Home Repair Projects that Should NEVER Be DIY

By Shannon Quinn
Home Repair Projects that Should NEVER Be DIY

With the Internet at our fingertips, it’s possible to learn how to do almost anything through a bit of research. YouTube has given us amazing step-by-step tutorial videos done by people who are trying to empower you to do things on your own. DIY projects are a trend right now! This is why there has been a growing number of people who love to fix or build things at home without hiring a professional. Sometimes, this can be a great way to save money, and who doesn’t love to save a few bucks? However, there are certain projects where the task is so difficult, it’s actually best to leave it to the professionals, because one false move could turn into an expensive disaster. Here are 25 home renovations that should always be left to the pros.

Plumbing should always be done by a professional. Photo Credit: visivastudio/Shutterstock

40. Plumbing

Plenty of people out there are attempt to fix small plumbing issues like a leaky sink. There are so many YouTube videos out there that will even teach you how to install piping and everything you need to know how to be a DIY plumber. However, there are certain plumbing tasks that you should never do on your own. When remodeling a bathroom, the pipes are so close to the electricity, that it could end in disaster. One false move, and you might find yourself flooding a room and end up electrocuting yourself.

If you make a mistake with plumbing, it may cost more to hire a pro later. Photo Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

Even without the danger of electrocution, any sort of flooding is disastrous. It can damage your flooring, and even seep through the floorboards. If you are upstairs, it could leak into the room below. Water damage in ceilings will require you to spackle and paint the ceilings, which would cost even more time and money. Plumbers are paid a lot, because they had to go through an apprenticeship and become certified in their field. This is not an easy job, which is why their skills are compensated accordingly.

Asbestos should always be removed by a professional. Photo Credit: Logtnest/Shutterstock

39. Asbestos Removal

If your house was built before 1989 in the US or the year 2000 in the UK, there is a good chance that there might be asbestos on the property. Years ago, asbestos was used for siding, roof shingles, flooring, and more. People thought it was a revolutionary fireproof material, so many builders decided to use it immediately. However, there is just one problem- Once the asbestos is broken apart, tiny microscopic asbestos particles float through the air. When you breathe those particles into your lungs, they can never get out. This has been proven to cause cancer, and other serious health problems.

Asbestos removal can be very dangerous. Photo Credit: A Periam Photography/Shutterstock

In order to remove asbestos properly, you need a HAZMAT suit and professional respirators. The home must also be quarantined with plastic to prevent any particles from escaping the treated area. It is a very serious job for a good reason. Some people who regularly flip houses have put in the effort to learn how to do asbestos removal on their own. Since they are going to be renovating multiple houses in their lifetime, it might be worth the time and effort for them to become an expert, too. However, if this is the home you are living in forever, and you have no interest in taking the risk of getting cancer, definitely pay a pro to do the job for you.

Old paint may contain lead, which is dangerous to remove. Photo Credit: Jens Lambert/Shutterstock

38. Chipped Paint Removal

Just when you thought removing chipped paint was a simple job, poison is threatening your health yet again. Before the year 1978, lead was added to paint. We now know that lead can cause serious health problems like high blood pressure, hearing loss, and mental disorders. In children, it can lead to developmental disabilities and damage their nervous system. Pregnant women are also more likely to have a miscarriage. Lead poisoning is no joke, and it can even lead to death when someone is exposed to too much of it.

Always test paint before removing it by yourself. Photo Credit: G_r_B/Shutterstock

Not sure if the paint on your walls contains lead? You can order a test kit online to test paint chips that you find in your home. If this tests positive, you may want to hire a professional in your local area to deal with the problem. Similarly to removing asbestos, there are house flippers out there who have trained themselves to remove lead paint at an expert level. But if this is the one and only house you are ever going to buy, it’s best to leave it to the professionals.

Foundation repair can be complicated. Photo Credit: Kuchina/Shutterstock

37. Foundation Repair

A foundation is the concrete that your home is built upon. Most of the time, they are built to last forever, but tree roots, water damage, earthquakes, and even the soil itself can cause problems as time goes on. When a foundation becomes damaged, your house could be leaning to one side, or it may even begin to fall apart. This structural damage is very serious, and it can be expensive to fix. Some people might look at the average price tag of $2,318 to $6,750 and feel  their head start spinning. Yes, it’s expensive. But you really do want a professional to take care of it.

Never try to repair a foundation on your own. Photo Credit: brizmaker/Shutterstock

Before you hand over thousands of dollars, be sure that you are getting a good price on your foundation repair. It’s okay to get a few quotes from different foundation experts, as well as an engineer. Once you know what to expect, you can choose the cheapest (or most qualified) person for the job.

