5 projects you shouldn’t make

Doing a project yourself can be a fun way to learn a new skill, spend your free time, and most importantly, save money. While some projects are easy to make yourself, others are best left to the professionals for a variety of reasons — ranging from “they’re harder than they look” to “they don’t save that much money” to “they can put you at risk.”

Here are five home projects that you probably shouldn’t do yourself, despite what many advice blogs and videos say.

1. Mud and Tape Drywall

While almost anyone can mud and tape drywall themselves, it takes a lot of practice and skill to get a result that looks good. If you’re not naturally a person with extreme attention to detail, lots of patience, and steady hands, it’s best to leave this job to a contractor, especially if you want a result that someone won’t immediately think was well done by a do-it-yourselfer. it-yourselfer.

This is especially true if you were the one who put up the drywall yourself (a much easier task). You most likely have some less than perfect seams and multiple spots where your screws have gone too deep or not deep enough. An expert taper can elegantly hide those imperfections in a fraction of the time.

2. Install tile

Tiling is another project to avoid if you want an aesthetically pleasing end result. Not every floor and wall is perfectly flat and it takes a lot of skill and experience to have even, sharp lines with tiles, especially with more complex designs (like the fancy one you see in a renovated shower). Leave this task to the experts if you want your guests or potential buyers to notice “gorgeous tile work” instead of wondering who got your toddler to align those squares.

3. Upgrade Wiring

It’s fine to replace outlet covers or replace light fixtures, if you’re careful. But wiring upgrades, along with most electrical installation work, should never be homemade. Electricity can be deadly – not just while you’re working on it, but after the work is done if your amateur connections start a fire. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI), electrical fires in homes cause an estimated 51,000 incidents, 500 deaths and $1.3 billion in property damage each year.

In addition to being dangerous, DIY electrical work can also be illegal in many principalities. Even more permissive states like Colorado, which let homeowners install electrical wiring, require them to apply for a permit first, then work in order — as verified by inspections both before and after the area is covered. Doing your own electrical work on a house that sells and eventually causes an injury or fire could put you personally financially and criminally liable, depending on where you live.

4. Repair broken pipes

Repairing broken pipes can certainly be done by a do-it-yourselfer in a pinch, but be prepared to go back and redo the problem several times, says Gregg Hartley, a Chicago-based retired master-master. plumber of 40 years.

“If a pipe is broken, the only way to fix it is to have a variety of specialized tools for the specific dimensions, material and angles involved. If you somehow have all the right tools, there’s a good chance that your lack of knowledge will miss an important step that will lead to leaks later,” he warns. For example, knowing which types of glue to use on which types of PVC and how long to cure for each is crucial.

Often, however, the problem arises when properly resealing the fittings around the repair. Soldering is a tricky, potentially dangerous process that requires a propane torch. “Even if you don’t have to weld by using shark-bite fittings and follow all the steps the hardware store clerk told you, you’re still betting on a leak in the future,” Hartley says. The wisdom of conventional plumbers is that such devices — basically connectors connecting two separate pipes or sections of pipe — are fine stopovers, but won’t last in the long run.

5. Replacing gutters

Gutters often crack or break during the winter under the weight of ice or snow, in conjunction with the freeze-thaw-freeze cycle. It is important to replace them, but doing it yourself should be avoided if you value your safety and that of others.

The risks of high-altitude activity on a sharply inclined surface are obvious. But even if you have a fear of heights and the legs of a mountain goat, gutters are tough. You’ll need a minimum of two people to replace gutters, but three to four is ideal, as there’s a lot of scraps, tools and debris to be handed in.

Coordinating climbing a very tall ladder with a 20’+ long piece of wobbly metal between the two of you also takes practice.

Usually, the price to have your gutters installed by where they’re sold is a negligible addition to the overall cost: The national average price of gutter repair is about $350, according to HomeAdvisor. Buying ladders that can reach your roof for a single project , possibly paying your insurance deductible after a fall, or the added stress of fighting with someone you love after yelling “a little lower” dozens of times just isn’t worth the savings.

What It Comes To About Home Projects You Shouldn’t Make Yourself

There are dozens of great DIY projects to choose from. These five are not included. Stay away from electrical wiring if you want to stay safe, and replace broken pipes if you want to stay dry and avoid water damage or “return from vacation to a new indoor pool,” Hartley says. The modest savings of replacing gutters yourself usually don’t justify the danger and hassle of this risky roofing project.

Finishing drywall and installing tiles are not so dangerous to health. They fall more into the not worth it category, especially if you want the result to look good to potential home buyers in the near future. The 30 to 40 percent you save up front by doing it yourself, you can lose later on smaller offers.

Just as you’ve spent years learning how to best do your job, skilled craftsmen have spent a lot of time perfecting their craft so they can do it safely, efficiently, and beautifully. Yes, contractors can be expensive. But sometimes paying someone else to get a remodel or renovation right the first time can save you more money in the long run — not to mention time, effort, and maybe even your life.

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