Homeownership has many positives, like design freedom, equity gain, and stable monthly payments. However, it’s not as stress-free as some may think. There are many problems homeowners may run into such as leaks, damage, and structural issues.
When these problems occur, they can be expensive to fix. The cost of repairs may lead many people to believe they can fix the issues themselves for cheaper. While this is partially true, it isn’t always the wisest decision.
Do-it-yourself (DIY) repairs may have a lower upfront cost, but completing a project with minimal knowledge or experience can create a more significant problem than you started with. If the issue becomes too severe, you may pay a lot of money to fix the damage you caused.
Some minor repairs may be acceptable to do yourself, but the more complex issues should be left to professionals. So which home problems should you hire someone to repair? Let’s find out.
Why should you avoid DIYing significant problems?
Many issues can arise from attempting to repair home problems yourself. One of the major considerations is your insurance company.
Hiring a professional for certain repairs is better than attempting to complete them yourself. Professionals have the expertise to fix your problem correctly. You can purchase coverage like builder’s risk insurance to cover any potential damages with professionals, ensuring you don’t pay massive amounts of money if something goes wrong.
While your home insurance policy will likely cover you to complete repairs yourself, any damage you cause while completing your DIY project likely won’t be covered. You will most likely pay for any resulting repair costs out of pocket. Your provider will know the difference between accidental damage and problems caused by improper installation or repairs.
If you hire a professional instead, you can purchase additional policy coverage to cover damages they may cause or sue them if their work creates more significant problems. Either way, you’ll be protected from paying for more extensive repairs yourself.
Completing the work yourself doesn’t offer you the cushion of added coverage options or the option to sue if you didn’t complete the repair correctly. You may pay more to fix the issues you created than you would have paid a professional to complete the work.
Call in a Professional for Electrical Issues
While you might think repairing a few wires will be a simple, quick fix, electrical work is tricky and extremely dangerous. If wiring isn’t completed correctly, you risk creating a severe fire hazard in your home.
Electrical fires can easily go unnoticed for a significant amount of time, making them extremely dangerous. Since they may often travel through walls, these fires can continually grow without being detected, resulting in a major structure fire.
Home improvement injuries are also common when attempting a DIY repair on an electrical problem. Electrocution is frequent when working on wiring if you aren’t adequately trained. The seriousness of this injury can range from mild to fatal, depending on the voltage.
Rather than risking potential injuries or electrical fires, it’s always best to call a professional when dealing with electrical issues. They have been specially trained and have extensive knowledge of completing repairs safely.
Leave Plumbing Problems to the Professionals
Minor plumbing issues like clogged drains or a leaky faucet don’t necessarily require a call to the plumber, but most plumbing problems are better left to professionals. Even fixes that seem doable on your own could cause much bigger problems down the road.
Repairs like installing a new toilet, sink, or bathtub can seem simple enough. However, if you aren’t installing them properly, you can cause leaks and potential water line breaks.
Improperly installed water fixtures can eventually lead to significant water damage. This damage lowers your home’s overall value and could create even more significant problems over time. One example is a foundation issue resulting from water damage from your plumbing, and foundation damage coverage is not automatically included in your homeowners insurance.
Damaged ceilings and floors are common side effects of sitting water. You may eventually need to completely replace your ceiling and flooring, which can become costly depending on the size of the area affected.
Mold and mildew are also frequently seen with water damage. These bacterias need only 24 to 48 hours to develop and will continue to grow until the water source is eliminated.
Rather than risking water damage and potential mold, it’s better to call a professional to complete plumbing repairs. They are highly skilled and can ensure your project is completed correctly.
Avoid Attempting Structural Repairs Yourself
The structure of your home is key to its stability and safety. With such importance, it’s a task you shouldn’t attempt to DIY. Even with thorough research, many things can go wrong when repairing foundation problems yourself, resulting in more damage and potentially unsafe living space.
Without a professional opinion, you may also wrongly diagnose your problem. Many things that seem like structural problems could result from something entirely different. A structural engineer has the tools and knowledge to correctly assess the damage and locate the source of your issue.
If your problem is structure-related, a mason will be able to complete repairs correctly. Attempting to fix this problem yourself could cause you to weaken your existing foundation and cause more extensive damage.
A poorly done DIY structure repair can decrease home value and potential problems if you ever decide to sell your home. Inspectors would be able to notice if you didn’t repair your structure correctly. You may need to have your foundation professionally repaired before you can sell.
Repairs as significant as the structure of your home should be left to the professionals. Structural engineers and masons can adequately assess and repair your issues without causing further damage.
Leaving Home Repairs to the Professionals
You may be able to complete some minor home repairs on your own. However, some projects are simply too complex and vital to attempt to fix yourself.
Repairs like electrical problems, plumbing issues, and structural damage should be left to professionals with the right skills and training. Otherwise, you risk causing further damage to your home, upsetting your insurance company, and potentially paying for any additional repairs out of your pocket.
Though saving money and making repairs yourself can be tempting, you will likely cost yourself more in the long run. It’s safer to pay someone with the proper skills and training to fix your problems and avoid further damage.
Alexandra Arcand writes and researches for the insurance comparison site, Clearsurance.com. She is an avid DIYer but knows that some problems are best left to professionals.