Roofing can be dangerous if you are not a professional. Photo Credit: Radovan1/Shutterstock

36. Roofing

Watching a roofer from the ground, you might think that it’s actually easy to climb up and nail a few shingles on by yourself. Even if you’re not the least bit afraid of heights, you probably shouldn’t try this on your own for a few reasons. First and foremost is that it’s very dangerous. One false move, and you could end up in the hospital with broken bones.

If you have never fixed a roof before, it’s easy to make a mistake. Photo Credit: iyd39/Shutterstock

The second reason is that without fixing your roof properly, it can lead to leaks and water damage. This will turn into an issue that is far more expensive than before, and it may even decrease the value of your home. Replacing an entire roof is completely out of the question. This is the sort of job that usually requires permits and a full crew of complete.

Chimney cleaning requires you to stand on a roof. Photo Credit: Kzenon/Shutterstock

35. Chimney Cleaning

When you think of a chimney sweep, you might imagine Bert from Mary Poppins dancing around with a broom covered in soot. He seemed to be pretty happy with this job, so you might imagine that it’s as easy as jiggling a broom around inside of your chimney. In reality, these workers aren’t exactly cheerful, and they’re just trying to get a dirty job done.

Professionals know how to clean a chimney. Photo Credit: Maja Marjanovic/Shutterstock

Chimney cleaners need to work with specialized cleaning tools, as well as climbing up on a roof. Sometimes, when there is a blockage in a chimney, they might have to completely take apart the bricks in order to reach the source of the issue. Spoiler alert- this is usually caused by a dead bird. Chimney sweeping is a dirty job in every sense of the word. If you don’t want to deal with all of that mess, it’s best to leave it to people who know what they’re doing.

Adding a skylight can give natural sunlight to a room, but it’s not easy to install. Photo Credit: brizmaker/Shutterstock

34. Adding a Skylight

Some people imagine having a skylight in their home. This can bring in some much-needed sunlight to a dark space. It also helps to have some light beaming directly in your eyes to encourage you to wake up at the crack of dawn. However, installing a skylight is a complicated process. You will need to create a hole in the roof, install the window, and then seal theit properly to prevent leaks.

Sky lights need to be built into the roof of a home. Photo Credit: brizmaker/Shutterstock

For anyone who is a curious DIY’er without any real professional experience, this project may be too much to handle. If this project is done incorrectly, it can lead to flooding, water damage, wood rot, and mold. And, of course, there is always a chance that you might accidentally drop and shatter the window while you’re struggling to balance yourself on the roof. The good news is that if you hire a contractor, you will have a warranty on both the labor and the world. So if something goes wrong, it can be replaced for free.

Removing electrical components should always be done by a professional. Photo Credit: garmoncheg/Shutterstock

33. Removing Electrical Components

Electricians need to go to school and attain a certification in order to learn how to remove electrical boxes, and there are unions full of workers who specialize in it and yet there are some people out there believe it’s as simple as watching an hour-long YouTube tutorial is good enough to get the job done.

You don’t want to get electrocuted. Photo Credit: Roman Zaiets/Shutterstock

Remember that there is a lot that could go wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing. You could potentially get electrocuted, or ruin your home’s electrical system. This also makes a mess for the next person who works on it, because union electricians all have certain protocols. When they work on electronics, they put the wires back in place in a certain way, which means that they do things to code. So it’s actually terrible to do a DIY project and leave the wires out of place for the next person, because it makes their job far more difficult.

Installing solar panels can be a complicated job. Photo Credit: zstock/Shutterstock

32. Solar Panels

In our growing eco-conscious society, more and more people are trying to get solar panels on their roof. It’s possible to buy individual solar panels online, so some people like the idea of purchasing them and doing the job themselves, rather than paying a company to install them. It’s understandable why you might want to try this on your own, because a lot of these companies will lock you into a contract for decades, because they are making a profit from the energy your solar panels create.

Usually, there is an entire team that installs solar panels. Photo Credit: lalanta71/Shutterstock

As tempting as it might be to do this project yourself, there is a lot that can go wrong. First and foremost, you need to get a permit from your local municipality before you do a project like this. If you do it yourself, you may get denied. Even if you did get permission, this job requires you to drill holes into your roof, and rewire your electrical system. In some cases, your house might need an entire new roof. And if your home is older, there is a chance that the support beams in the ceiling may need to be reinforced in order to get up to code. This definitely need to be left to professionals. If you really, truly want a cheap DIY project, buy a small solar panel online and place it somewhere that gets a lot of sunlight. This could be enough to power

Beams can look beautiful in common areas of your home. Photo Credit: Breadmaker/Shutterstock

31. Installing Beams to Your Ceiling

Nowadays, they sell faux wooden beams that are much lighter than real wood. This makes it a lot cheaper and easier to have beams on your ceiling to give your house the look of being an older cottage. Because of the weight, some people believe that they can do a DIY project on their own with a couple of buddies on a Saturday afternoon. Even if your beams are lighter than usual, this is still a job that should be done by a professional.

