Which home repairs do even the handiest homeowners leave to the pros? Those are the projects discussed here. There are times when the job is just too risky to tackle yourself. Or, the problem might be that you lack the specific tools for the job, and they’re too pricey to purchase or rent. Job complexity can be a factor too.
In this home repair guide, we provide information about five specific projects that will help you make the decision to attempt them yourself or call a contractor for the work. The difficulties of each house repair are reviewed, and we make a case for hiring a professional for these house repairs.
Electrical Box Repair or Installation
Simply put, there’s enough electricity in an electrical panel to kill you. While a standard outlet carries 120 volts, the line from the transformer to your home is 240 volts. If there’s a problem with the line, it might carry far more power than that.
This is the number-one home repair job left to a professional contractor. More than 1,000 people are killed each year by electrical shock, and many of the accidents occur at home. Electricians have training in safety and the techniques needed to make the repairs. They also have the safety equipment and the experience necessary to protect themselves while working on electrical panels, circuits and while installing 240-volt outlets.
Heat Pump and Central Air Conditioner Repair
Whenever the repair is to the refrigerant lines, coils or compressor, it’s important to call a professional heating and cooling technician. Only certified technicians are allowed by law to handle the refrigerant required to charge the unit.
In addition, very specific tools are required, and they’re both expensive and hard to locate to purchase. Finally, when a refrigerant system isn’t charged properly, it can lead to the unit running inefficiently or failing to heat or cool entirely.
Steep Roof Repair or Installation
Roofing repairs need to be made correctly or water might seep into your home and cause a tremendous amount of damage. It’s not uncommon for repairs from roof leak to exceed $5,000. Attempting a repair but not getting it right can make a problem much worse.
The other reason to call a professional for roof repair is that the work can be very dangerous. Even on low-slope roofs, falling off the ladder while trying to access the roof is something that happens with alarming regularity to DIY homeowners. When roofing a very steep roof or a second-story roof, the risk of a fall is multiplied.
Roofing contractors have the skills and experience to do the work safely; most also have safety harnesses and other equipment that reduce the risk of injury.
Major Tree Trimming or Removal
A lack of experience with taking down large branches or big trees can be deadly – in fact is fatal for many each year. Accidents include falling from the tree and being hit by a falling branch or tree. A tree that is old or damaged can be very unstable and unpredictable when it falls.
There are certain techniques to ensure safety, and they take skill to use. A professional tree trimmer will be able to bring a tree down in a safe manner and one that protects your home and property.
Gas Furnace or Water Heater Replacement
Gas lines not properly installed can easily leak and cause an explosion. Combustion exhaust not vented correctly will result in highly poisonous carbon monoxide leaking into a home. Both of these types of accidents cause fatalities each year.
When running gas line or vent, call an HVAC contractor or a plumber. You’ll have the peace of mind that the job was done by a professional and you, your family and property are safe.
Choose Licensed and Insured Contractors
Always ask the contractor you choose if he or she is licensed and insured. Require copies of their documents, and consider calling their insurer to verify that the policy is in effect. This will help protect you from liability issues if an accident should occur while repairs are being made to your home.
While these repairs didn’t make the top five, calling a professional to make them is the right choice for most homeowners. These jobs are complex, require advanced skills or specialized tools and may be dangerous. The fact is professionals/contactors have the right tools for the job, like digging drains by hand is a slow and arduous business.
Drain field repair
Repair to sewer lines
Extending water lines
Get Permits When Required
Many homeowners look at permits as a hassle, and some have work done without getting one. When you’re having repairs made, call your local building code department to find out if a permit is required. The purpose of the permit is to protect your home, and by extension, you and your family. An inspector will check the work at various phases to make sure that it is done properly so that it will be effective and safe in the years ahead. The other point to always keep in mind is that buyers now days engage a property inspector before they settle. You may well loose the sale if any work has not been permited.