April 16, 2019 at 3:54pm | Brian Ness

What You Need to Know About DIY and Professional Home Repairs

Whether you just bought a new home or are looking for ways to save on repairs that have been on your to-do list for years, DIY home repairs can seem like perfect budget solutions. Doing your own maintenance and repairs can potentially lead to savings, but you also need to know which projects are best left to professional contractors. To help you avoid serious mishaps, here are some tips to know about common home repairs.

They Take Some Budgeting

Whether you hire pros or DIY, it’s important to make sure you have the funds to pay for your repairs. You know the cost of major renovations done by specialists can set you back a pretty penny, but many homeowners don’t properly plan for DIY jobs. Remember, even small home projects that you take on yourself have the habit of going awry, so always be sure to make a solid plan for how you’ll pay for everything. If you don’t have the cash set aside, there are still plenty of ways to pay for your home updates. One option for folks who have owned their homes for several years is a home equity line of credit, where you borrow cash against the value you’ve built into your home. If you haven’t been in your abode long enough to have built a lot of equity into it, cash out refinancing could be a good option for affording major repairs or a long DIY task list. This type of refinancing replaces your current mortgage with a new, higher-balance loan, giving you the difference in cash. You can also look into getting a personal loan when you only need a small amount, but keep in mind that the interest rates for this type of loan are relatively high for how little you’re able to borrow.

You Need to Prep Your Home for Projects

Even if a project demands the expertise of professionals, you still need to do a little prep work on your own. Debris and dust from home repair projects can be disastrous for your furniture and belongings. While most experienced professionals will attempt to mitigate any damage or dust in your home, trying to work around furniture could make the job much more difficult. Your best bet is to move those items out of the way, so if you’re faced with a lack of storage and a major home improvement project, put your belongings into storage temporarily.

You Can Get into Legal Trouble for DIYing Some Repairs

Many home repairs are dangerous to complete on your own, but there are a few home projects that are completely illegal to DIY. For example, you need the proper permits and to follow strict rules in order to prevent fires or explosions when replacing a hot water heater. Not calling a professional for this dangerous job could put the safety of anyone living near you in jeopardy. Removing insulation is another illegal DIY project, due to the potential for asbestos exposure. Asbestos can be released into the air and pose a public health risk, and exposing yourself to even small amounts can lead to dangerous health complications. Asbestos has even been linked to cancer, so it’s just not worth it to DIY instead of calling in professionals.

You Should Tackle These Home Projects on Your Own

Don’t feel defeated because you can’t tackle the above projects on your own. There are still plenty of DIY home repairs you can safely do without the help of a contractor. Although most plumbing problems require a professional diagnosis, you can use a plunger to effectively unclog a toilet. You should also know how to take care of some basic home maintenance tasks that can prevent the need for professional repairs in the first place. A job as simple as cleaning out your gutters can save you thousands by preventing roof damage from pooled water. Even if you can’t DIY all your repairs, you should make time each season to complete these projects.

Being a responsible homeowner means taking on basic repairs and maintenance, but it also means knowing when to consult professionals. There are some home projects that are just not worth the risk to complete on your own. Doing so could do even more damage or put your safety on the line, so when in doubt or danger, it’s always a smart move to hire professionals.


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