Installing beams should always be done by a professional. Photo Credit: Aleks Kend/Shutterstock

Installing beams requires you to go up on ladders or scaffolding, and it requires more than one person to get them securely in place. When searching for tutorials online, there are some people who have taken wooden beams and essentially made a box to create faux beams. This may work if you have experience with woodworking, but it’s always best to work with a professional who knows what they are doing.

If a room needs to be finished, it’s best to hire a team of pros. Photo Credit: Zakhar Mar/Shutterstock

30. Completing Unfinished Rooms

Framing drywall and installing insulation may not seem like a big deal, because it’s just a process of putting up the sheetrock and using a nail gun. It’s actually a job that requires more than one person to get done, in order to put the drywall in place. This is important to get help, especially if you are inexperienced. In rooms with tall ceilings, you may even need scaffolding and protective gear.

It might be necessary to bring in scaffolding to finish a room. Photo Credit: Rachid Jalayanadeja/Shutterstock

However, once you have learned this process from a professional, you might be able to move on and do a DIY project in other rooms of the house. If you are really set on doing this yourself, be sure to have a qualified contractor work along with you. Doing the project totally on your own without help could lead to structural issues in the future.

Experience helps when installing a light fixture. Photo Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

29. Installing Light Fixtures

Light fixtures seem easy enough to install in your home. However, once you unscrew a fixture from the ceiling, there are wires that you need to disconnect, and reconnect with the new fixture. Even if you turned off the electricity, there still might be live wires, and it’s possible to get electrocuted. There is also the chance that the existing hole in the ceiling may be a different size, which might require it to be filled with plaster, or covered with a “ceiling rose”.

Someone may need to stand on a ladder to install a ceiling fixture. Photo Credit: Medium

Installing a light fixture can be nerve-racking as a DIY’er, because one false move can be a serious issue. This is especially true if you need to stand on a ladder to remove something large, like a chandelier. You need a second person to be a spotter and hold the ladder, and it’s always possible that something could go wrong. Hiring a handyman to perform this job is not that expensive, either.

It would be too risky for you to install your own septic system. Photo Credit: Hamik/Shutterstock

28. Installing or Repairing a Septic System

One of the last things in the world you ever want to do on your own is trying to install a septic system. Yes, it costs thousands of dollars to pay professionals to get it done, so you may be looking for cheaper alternatives. But it’s expensive for a very good reason. In case you aren’t aware, septic systems carry waste from your toilet and help break it down in large tanks. It keeps harmful waste out of the ground, and it is essential to coexist with your plumbing. Professionals need to get a permit from your local township, and come in with a digger to create a hole where the tanks will go. After the system is installed, you will need an inspection to make sure it is up to code.

Septic is a highly specialized job. Photo Credit: KCM Photography/Shutterstock

There is so much that can go wrong, it’s not worth even taking the risk trying to install a septic system by yourself. Some people have gotten away with installing one on their own if they were living in a tiny house. Even then, most of those people have to resort to composting toilets, instead. As for repairs, you need to hire professionals as well. Homeowners are supposed to get their septic systems pumped once a year, and it only costs around a hundred dollars. Few people actually follow through with this

Hanging drywall is a common DIY, but it’s easy to make a mistake. Photo Credit: Visionsi/Shutterstock

27. Hanging Drywall

Earlier on this list, we mentioned that fact that you shouldn’t try to finish a room on your own. Even if you only need to replace drywall, you should still hire a professional to do this for you. So, why shouldn’t you hang drywall? Firstly, drywall materials are huge. If you don’t already own a truck, it may be impossible for you to transport it. Even if you got it delivered to your door, it’s heavy, messy, and easy to make a mistake.

Professionals know how to hang drywall efficiently. Photo Credit: DUO Studio/Shutterstock

Since every wall is different, it might also require you to cut down the pieces with a saw so that it fits properly into your space. One false move, and you can accidentally damage your supplies. Luckily, this job is not too expensive for you to hire someone. On average, this job costs between $900 to $1,500.

You should always hire professionals to replace windows. Photo Credit: Dmitry Kalinovsky/Shutterstock

26. Replacing Windows

Buying windows are expensive by themselves, even without the installation fee. Take a walk through Home Depot or Lowes, and you will see that it costs a few hundred dollars just for one window. This is why so many people decide to try tackling window installation as one of their first DIY jobs, especially if they found a good deal from Craigslist or the Salvation Army Thrift Store. Unfortunately, this job is far more difficult than you might imagine. And if it’s not done properly, it could lead to drafts, leaks, and potentially a big mold problem.

Windows are crucial for insulation, and they need to be done correctly. Photo Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

If you have recently purchased a home with older windows, and you can’t currently afford to hire a professional to replace them, don’t risk replacing them on your own. This could lead to a far more expensive issue. Not sure how to get through the winter with single-pane windows? Consider covering them with sheets of plastics in the winter time, and hire a professional as soon as you can afford to get it done properly. You can buy a window insulator kit at your local hardware store, or online. 

