We’ve all got a bit of that do-it-yourself spirit, and certainly there are lots of projects we can tackle ourselves. But there comes a point for all of us where discretion is the better part of valor. Here are three examples of things you don’t want to tackle on your own.
Certain Kinds of Flooring
You may be able to do a tile floor installation on your own. But if you’re doing wall-to-wall carpet or an epoxy garage floor Chicago, it’s best to contact a reputable contractor. These jobs require special equipment, training, and a lot of experience. Epoxy floors, for example, require deep cleaning and abrading the floor so that the coats of material can adhere properly. And yes, it’s multiple coats, each of which must be applied carefully or you’ll have a big mess on your hands.
It’s fine to replace a fixture, switch, or outlet if you know enough to find the breaker and turn it off. But if you’re considering doing extensive re-wiring, adding additional service, or doing anything that affects the overall wiring plan of your house, it’s a good idea to remember how dangerous electricity is. It poses electrocution and burn risks while you’re doing the work. If you do it wrong, your house could burn down later, so there’s that to consider as well.
Gas Fitting and HVAC Work
Gas fitting is another one of those trades that are licensed and with good reason. Natural gas is cheap, effective – and can blow up your house if you don’t set it up right. An extensive leak can also be quite costly, and fill your home with that distinctive “natural gas smell,” which is really methyl mercaptan, an additive which is put in natural gas to warn people when it’s in the air. There is a lot to understand about connecting gas lines to the utility service in a safe, effective, and durable manner, and licensed pipefitters spend as much as five years in an apprenticeship before becoming qualified to serve as a master pipe fitter.
It’s also critical that gas heaters evacuate fumes to the outside effectively. Carbon monoxide poisoning claims numerous lives every year. Proper venting is crucial for the safe operation of a heating system.
It’s fine to do DIY projects that are within our capabilities. But no amount of savings is worth taking a chance on damaging your house or risking your life. When in doubt, contract it out.