By Nicki Escudero
The proliferation of home improvement programs on TV and online has contributed to the DIY movement, but don't think you can do it all yourself. Realtor.com reports that only about 10 percent of the steps it takes to complete a project actually make it to air, and recommends that those who don't already own most of the tools needed for a project hire a pro.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports hospital emergency room visits due to unintentional injuries increased by more than 1.5 million from 2005 to 2011. Prevent a home improvement injury by hiring a pro for these five tasks, all of which require precise skills and equipment to be executed safely.
1. Sealant Repair on an A/C Unit
An air conditioner leak doesn't just do damage to the environment. The gas that's emitted can harm your family and cause ailments ranging from headaches and nausea to asphyxiation. An A/C coolant leak will also damage your air conditioner and cause it to be less efficient and more costly. Hire a professional to fix it correctly the first time.
2. Tree Trimming and Removal
Climbing to extreme heights and dangling from the air makes for a situation ripe for falling. Removing a tree can cause aches and pains that may require a doctor's visit — especially if a chainsaw or wood-chipper is involved. Professional tree specialists are insured and properly trained. They make sure a tree is taken down safely with heavy-duty equipment to prevent damage to your yard and house.
3. Running Electrical Wire
Besides the risk of getting electrocuted and potential death, conducting electrical work in your home may be illegal if you're not certified. The National Electrical Contractors Association lists electrical regulations based on state, which serves as just one reason why you should leave it to pros. Faulty work can result in the need for costly repairs. Situations requiring a call to a professional include flickering lights, outdoor lighting installation, new home construction and security system installation.
Just like electrical work, leave plumbing to the professionals, too. They follow standards set forth by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials to ensure safety. Plus, if you experience gushing water or messy clogged pipes, you'll want the crisis to be averted immediately by a pro. Professional plumbers make sure the correct parts are used in installation and upgrades, that home remodels go smoothly so you can use your pipes, and that drinking water stays sanitary when work is done.
Safety first! With roofing, you run the risk of slipping and cracking your head or breaking your back if you fall off of your roof. Even tasks as simple as cleaning gutters could result in painful and costly ladder slip-ups. Also, you could cause significant damage that requires calling a professional anyway. A pro has access to the latest equipment and roofing techniques, improving efficiency and saving you time and money.
When in doubt, don't do it yourself. Think about the potential costs you'll have to pay for repairs should you get the technique wrong or use incorrect equipment. And in cases like electrical work, it's definitely not worth breaking the law to DIY.
Nicki Escudero is an expert at crafting an engaging brand story through news and features journalism and marketing copywriting. She currently has more than 14 years of publishing experience.