It can be tricky to install a TV on your wall. Photo Credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

25. Installing a TV on Your Wall

Hanging a TV on your wall is a common DIY project that some people like to try, but it’s not something that everyone should attempt on their own. First, installing the wall mount needs to be perfectly level, and it should be done correctly in order to make sure it doesn’t damage the drywall. Next, installing the TV takes at least two people, even if you were getting a DIY project done.

A handy person needs to screw a TV mount to the wall before hanging it on the wall. Photo Credit: Naypong Studio/Shutterstock

Nowadays, when you order television from somewhere like Amazon Prime, they give you the option to pay someone to hang it for you for an additional fee. There are also apps like task rabbit where you can find someone to get the job done for you. Even if it costs a bit to get it done, it’s cheaper than accidentally breaking your TV or damaging walls.

Switching out appliances must be done by a professional. Photo Credit: tommaso79/Shutterstock

24. Switching Between Gas and Electric Stoves

Some people out there prefer to use gas appliances, because they love seeing the flames underneath their pots and pans instead of using an electric stove. Replacing your appliances is well and good, and most of the time, places like Home Depot and Lowes will offer an installation package for you at the time of purchase. But plenty of people out there buy second hand appliances off of somewhere like Craigslist. If you are trying to install gas appliances, never do this on your own.

It is a very difficult job to switch between gas and electric appliances. Photo Credit: lucky boy studio/Shutterstock

When gas leaks, it is poisonous, and has been known to kill people. Most of the time, natural gas is scented to help warn you of a leak, but if you’re unaware of what to look for, it might go unnoticed. If you have a gas leak in your home, and you turn your stove on or light a match, it can also cause an explosion. This is incredibly dangerous, and the task of changing appliances should never be taken lightly.

You need heavy equipment to dig out a basement foundation. Photo Credit: ungvar/Shutterstock

23. Digging Out a Basement

If you are thinking about building a house on a plot of land, you might be tempted to dig out your own basement and foundation. After all, it’s just a big hole, right? And it’s possible to rent a digger, which would save you money on labor. If you choose to attempt this on your own, no one is going to stop you. However, there is so much more than digging a hole.

You need a professional crew to build a basement. Photo Credit: eyerazor/Shutterstock

First and foremost, you need to get the proper permits, and be aware of local environmental codes. You also need to build a house on a plot of land that is above the water table, to prevent flooding. Architectural drawings will need to be followed to a tee, in order to make sure everything is structurally sound. With so much that can go wrong, it’s best to hire professionals who know what they’re doing. One bad rainstorm could completely derail your project, and you would have ti hire professionals to come in to fix it. After digging the basement, you also have to waterproof the foundation, which is usually a job that needs to be done by an entire time. 

Trees can destroy your property if they fall in the wrong way. Photo Credit: ND700/Shutterstock

22. Tree Removal

Removing a tree is a very dangerous job, even when you have some past experience. One false move, and the tree could fall on your house, or even kill someone. When a tree falls, it also needs to be cut up with a chainsaw. If you don’t have a fireplace or a place to store wood, you will need to rent a wood chipper. Unfortunately, people have been known to lose limbs or even die because they tried using a wood chipper without enough experience. Needless to say, this is not a job for amateurs.

Professional tree removers have wood chippers and a full team. Photo Credit: ND700/Shutterstock

The price of removing a tree changes depending on how large it is, but it’s always in the ballpark of a few hundred dollars. If more than one tree needs to be taken down, you can usually get a package price. When a tree falls, you also need to worry about removing the stump. This is an additional expense from taking the tree down, and it requires heavy equipment to pull the stump out of the earth.

You might need scaffolding to do stucco on a large house. Photo Credit: Jeff Whyte/Shutterstock

21. Exterior Stucco

When you’re choosing to fix the exterior of your home, you will have to decide what kind of siding you want to install. A lot of people go for the standard vinyl siding, but stucco can be a great option, because it lasts years longer. At first glance, you would think that stucco would be very easy to do on your own. However, it’s easy to accidentally crack, which will completely ruin insulating your house and protecting it from insects and drafts.

Stucco needs to be done by a professional. Photo Credit: littlenySTOCK/Shutterstock

If you have a two-story home, you will also need scaffolding, or risk standing on a ladder for several hours at a time. Without experience, you could accidentally fall and hurt yourself. If you have never spent hours balancing yourself on a ladder before, you have no idea how difficult is truly is. A stucco job is also massive, and it usually requires a team to get done in one weekend. If you try to do this on your own, you could be going through the process for several weeks without it getting done.

