DIY Home Projects to Avoid

Posted by Lee and Katherine Keadle on Tuesday, March 1st, 2016 at 10:03am.

diy projects that you should avoid

It’s tempting to get inspired by a home renovation show and try to save money by doing house renovation projects yourself. However, some tasks absolutely require a professional.

Refinishing a Wood Floor

Home improvement shows love to show before and after footage of worn, wooden floors in an old house followed by the gleaming, smooth planks after refinishing. However, if a floor isn’t properly sanded and timed just right during the staining process, the result is a patch work of staining that requires an entirely new refinishing. Many homeowners with painting experience assume they can tackle a floor refinish project, but they don’t take into account that paint jobs can simply be painted over again if there’s a mistake. When it comes to staining a floor, though, the job requires several workers in order to make sure the rooms can dry at approximately the same time (especially in an open concept floor plan). If there are errors during the process, a homeowner has two choices: start all over again, or buy a large rug!

Also, floor sanding equipment is expensive to purchase, and it’s difficult to find these tools that are for rent. In short, it makes better sense to simply bite the bullet and hire a professional for this job.

Electrical and Plumbing Work

There’s a reason that some professionals dedicate their entire careers to being electricians or plumbers – a lot can go wrong, and no two homes are built the same. With electrical systems in older homes especially, it can be dangerous to do this kind of work yourself even if you think you’ve turned off the correct breakers in your panel box. The building codes from decades ago leave a lot of room for non standard practices, so it can be difficult to figure out which wires are live or grounded. Approximately 400 deaths occur every year in the United States due to faulty electrical components, so it’s not worth the risk of injury or death to save a few hundred bucks.

Although plumbing work is much safer for the handyman, we’ve seen far too many DIY projects show up in home inspection reports when it comes time to sell the home. In many of these cases when we represent the buyer as their real estate agent, we make the seller hire a professional plumber to fix these issues before closing because we don’t want to risk leaks or long term mold/mildew problems.

Tearing Down a Wall

It can be tricky to know whether a wall is load bearing until you get started. For the structural integrity of your house, you’re going to want to hire either an engineer or a very experienced contractor that you trust to make sure the wall is not supporting the weight of your home. If this project is not done properly, you’ll risk sagging floors, cracked walls, and a serious stigma when it comes time to sell your home since buyers flee from structural problems flagged in a home inspection.

Removing a Tree Near Your Home

If you have a dying, diseased, leaning, or questionable tree near your home, it’s worth hiring an arborist or certified tree surgeon to remove it. The same is true for decaying or low lying limbs above your roof (most arborists say that limbs should clear your roof by eight feet). Mature limbs can easily weigh between two hundred and four hundred pounds, and it takes a professional with years of practice to be able to guide this kind of weight safely to the ground.

Homeowners should never try climbing a ladder with a chainsaw because one fall could cause serious injury. From a liability standpoint, you also don’t want a limb or tree to fall on your neighbor’s house, your own house, or a bystander.

Our Past and Current Clients Often Ask Us for Recommended Contractors

At The Keadle Group, we often hear from past clients asking for recommendations as they renovate their homes or take on needed repairs. We take pride in helping our clients well after their closing takes place and are happy to provide Charleston SC real estate advice and contact info for electrical, plumbing, landscaping, bathroom/kitchen renovations, tree work, and more. When you choose to work with The Keadle Real Estate Group, you’ll see why two-thirds of our business comes from our past clients – we’re always here to help!

3 Responses to "DIY Home Projects to Avoid"

Greg Hancock wrote: Hey there Keadle Group - how funny, I was just explaining to a client preparing to sell, and one that just bought that some things should just be left to the pro's! Great read, valid points for those enthusiastic but inexperienced aspired handymen out there. Including this in my May edition of fabulous real estate articles round up. Cheers!

Posted on Wednesday, May 18th, 2016 at 5:19pm.

Zequek Estrada wrote: It's so true that a lot can go wrong when it comes to electrical work. My old neighbor had some problems with the circuit board and tried to fix it using a DIY she found online. However, she had not predicted that it would end up causing more damage than repair. Since I heard her story, I've started to believe people when they say that it's most likely safer to just hire an electrician.

Posted on Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 at 11:54am.

Christian Kingsbury wrote: I definitely agree with you on refinishing hardwood floors! I've heard horror stories of people trying to do that on their own!

Posted on Thursday, October 5th, 2017 at 7:08pm.

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