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  • Writer's pictureMatt Weber

Top 5 Jobs to Go Pro vs. DIY

(guest post by Clint DeBoer)


As the weather gets warmer, more people across the US will be starting the DIY projects they have been putting off during winter. Larger renovation jobs are typically more expensive than, for example, redecorating a room with new furnishings, and many will consider attempting these jobs by themselves to save money. However, many of these larger projects have a strong correlation with DIY accidents and require more information than you're likely to get from watching a handful of YouTube videos. Stated plainly, there are certain jobs you should probably not attempt without involving a professional, regardless of the cost.


1. Major Roofing Replacements

The risk of injury when working at height on a roof increases with the scope of work and the pitch of the roof. With anything over a 3/12 pitch (a 3-inch rise every 12 inches), you should really consider hiring a professional—the risk of injury is much higher. 


You may, however, be tempted to take the risk when sorting out a leak or a few broken shingles. If your roof needs major repairs or replacement, however, consider contacting a contractor to assess your home. Roofs can be more complicated than they seem, and those working on them must consider major factors, such as permitting, waterproofing, and nail patterns. It goes without saying that installing or replacing a metal or tile roof requires even more know-how. 


2. Tree Removal

While cutting off low-hanging branches is typically a very manageable job, cutting down a whole tree is not. Height can be deceptive, and chopping down a tree without knowing exactly how it will fall risks damaging surrounding houses, structures, or other property. Additionally, if you don't cut down a tree properly, you can encounter a "barber chair" incident where the tree splits near the base and kicks out toward the saw operator. This is extremely dangerous and professionals understand how to mitigate this. 


Our key advice on tree removal can be summed up in three points. If the tree is larger than 12 inches in diameter, stands even remotely close to other structures, or stands more than 25 feet in height, it's probably best to leave this job to an expert arborist.


3. Advanced Electrical Projects

The general rule to any advanced electrical project is to never attempt it unless you are experienced in the field. If you need to replace a ceiling fan, outlet, or switch, you can use tools like non-contact voltage detectors to ensure you have properly disabled the breakers before working on the circuit. 


Larger projects, like installing a high-current EV charger or working on your home's electrical mains, is well beyond the skillset for most DIY’ers. You can also potentially create more problems than you solve. Since working with electricity can potentially result in major injuries, property damage, or even fatalities if handled improperly, you want to make sure you know what you don't know and enlist the help of an electrician whenever possible. 


4. Removing Asbestos

Even though the U.S. banned asbestos products in the 1980s, some older homes may still contain it as a form of insulation or in certain ceiling and flooring products. If you find asbestos in your home, don't panic. You may be able to cover it safely with a sealer and render the material inert. Then, you can often cover it with another material (like tile or drywall). 


If you do need to remove asbestos for any reason, you should never attempt to do so yourself. Asbestos fibers have been found to cause certain cancers if breathed in. For actual removal, you'll need to hire an expert to remove the material safely from your home.


5. Major Remodels

As part of a DIY project, you may need or want to take down a wall in your home or reroute water supplies and drains for plumbing. A common misconception of home renovation is that it’s as simple as grabbing a sledgehammer and taking your anger out on a wall. While fun—there's a bit more to it than that.


In fact, tearing down a wall can be complicated and dangerous. For example, a load-bearing wall cannot be removed without significant structural reinforcements to replace the function of that wall. You do not want to compromise the structural integrity of your entire home just to open up your kitchen or bathroom! 


You also need to be aware of any electrical wiring or plumbing that could be hidden within a wall. If any are present, you need to take special care to access them. They will ultimately need to be relocated or removed before the wall is fully removed. In addition to the structural knowledge required to safely carry this out, understanding the rules that govern relocating and moving a drain or water supply also leads us to recommend that a professional be involved in these larger projects.  

 


Author bio: Clint DeBoer is editor-in-chief at Pro Tool Reviews , an online publication that has been providing tool reviews and industry news since 2008. To learn more, visit www.protoolreviews.com.

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1 Comment


Ackles Jensen
Ackles Jensen
May 18

When it comes to the restoration puroclean Fargo process – be it water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, or mold remediation – there are usually three main phases of the process. These phases include mitigation, reconstruction, and contents.

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