It takes at least two people to move and install a dishwasher. Photo Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

20. Installing a Dishwasher

When you buy a dishwasher from somewhere like Home Depot or Lowes, you can usually get a free or discounted installation, which means that you never have to worry about doing this on your own. However, a lot of people might get a used dishwasher from Craigslist for their home, or one of their friends. They hope that instead of paying money to hire a pro, they can get a few friends together and install it on their own. Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy as the pros make it look.

Dishwashers need to be installed properly to avoid problems. Photo Credit: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

In order to install a dishwasher, you need to drill into your existing cabinets to create holes for the water and electrical lines. There are also a lot of other complicated steps in setting it up, like installing drainage lines. With so many moving parts, there is a lot that can go wrong. It’s always best to hire a professional to get the job done.

Workers get certification in HVAC. Photo Credit: David Spates/Shutterstock

19. HVAC Systems

HVAC stands for “Heat, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning.” It comes standard in a new American home, and if you want it to be installed in an older house, it costs tens of thousands of dollars. Repairs also cost a lot of money, so some people feel tempted to try to get this work done on their own. However, this is one of those jobs you should definitely steer clear of.

Repairing HVAC is a complicated process. Photo Credit: Elnur/Shutterstock

In order to get certified in HVAC work, people need to go through an apprenticeship and take tests before they can qualify to do the work on a home. Just like becoming a plumber, it takes a very long time to learn those skills. So, to think of an amateur jumping straight into a project is pretty unrealistic. It’s best to leave it to the pros.

You should hire a professional to redo a tub. Photo Credit: Artazum/Shutterstock

18. Tub Refinishing 

For anyone who has moved into a house with a vintage porcelain bathtub, you may feel tempted to refinish the tub on your own. There are a lot of tutorials on YouTube about how you can do this, and there are also tub refinishing kits that you can buy online if you’re feeling brave. However, after reviewing these tutorial videos, there were so many steps along the way where there were warnings about how careful you must be, otherwise, the project will fail. Not only is this a nerve-wracking process, but it’s very time-consuming.

There is a lot that goes into remodeling a tub. Photo Credit: ppa/Shutterstock

Even after successfully refinishing a bathtub, DIY advocates will even admit that after about two years, refinishing paint begins to stain. It also can’t handle abrasive cleaners, otherwise the paint will begin to peel off. This is why it’s actually a lot more permanent to get a tub overlay installed by a professional, or have it completely replaced with something new.

If you don’t have the right experience, you might not be able to install a shower. Photo Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

17. Installing a Shower

The process of installing a shower can be a great home upgrade but it is not easy. If you choose to try to do this yourself, you will have to invest in all of the necessary tools. However, once you tear away the old bath or shower, you might discover that there is leaky plumbing or a rotting subfloor underneath that needs to be replaced. Or, what’s worse- those problems could go unnoticed to an untrained eye.

New showers can really bring a bathroom together. Credit: Burst by Shopify

Hiring a contractor also means that you are guaranteed a polished, professional looking shower. People who do a DIY project tend to make small mistakes that can become an eyesore. If you hire a contractor and you see something you don’t like, you can ask for them to fix the mistake. Another advantage to hiring a pro is time. When you’re doing a DIY shower install, most people take several weeks to get it done, which means their bathroom is out of commission for an extended period of time. Professionals can get it done in one weekend, so you and your family can get on with your lives.

You need the proper machinery to sand hardwood floors. Photo Credit: Twin Design/Shutterstock

16. Refinishing Hardwood Floors

Choosing to refinish your hardwood floors is a common DIY project that a lot of home owners try to tackle on their own. However, if it’s your first time sanding floors at home, you could run into a lot of trouble. Firstly, you will need to rent a sander from somewhere like Home Depot or Lowes. However, before you actually dive into sanding, you need to know whether the wooden floors in your home can handle it or not. Every time floors are sanded, it makes the boards thinner and thinner, until it completely damages them.

Most hardwood floors need to be stained after sanding. Photo Credit: Fotokostic/Shutterstock

After sanding the floors with the machine, you also need to stain them properly. This takes a set of skills that need to be taught to someone who has done it before. Yes, there are tutorials on YouTube, but troubleshooting is often difficult when there is no one there to look at your particular situation to help you. On average, it costs $350 to $900 to hire a professional, but it would be worth it to get it done properly the first time.

Installing countertops should always be done by a pro. Credit: Shutterstock

15. Installing Countertops

For some people, they might see a video of people installing countertops and think that they could do it too. In reality, installing countertops is one of those skills that people specialize in. These countertops can be very heavy, too. It usually takes multiple people to carry the countertop and lift it up onto the kitchen island. In order to make custom countertops, you need huge expensive saws and tools that are capable of cutting marble or stone. 

Professionals have to make sure countertops are level. Credit: Shutterstock

Even if you wanted to do this project yourself, chances are that you don’t even have the equipment or man power to do it properly. And if it was installed incorrectly, there is a chance that you could potentially cause leaks to damage the wood of your countertops and so much more. Make sure you find a reputable countertop installer in your local area. Remember that unlike repairs, this is a one-time expense. This is something that is worth putting the money into so that you have a beautiful kitchen to last the rest of your life. 

