When to Bring in a Pro

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Three times to bring in a pro
Doing it yourself when it comes to home repair can be a very seductive idea. After all, the potential money to be saved can truly amount to a staggering about, even for a relatively small project, if there is no contractor involved. And there are a lot upgrades that can seem daunting that turn out to be a quick and easy task to take care. However, nothing spirals out of control quite so badly as when the home handy man finds himself in over his head. Sometimes, that very ambition can make things even worse, as the damaged caused by good intentions has to be repaired before the actual real work can begin. There are some things best left to the pros.

Electrical Work.
This is a no brainer. Not only is modern wiring complex, but older houses can be even more confusing after decades of hodgepodge repair work. And needless to say, electrical work is incredibly dangerous. A small miscue can electrocute the aspiring electrician, which is at best painful and at worst fatal. Someone who doesn’t have an intricate knowledge of wiring and circuits can also cause fires, potentially destroying the entire property as well as endangering anyone who might be living in the house. Bottom line: Always bring in a pro here, no matter the cost.

When to Bring in a Pro
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Roof Work.
This one is a little grayer. Anyone with a competent level of DIY skills can safely and skillfully shingle a roof, provided it’s a simple replacement job. However, when it comes to roofs, that’s hardly ever the case. If shingling needs to be replaced, it’s likely that rotting has also occurred behind the surface. At the very least, bring in a pro to inspect the actual condition of the roof before attempting any work. Falling through hidden weak spots is obviously dangerous for the actual victim and will also just end up costing you more than you would have spent to fix in the first place. And if you’re roof truly is in bad shape, it’s going to take a pro to bring it up to code anyway.

Plumbing/gas work.
Both utilities are carried into your home in underground pipes, and both have their own respective issues when it comes to maintenance work. Small plumbing jobs can be tackled at the DIY level, but once you go past the level of say replacing a toilet, the problems multiple exponentially. Once it actually comes to tearing out walls and fixtures for access, it’s time to call in a real plumber. Faulty work here will cost thousands down the road, and potential water damage to irreplaceable mementos. For gas, don’t even try. Stove replacement is best left to pros, and oftentimes free installation comes with the appliance. For obvious reasons, never try to fiddle with gas lines yourself.

It can be hard to bite the bullet when it comes to these guys. Emergency plumbing work can be exorbitant, but it’s usually the only option you’re going to have. Doing it yourself when it comes to these issues can be just as costly and far more dangerous almost every time.

Ed Michelson
About the Author:

Ed Michelson blogs for We Buy Ugly Houses, a national real estate company which buys and sells homes throughout the US.

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