DIY Home Renovations: When To Call A Professional
December 14, 2022 Mark MacFarlane

DIY Home Renovations: When To Call A Professional

Posted in Home Buying, Home Improvement, Home Rental, Home Selling, Home Services

DIY Home Renovations: When To Call A Professional

DIY Renovations are Popular

Since 2020, DIY home renovations have been a popular project for homeowners everywhere. Many are donning their DIY hats for the first time to try and tackle a home renovation. While undertaking this type of project yourself can be many things: fun, cost-effective, informative, and even therapeutic for some, there’s one adjective that’s seldom mentioned when discussing DIY projects – dangerous. In order to get the most out of your DIY experience, it’s important to be familiar with the different situations that you may come across that are best handled by a professional.

When Modifying Load-Bearing Walls

Modifications of load-bearing walls are best done by a professional contractor because they are integral to the stability of the structure. You’ll likely have to contact your local government’s building authority to get the proper permits to pursue this type of project. Proper care and caution is needed because there are many opportunities for things to take an ugly turn when dealing with load-bearing walls, and the repercussions of mishandling it might not be immediately seen and could take as long as a few years before anything appears. Of course, the worst-case scenario is that your home would experience a collapse of some degree. It’s much safer, quicker, and—in the case of a mistake—cheaper to hire a professional to perform necessary work on load-bearing walls.

When Dealing With Electrical Components

Centuries ago people used to think that electricity was some form of magic. For many lay people today, it might as well be magic when it comes to making sure everything is up to code, safe, and most importantly, functional. According to the NFPA, 78,860 house fires between the years of 2015-2019 were the result of electrical failure or malfunction as well as electrical distribution and lighting equipment. With electrical problems being a major cause of house fires, it’s pretty obvious why a professional electrician should be the one to manage any changes to your home’s electrical layout.

House fires aren’t the only safety concern when it comes to the electrical system of your home. The service line, which runs from the grid to a home, is normally rated at 100 to 200 amps, which is far above the 10 amp estimate for probable death, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Additionally, damaged appliances are another area of concern. Appliances are expensive, and when it comes to computers or other data-storing tools, contain a plethora of important information and sentimental records that could be lost if a power surge strikes.

When Your Home Is Built Before The 1980s

If your home was built before the 1980s, it’s a good idea to call a professional home inspector before you begin any remodeling. In 1976, the Toxic Substances Control Act was passed which banned widely-used substances that were known to be both harmful and easy to be exposed to. Primarily, this act severely restricted the production, importation, disposal, and use of asbestos in the workplace and homes, lead paint, PCBs (Polychlorinated Biphenyls), and radon. These substances caused a myriad of illnesses like disruptions to bodily functions such as the immune response with PCBs, and suppressed neurological processes, especially in children, from lead exposure, to cancers like mesothelioma and various lung cancers from asbestos and radon. By taking the proper precautions and getting your home tested for toxic substances, you can rest assured that your health won’t become a hidden cost of your renovation.

To test your home effectively, you can do a few at-home tests for common toxic substances, but it would also be wise to bring in a licensed professional for more serious substances. At-home tests can be used to test for lead paint, radon and even lead in drinking water. If any of these substances are found in your home, it is best to let a professional handle it. Outside of DIY tests, professional environmental services companies will be able to test for asbestos, lead pipes, mold, and signs of pest damage.

When Altering The Plumbing System

Modern plumbing was one of the greatest luxuries to come out of the 20th century so it should be treated like the complex system that it is. Like electrical systems, plumbing work requires specific attention to ensure that it meets certain building codes. Improper plumbing can bring about all sorts of issues like having a pipe leak or burst out of sight, losing water pressure, having sewage back up to having sewer fumes leak out into the living areas of your home. These gasses are a combination of nontoxic and toxic gasses, with the most prominent being hydrogen sulfide. Similarly, when handling your home’s plumbing, you may run into lead pipes if your home was built before the ban in 1986.

There’s nothing wrong with admitting when you don’t have the necessary knowledge of all the different options for plumbing parts nor the different tools and their uses. Most importantly, unless you are well versed in the school of plumbing, you can’t guarantee safety when you take on the task yourself whereas an experienced plumber will have multiple stop-gaps to ensure safety of everyone and everything in the working area.

When You’re On A Time Crunch

Even though a majority of home remodeling can be done by a determined homeowner, it’ll likely take much longer than a professional because you won’t have the familiarity with the process that an experienced contractor does. Situations, like an emergency remodel due to damage, warrant speed and expertise because you need to ensure the area doesn’t experience the same damage again, and the unplanned nature of the emergency means neither you nor your home was prepared to experience debris and out-of-commission sections. Additionally, the surrounding areas need thorough inspections to ensure the full extent of the damage is known and noted for repair.

Other times you might be in a time-crunch for a remodel could be if you decide to overhaul your home’s appearance in part or in whole to prepare for a celebration or gathering in the near future. The last thing you want is for the time of the event to arrive and the remodel to be incomplete or even rushed to meet the deadline. A rushed job, incomplete job, or worse: an incomplete rushed job, not only risks disappointing your guests, but leaves such a large room for error that you may even risk endangering them. A trades veteran will be able to give you an accurate timetable for the job to be done, and can let you know if your intended timeframe is realistic or not. Either way, you won’t be risking an incomplete or rushed job.

When “Good Enough” Isn’t Good Enough

As mentioned throughout this article, when it comes to complicated and important segments of your home’s remodeling process, you probably don’t have the knowledge nor hands-on experience necessary to perform the job to the same quality that a professional will. Plus, if you make a mistake and then decide you need to enlist a skilled tradesperson, just about anyone you hire would rather start with a clean slate than a botched project. There are a near endless number of examples online of when a determined homeowner took on a DIY task themselves and regretted it because of questionable quality, appearance, or both.

When a trade expert performs their work on a home, you’re paying for a lot more than just the time it takes for them to complete it. You’re paying for assurance of quality, safety, adherence to local codes and ordinances, and insurance that the project will be redone at no extra cost if something goes wrong. If you are planning or even may plan to sell your home following the renovation, then “good enough” will never be good enough. In the majority of cases, a home with no remodeling done will sell better than a home with a sub-par renovation because you’ll be hard-pressed to find a potential new owner that is willing to settle for “good enough” when it comes to their new purchase that comes to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

While there’s nothing stopping you from undertaking your own remodeling project and tackling every part of it yourself, it’s more admirable to be able to admit when a task might be over your head than to arrogantly push forward and wind up with an undesirable result. Of course, if you want to sell your home quickly, regardless of its quality or condition, you can use a trusted home-buying service like us to get a same-day cash offer for your home.

Brought to You by OutFactors

This information is provided by OutFactors, a home cash buyer. At OutFactors, we buy houses as-is for cash and close quickly.

539 West Commerce Street
Suite 1205
Dallas, Texas 75208
(800) 420-7030

DIY Home Renovations | Call A Professional | OutFactors – Dallas Fort Worth, Texas