A repair person can usually get repairs done within a few hours. Credit: Shutterstock

14. Appliance Repair

If one of your major appliances like a dishwasher, washing machine, or dryer stops working, you really have no choice but to call in a professional. The thing about major appliances is that no two brands are alike. Even if you find a tutorial on YouTube, there is no guarantee that you will find the same exact model number that you own at home. Most likely, a part will have to be ordered online in order to fix your machine. The appliance repair person will have to come to your home and take some machine apart. This is a job that could take several hours to complete, even for a professional.

You never know how difficult an appliance project might become. Credit: Shutterstock

All of these appliances require you to shut off the plumbing and electricity before the project get started. There is so much that can go wrong, an amateur might make the issue worse. When you buy a major appliance, make sure it comes with a warranty. If you have a warranty still intact, you may be able to get the repairs done for free or have the machine completely replaced by the manufacturer. In fact, if they catch you doing a DIY repair, it voids the warranty! So don’t do anything yourself if the warranty is still there. Even if your warranty has expired, it’s still worth the cost. At the end of the day, repair costs are usually much cheaper than buying a brand new machine. 

A lot of paint and equipment is needed to paint the exterior of a house. Credit: Shutterstock

13. Exterior Paint

It’s very common for people to paint the inside of their house room by room. However, you should avoid painting the outside of your house if you can. Most professional painters have scaffolding or a cherry picker to help them reach the height of the second or third story.  They will be able to paint the outside of your house quickly and efficiently without getting hurt.

This entire time needed to be on scaffolding to finish the outside of a house. Credit: Shutterstock

If you were to try to paint the outside of your house on your own, the chance of injuring yourself is incredibly high. You also might not have the equipment available to get yourself up there. Even if you own a ladder, this would be excruciating for you to paint the entire exterior by yourself on a ladder that may not be completely stable. And if you are a novice, chances are that you might make a mistake. It’s much better to pay the professionals to paint the outside of your house so that it gets done quickly. 

Professionals need equipment to press down the tar to create a level driveway. Credit: Shutterstock

12. A Paved Driveway

If your driveway needs to be repaved, you always need to hire a professional to help you. They bring in machines that are very expensive in order to lay down the tar or cement. It’s also easy to mess up leveling the driveway, which is why a professional should always come in to do it. When you pay for a project like this, you’re also guaranteed that they will do a good job. If not, you can ask them to fix something before they get paid.

It usually takes a few people to get a driveway done. Credit: Shutterstock

On the flip side, if you want to have a stone driveway, this can be done on your own. However, if you plan to do your own driveway, this will take a very long time. Last summer, my family and I redid the stone driveway on our own. We wanted to use beach pebbles, so it took a couple months of re-ordering the supplies in bulk in order to find enough. I also had to buy a landscaping blow torch to remove all of the grass and seeds so that our driveway could be in a perfect U shape. 

This exterminator is prepping the area to make sure termites don’t get into a house. Credit: Shutterstock

11. Termite Extermination 

If you know that you have termites in your house, you should always call the professionals for help. Unfortunately, I have first-hand experience with this. We had a termite infestation for a couple years at my house. At first, we bought every product on the market in order to try to get rid of the termites on our own. We were determined to not have to pay the huge cost of bringing in a professional exterminator. However, after spending a couple hundred dollars on products that didn’t work and watching YouTube videos that gave us false promises, we still had termites.

This house had to be covered in a tent in order to fumigate it for a major termite infestation. Credit: Shutterstock

First and foremost, we had to identify where the water was leaking into the house. Termites are attracted to wet wood. But even after making repairs, the dampness can still attract the critters even after the leaks are gone. When the professional termite exterminator arrived, he had to drill holes into the cement foundation around our house. Then he filled it with the termite poison and had to fill the holes back in. He knew exactly how to do it correctly so that we wouldn’t have the issue again. The longer you wait to get help from a professional, the more the termites are going to eat away at the wood that is holding your house together. This can be incredibly dangerous and ruin the structural Integrity of your home. 

Installing exterior siding may be harder than you think. Credit: Shutterstock

10. Replacing the Exterior Siding

I have seen several videos on the internet explaining how to replace your exterior siding on your own. This might be possible if you have just a few pieces that need to be replaced. However, if the siding on your entire house needs to be replaced, you really need to hire a professional. In older homes, a lot of exterior siding was made of asbestos. The only way to handle this is to encase it in new siding. Or, you would have to have it removed by certified professionals. Either way, it’s best to hire a team to get the job done for you in a few days.

