3 Jobs That Could Lead to DIY Disaster
DIY is now something of a tradition in the UK with many people spending countless hours and weekends exploring the aisles of DIY Superstores drooling over power tools, bags of gravel and rolls of wallpaper. While it’s true that you can save a lot of money by taking on certain DIY tasks like decorating a living room, landscaping the garden or putting up some shelves, there are also some tasks where it could work out a lot cheaper in the long run to just call in the professionals. You could also save yourself a lot of hassle too. Here are a few jobs that could lead to DIY disaster and that might be best left to the professionals.
Now I’m not talking about wiring a plug or installing a new light fitting here, I’m sure most of us can handle that – though with the regulations that surround electrical work in the UK nowadays I’m not even sure if that’s allowed ;-). I’m more thinking of much bigger wiring jobs.
I remember when we renovated our first home and we had to have it completely rewired. The lighting wiring was still the original braded wiring found in old Victorian houses and I honestly feared for my life every time I flicked a switch, so that just had to go. Then there was the rest of the wiring which the previous owner of the house had kindly informed me he had installed himself. When we ripped up the carpets and looked under the floorboards, well to say it was a death-trap would be a bit of an understatement.
Undertaking major rewiring tasks in your own home might not just be unsafe but it’s possible that it could also be illegal if you are not a ‘competent person’ and you don’t have it safety checked, so for major electrical works I would always recommend calling in the professionals.
When you look at your walls you could be forgiven for thinking that plastering would be as simple as painting, couldn’t you? It’s not. Plastering is a fine art and you would be surprised at just how much skill and experience is necessary to get a nice finish. Poor quality plastering can make a whole renovation job look shoddy and unprofessional. Plastering is also physically demanding and can be extremely messy if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you are still adamant that you want to plaster your own house then I would seriously recommend that you at least undertake some sort of weekend crash course first. Personally though, plastering is another job I feel is best left to the professionals if you’re not planning to do it regularly.
Major Plumbing Works
I’d like to think that given enough time I could successfully install most of the elements in a standard bathroom – ‘I’d like to think’ being the key words in that statement. When it comes to installing a boiler or a central heating system though, again I think that this could turn out to be a false economy if you don’t really know what you are doing. If you’ve ever lived in a house where some radiators are colder than others or don’t work at all then you will know how frustrating this can be. As I understand it central heating systems work on a fine balance and if not installed correctly they could lead to years of frustration and cold nights, not to mention poor economic performance as you use far more energy than may be necessary. I’m no expert in central heating systems and that’s kind of the point, if you’re not either then it’s probably best to call in the experts for this one.
A False Economy
So there we have three areas where I personally feel it is better not to DIY and it makes more sense to call in the professionals. Doing so might not only save you a lot of time, mess and hassle but it might also save you a lot of money in the long run as you won’t be paying out to correct your own mistakes. When you add into this equation the potential for possibly invalidating your home insurance policy if you take on tasks that you really shouldn’t be taking on, well this just shows that some aisles of B&Q and Homebase are probably best avoided for the amateur DIY’er.
Which DIY jobs do you think are best left to the pro’s?