One thing we like to preach is for homeowners to get their hands dirty on a project. It’s good to have a working knowledge with the basics of your house and it’s a real sense of accomplishment when you can perform a repair or installation without calling in ‘the guy’. That being said, there are some renovations that absolutely should be left up to trained individuals as failure to do so could result in more damage, more expenses, and the need to call in for repairs anyway.

Here are 5 such examples:

Anything Bathroom
When it comes to electricity even the novice handyman might have some success changing out a light switch or installing a ceiling fan but that sediment doesn’t ring true with plumbing. Anything to do with pipes, connections, and water as a whole has too much risk for damage than there is reward for a completed DIY job. Plus with all the humidity and moisture present in a bathroom almost every bit of material used must be specialty which is why it’s best to let trained, experienced pros handle renovations in this area of the house.

Countertop Replacement
If you’ve seen more than one episode of any home renovation show on TV you’ve seen this scenario play out: two 19-year-old lackeys with hair over their eyes and a smoke hanging out of their mouth are assigned to bring in the expensive marble countertop with the eccentric project managers last words being, “and don’t drop it”. We all know what happens next and unfortunately real life isn’t scripted where they can make a crashing sound off camera or swap in a junk piece of marble at commercial break. Countertop replacement as a whole isn’t difficult, there’s just too much risk in handling costly granite, marble, and stone without training and extra hands on deck.

Deck Addition
The addition of a deck provides great ROI by turning dead space into liveable area – but only when done right. The codes involved in building a deck are arguably the most expansive of any outdoor project and only somebody with experience should attempt to lay them out and construct them mostly for safety reasons. Plus wouldn’t you rather enjoy the sun on your deck with a drink in your hand rather than worry if your amateur craftsmanship is going to have your guests toppling over any minute?

Window Replacement
There are three main reasons why window replacement should be left to the professionals:

  • Knowledge – A window replacement is a rather simple job for somebody who has done it before, making sure the unit is level, caulked, and the siding around it replaced.
  • Cost – You might actually spend more in the long run trying to install windows by yourself, especially considering higher energy bills from an improper insulation or sealing job.
  • Tools – Installing windows on a second story is dangerous and best left to somebody with a lift, safety harnesses, scaffolding, etc. 

You’ve probably been invited to so-called ‘roofing parties’ where the neighborhood gets together and hashes out some shingles before enjoying beverages into the evening. Too many cooks spoil the broth and the result is likely a crooked roof with exposed nails, improper weather sealing, and soon to be rotting plywood and leaking ceilings underneath. Professional roofers inspect, repair, and install the new roof with detail and at an efficient pace while also usually disposing of the old shingles for you.

If you aim to be a DIY savant someday, start with changing the air filter in your furnace and work your way up through the ranks until you try converting an attic into a tanning salon.