Home Repair Projects that Should NEVER Be DIY

Shannon Quinn - May 11, 2020
Share
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.

Advertisement