If the siding is left unfinished, it can be bad news for the house. Credit: Shutterstock

Down the road from where I live, there was a family who purchased a fixer upper. The first thing they decided to do was encase the asbestos siding with new vinyl. They even purchased scaffolding to do the job. However, they were still learning how to do siding, so they worked very slowly. After two months of work, they didn’t get the job done in time. Now, it’s winter. There have been several storms beating down on their half-completed house, and no one can move in yet. All of this wasted time means that they are paying for a mortgage and taxes without even being able to live in the house yet.  Any amount of money they were trying to save by doing it themselves is probably canceling itself out with the amount of wasted time and money that they are now dealing with. 

A pile of old polyurethane foam removed from a demolition site. Credit: Shutterstock

9. Removing Insulation

A lot of people will do a DIY project of installing brand new insulation into a newly constructed building, tiny house, or van build. This is fine, because brand new insulation is typically safe. However, removing old insulation is a totally different story. Over time, the fiberglass can break apart and particles will fly in the air. Same goes with older insulation that could potentially be asbestos. These particles can fly into the air and get into your lungs. They will permanently stay there and potentially cause cancer later in life.

A bee’s nest found inside of basement insulation. Credit: Shutterstock

Because of the danger of what lies inside of insulation, you should always hire a professional. They will show up with the proper protection and equipment necessary in order to remove it without hurting themselves or your family. On top of that, this is simply a dirty job. It’s not a pleasant thing to experience. Some people have even had the unpleasant experience of finding wasps or bees in their attic insulation, too.  It would be better for you to pay a professional to get it done instead of going through it on your own.

This basement is in the middle of being insulated and finished. Credit: Shutterstock

8. Finishing or Expanding Your Basement

A lot of people dream of having a finished basement. This can be a great way to add additional square footage to your home, especially if it’s not possible to build upwards. Most people use their basements as a cinema room, gaming room for the kids, a downstairs bar, or an extra bedroom space. All of this might seem easy enough, but you should never start a basement finishing project without consulting a professional first. 

Basements have structural importance to your foundation, and the rest of your home. Credit: Shutterstock

Basements need to be waterproofed and insulated, especially if your house is below sea level. If the water table is too high, you may not even be able to do everything you hoped for in the basement. Always consult a professional to come and inspect the property, because they will let you know what’s possible, and how to get it done correctly. If the basement ever floods, you can run the risk of mold growing, or you could lose everything that’s down there. 

A contractor measuring a door to make sure it fits properly. Credit: Shutterstock

7. Installing a New Front Door

Installing a new door might not seem like a big deal, but it can actually be a huge project. We recently had a new front door installed in our house. Our goal was to replace an antique door that was originally on the property, but it had no insulation. My parents decided to turn this into a DIY project, but it became a nightmare. The size of the old door was small compared to the new door that they purchased.  So my dad had to knock out both sides of the wall in order to get the new door to fit. 

A contractor installing a new door lock. Credit: Shutterstock

When the door arrived in the mail, the sealants of the door were broken. We called the manufacturer to have them replaced, but the replacements arrived broken as well. Even now, there is still a draft coming through that door because my dad couldn’t install it properly. All of this hassle could have been avoided if they just paid a couple hundred dollars to a professional door company to install everything. If they purchase a door that was the exact same size as the previous door, maybe it wouldn’t have been such a hassle. But it’s hard to imagine installing a door on my own after seeing what my parents went through. 

So much can go wrong with a broken toilet. Credit: Shutterstock

6. Replacing a Toilet

For some people, the idea of replacing a toilet seems easy enough. They want to do it on their own without hiring a professional. However, there was a lot that can go wrong with toilet replacement. If you don’t install it properly with a ring and make sure that everything is sealed in place, it can leak and lead to mold. This can also cause water damage in the floor, which damages the underflooring. Wobbly seating are the least of your problems if you make a mistake installing a toilet.

You should always hire a plumber to replace a toilet for you. Credit: Shutterstock

Personally, I have replaced toilets and rings on my own with the help of family members. However, these projects never worked out as planned. We ended up having wobbly toilets and other issues that didn’t work out properly. In the future, I would always hire a professional to replace a toilet. Even if it costs a couple hundred dollars to get the project done, it’s worth knowing that you can sit down on the toilet seat without worrying if it’s going to crash through the floor. 

Sometimes, you can use wood glue to a fix a chair. But it can still lead to disaster. Credit: Shutterstock

5. Repairing Broken Furniture Legs

Whenever a furniture leg breaks, one of two things usually happen. Either the person throws away that furniture, or they come up with a weird DIY solution like putting a stack of magazines where the missing leg used to be. If the furniture was under $100 to begin with, it might make for financial sense to simply get rid of it, and buy something new. However, if you have an expensive piece of wooden furniture that costs closer to $1,000, it would be worth the money to have it repaired.

