D.I.Y is all the craze at the moment- you only have to switch on your TV any night of the week to find yet another show promoting the concept of maintaining your house yourself. It’s true there are plenty of things you can do yourself- but there can’t be talk of D.I.Y without first warning you on the things you SHOULDN’T try to D.I.Y.
Without heeding these warnings, attempting to take matters into your own hands can result in wasting time, wasting money, a home that’s a safety hazard or injuring yourself.
So here’s what to leave to the experts:
Tinkering With The Electrics
Leave tinkering with your electrics to a qualified electrician. If you try to take care of it yourself, you risk overloading the power, short-circuiting the house or blowing up outlets. Then there’s the danger of electrocution. All of these could cause an electrical fire, and (as you can see) it’s just not worth it.
Removal Of Lead-Based Paint
Many Australian homes built pre-1970 were done so using paints that contained significant amounts of lead. Exposing yourself to high levels of lead can result in headaches, abdominal pains, nausea, muscle pain, fatigue, throwing up- even a seizure or a coma in serious cases. Essentially, it’s not worth the risk to do it yourself. Stay safe and get a professional to remove the paint, before you go ahead and redecorate.
Removing Old Insulation
If your home was built up to the 1980’s, the insulation could contain asbestos. The side-effects of coming into contact with this have been well-documented over the past 20 years- so if you have any concern about dealing with insulation that contains asbestos, call on a company who specialises in removal. Remember, there are laws about the disposal of asbestos in Australia:
Repair Of Heating, Ventilation And Air-Conditioning Systems
If you attempt to diagnose a fault in your HVAC system, you risk causing further damage but also exposing yourself to toxins from carbon monoxide and Freon leaks. These can lead to respitory problems, even death. For this reason, it’s crucial to have your gas heaters serviced every year or two. The only action you should take with your HVAC system is to replace the filters each month.
Depending on the build of your property, walls you’d like knocked down could play an integral part of the buildings’ structure. Removal of one or several of these walls could take away crucial support for the roof, leading to walls collapsing or the roof falling in. This could lead not only to a huge cost to repair the problem, but risk of serious injury. So if you wish to make any structural changes to your home, consult a professional and stay safe.
As a general rule, avoid any task that involves getting up too high. and each year approximately 5000 people are hospitalised from falls off a ladder: https://www.smh.com.au/healthcare/surge-in-ladder-falls-leading-to-hospital-stay-20161023-gs8k5o.html. So stay safe- and leave your roofing to the experts.
Tiling done right requires more than just laying down the tiles on the floor or across a wall. You may need to cut tiles to fit irregular spaces or surfaces, evenly apply the grout, line the tiles up neatly and (possibly) even waterproof the area first. Tiling is like car window tinting- you can spot an amatuer job straight away. It’s not worth it to do it yourself- let a professional tiler do the job right- and do it quicker.
It takes more than just a sanding machine and a ‘How-To’ guide to do this job the right way. You could be left with an uneven surface and patchy areas- and floorboards aren’t simple (or cheap) to match. Leave it to a pro who understands different timbers and the treatment required to get the surface smoothly polished for you first time around.
Installing A Fence Or Privacy Screen
Privacy screens and fences are a great way to create that feeling of your space being your own, away from prying eyes of neighbours or would-be burglars. But this isn’t something you can just install yourself- there are codes and regulations in Australia when it comes to their construction. Getting a professional to build and install them gives you peace of mind, and ensures they follow council regulations and building codes.
Mice and rats, or wildlife such as possums and bats can cause damage to your home if they settle in for too long. But before you look to relocate them yourself, remember these creatures can carry diseases and become aggressive if disturbed. Furthermore, as you can see Here there’s licensing and regulations concerning the capture of possums that only professionals have a thorough understanding of. So your best bet is to get a pest control expert in to remove your unwanted tenants, and secure your home.
In A Nutshell:
D.I.Y can be enjoyable and quite rewarding upon its’ completion. But it pays to do it right, and do it safely- without the risk of putting a big dent in your bank account or risking your health. So if you need a job done in any of the areas listed above, let the experts take care of the job for you- and stay safe!