removing old insulation, perhaps from your loft, might seem like an absolute no-brainer to undertake yourself but, you must get advice from a professional first. The insulation in many old homes contains asbestos – a carcinogen that could seriously harm your health. Before touching old insulation, get it inspected by a professional to find out exactly what you’re dealing with. If it’s found to contain asbestos, then you’ll need to arrange to have it professionally removed.

Taking Down an Interior Wall

If your next project is a home remodel, you may be wondering whether you could have a go at knocking through that downstairs interior wall yourself. After all, it’s just swinging a sledgehammer a few times, right? Uhhh, wrong. Even a wall that seems to be merely a partition could be fulfilling a load-bearing role, meaning that taking it down without the proper structural support in place could cause your home to become structurally unsound. Worst case scenario? It could collapse.

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A temporary header and support must first be installed, even where an interior wall is successfully removed before the permanent one is put in place that’s capable of supporting the heavy load. In summary? This is a job that’s best left to the professionals.

Knocking Out Your Utilities

One of the risks of any DIY project that involves drilling into walls is hitting an electric, gas, or water pipe. Doing so carries major risks, both in terms of injury to yourself and damage to your property. Before starting work, discover exactly where lines are running, and mark these on the walls so you can avoid them. Experts can help you identify where your utilities lines are, for the best peace of mind.

Landscape Woes

And finally, surely a little landscaping project couldn’t be too risky? Unfortunately, many keen home DIYers forget to plan for proper drainage, to draw moisture away from their home’s foundation, when carrying out their work. This can lead to mold and rot in basements and crawl spaces as water seeps under slabs – also putting the home at risk of insect and rodent inspection.

The Takeaway? Call in the Professionals

No matter how handy you are with a hammer or how skilled with a sander, many DIY and decor projects around the home really should be left to the experts. As well as ensuring there’s no risk to your safety or that of your home, calling in the professionals also means you’ll get the finished result you want. The first time.

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