This professional is working on fixing a broken chair leg. Credit: Shutterstock

Carpenters need to use special tools in order to recreate the legs of your furniture to fit perfectly. This isn’t something that you can accurately accomplish with a weekend DIY project. Thankfully, this shouldn’t be too expensive for you to hire a local carpenter to work on the project for you. It’s best to find a small mom-and-pop style business in your town. This can’t be done somewhere like Home Depot or Lowes. Alternately, you can try to find replacement legs on the manufacturer website, or eBay. 

Some people can handle reupholstering chairs on their own, but it’s best left to a pro. Credit: Shutterstock

4. Reupholstering Furniture

Sometimes, we find a great piece of vintage furniture that would look amazing, if only we could reupholster the fabric and stuffing. While it may seem tempting to tackle on your own, it might be too difficult for most people. My aunt has a reupholstery business in her home, and her entire basement is filled with the proper equipment in order to get it done correctly. You need an industrial sewing machine, electric saws to cut foam, button pushers, tools to remove pins, sanders, and so much more. 

This professional is installing new springs into a piece of furniture. Credit: Shutterstock

During quarantine, my mom decided to reupholster her couch on her own. Since she and my dad had both learned a little bit from my aunt, they weren’t total novices. However, my mom still ended up breaking her sewing machine, because it was not industrial grade. I ended up spending around $200 to buy her a new machine. Even though they had some background knowledge, it still took my parents a month or two to reupholster their couch. However, with that being said, if you want to reupholster your dining room chairs, this should be simple enough for you to DIY. I have seen several videos on YouTube with people explaining how to do it, and it should be possible for even beginners to pull off.

There’s nothing better than a beautiful front porch during the holidays. Credit: Shutterstock

3. Building a New Front Porch

Building a porch might look simple enough, but it’s actually a form of engineering that should not be taken lightly. This is especially true if you are building a double-decker porch or something else that is meant to hold a lot of weight. If the porch is not built properly, there is a chance that it could break or collapse underneath people while they’re standing on it. I have also seen plenty of stories where people’s feet accidentally go through the porch wood and they end up breaking an ankle. This is yet another example of another DIY disaster I have unfortunately experienced in real life. 

A brand new front porch with vinyl rails. Credit: Shutterstock

My parents want to install a new front porch on their house. They want to save money, so they have avoided hiring professionals. It’s not the sort of job that can be done with just one person, so they have tried to recruit friends who are handy with tools, and pay them half the price. Even when people said “yes” to helping, they would quickly avoid their calls. My parents removed the old front porch roof, because they trusted that they would have help from friends. Now, they are dealing with a winter without any protection on the front of the house. This has been a nightmare, especially considering that we need to stay at home and receive grocery deliveries and Amazon packages more than ever before. Always pay the professionals who will show up on time and get the job done for you before it’s too late. 

It’s okay to do rough sketches, but don’t mistake this for real architectural sketches. Credit: Shutterstock

2. Architectural Blueprints

On home makeover TV shows, you might see the interior designers make a sketch for their design ideas. They may even make a 3D rendering of what they imagine they want done. This might work for decorating. However, this is no replacement for actual architectural blueprints when you are trying to build a house from scratch. There is a very good reason why people go to college for architecture and civil engineering. You need to make sure any building or addition is structurally sound, if you don’t want your house to fall down.

Professional architects can help you make your dream come to life. Credit: Shutterstock

If you are adamant about building a tiny house, shed, or addition by yourself, at least buy the blueprints online. Many are available in a downloadable PDF format. Instead of hiring an architect, you can pay between $100 to $500 for access to the building plans. Once you have the plans in place, you know exactly what kind of lumber to buy from the store, as well as materials needed. You also have a plan on how to put everything together, set aside by an expert. This can be passed on to other experts in the construction industry, and the job goes by a lot smoother.

With severe ceiling damage, wood often needs to be replaced. Credit: Shutterstock

1. Water Damage

Hopefully you will never have to deal with water damage, because it can be devastating. If you have a leaky roof, there is so much more that needs to be done beyond the patch work. Water damage can cause mold, but it can also eat away at the integrity of the wood. Ceiling tiles often need to be removed completely. Wet wood can also lead to a termite infestation. Unfortunately, a lot of people will paint over water damage, and pretend like there isn’t a bigger issue happening underneath. Black mold can seriously affect your health, so don’t mess around with it. The longer you let water damage go, the worse the situation will be.

Major leaks can cause huge issues in your walls. Credit: Shutterstock

My family’s beach house was flooded during Hurricane Sandy. The basement had to have the water pumped out by the fire department, and all of the floorboards needed to be replaced. Our main house is also near a lake, so we have a high water table. We’ve dealt with water damage throughout our lives, and it’s never something you should ignore or try to do on your own. There are special vacuums to suck up excess moisture, dehumidifiers, and so many other pieces of equipment that go into removing all of that water from a flood. It’s a costly job, and it needs to be done by a professional if you want to go back to living in a warm, dry home.

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