DIY Fails: Hire a Pro for These 5 Home Improvement Projects

Posted on Jun 22 2016 - 4:43pm by Housecall

By Nicki Escudero

toolsConsumer spending on home remodeling is outpacing the growth of the economy, according to data from the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University.

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. 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.

4. Plumbing

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.

5. Roofing

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.

21 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Michelle Fenn July 1, 2016 at 10:31 pm -

    I notice that these projects generally require permits from the local building department.

  2. Catherine July 5, 2016 at 6:59 pm -

    You left out swimming pools! In some parts of the country swimming pools are prevalent and a consideration when purchasing a home. Doing your own repairs can get expensive if you don’t know the correct way to do the job. Hire a reputable, professional contractor and you will get quality work that saves you money in the end.

  3. Dan Jacobs July 10, 2016 at 11:46 am -

    A lot of people think they can install hardwood floors on their own, but end up making a mistake by not factoring in humidity and temperature levels in their home. After they install the flooring, when the temperature changes, the wood can expand or shrink, causing major damage. It is best to hire an experienced professional for a project like this as well.

  4. Oren Linder July 26, 2016 at 7:55 am -

    One more area in your house where you need professional services is your garage door. Repairing your garage door sometime seems easy but it is not that easy. There are many aspects in a garage door which need right knowledge and experience to fix like heavy items, garage opener, and electricity wires etc. These things require high standard of safety and professional tools. So, contact nearest skilled professionals if you have any issue with your garage door instead of getting yourself in any unwanted problem.

  5. Samantha August 29, 2016 at 11:38 am -

    I could not agree more. While I myself am an avid DIYer, I keep my Do-it-Myself projects to things like crafts. Our staff at Dayton’s Top Home Remodeling Contractors have seen so many home remodeling disasters that could have easily caused harm to not just current but also future homeowners. It is scary when you get behind the walls and see some of the work that was done. On that note – it is important to stress that hiring just anyone for the items above isn’t good enough. Be sure you hire professionals who actually know what they are doing!

  6. MJ August 31, 2016 at 12:32 am -

    We find when it comes to electrical work, hiring a pro pays for itself, especially considering the extra repairs when people make a big mistake. Electrical work is very dangerous and requires someone who knows what they are doing.

  7. Paul Anderson November 2, 2016 at 9:22 am -

    Hail damage to the roof of your home, in some cases, is not immediately apparent and can become more evident in the months to follow. If you have already been denied by your insurance company in some situations you may have called them to soon. You should call you local roofing company to arrange an appointment to inspect your roof and property and if any damage exists you should schedule a “re-inspection” with your insurance company and get the denied claim reversed and approved no matter how old or new your existing roof may be. DO NOT attempt to evaluate the damage yourself as most homeowners cannot differentiate hail damage from normal deterioration. If you are in the Kentucky area, recent hail and wind storms caused significant damage to many homes roofs, siding, and gutters etc. If you live in this area, and suspect your home may have suffered any type of storm damage due to hail or wind, feel free to visit, one of the leading roofing companies in the area and you can have one of a roof estimator inspect and evaluate your roof.

  8. Beytug November 17, 2016 at 7:52 am -

    I don’t mind doing some DIY jobs myself but as you have pointed out some of these certainly require a professional.

  9. Bob Lockwood November 25, 2016 at 9:25 pm -

    I love people doing DYI stuff around their house but I have seen too many people seriously injured by cutting down their own trees. Please call a professional for cutting down any tree larger than 12 feet. It’s not worth the chance of being hurt. Great article!

  10. Aaron December 2, 2016 at 4:55 pm -

    I ama roofing contractor, and have owned my own roofing for some time now, and whether it be a simple roof repair or a full roof replacement, I would always want at least an inspection done before my clients risk their own safety. I have seen many of accidents, and DIY does save money, but at what cost??

  11. Jaki Redden December 17, 2016 at 10:49 pm -

    Great basic diy, tips. For heating efficiency, you can look for air leaks from your windows, doors, etc. If you have a leak, you can use any sealant from your local hardware store to fill it. This can help you lower costs for your heating bill.

  12. Kent Howton January 25, 2017 at 12:30 am -

    Don’t forget your flooring contractors! I for one do not advise people on going DIY with refinishing or resurfacing their interior & exterior floors. That’s why contractors like us make sure to keep each project with the perfect precision and design. Great article, anyways!

  13. Brad B. February 21, 2017 at 1:31 am -

    Thank you for sharing these projects you shouldn’t tackle yourself. I’d like to add “replacing a hot water heater” to the list. If you’re not careful, a hot water heater installed improperly can really get you (and your home) into real “hot water” (pardon the pun), so it’s best to get a professional to handle it for you.

  14. Jeffrey Lee March 23, 2017 at 10:45 am -

    Thanks for sharing your ideas. It really help out me

  15. Jack Simons April 24, 2017 at 12:31 pm -

    These ideas are really great. Just through personal experience, I recommend anything including foundation for your house to call a professional. I’m all for some DIY projects especially because they can save much more money than realized, but certain things just require a professional. Thanks for the tips!

  16. Kevin June 17, 2017 at 5:53 pm -

    This is a great post, and really I couldn’t believe how often people are hospitalised for DIY related injuries! It is good that you stressed safety first however, since nothing is more important!

  17. Jack Harvey June 17, 2017 at 5:55 pm -

    I personally agree with your last thought on the subject. If you are unsure, absolutely hire a professional. My poor father really injured himself trying to empty his gutters a few years back and it has costed thousands in medical bills when really, it should have been much cheaper to just hire someone!

  18. Leslee October 12, 2017 at 4:22 pm -

    This is a great post! Being in the home remodeling business we have seen many accidents waiting to happen after we really get into the job. Great use of facts at the beginning. Very insightful!

  19. Donald Miller August 22, 2019 at 9:50 am -

    Thanks for this insight..

  20. Andrew September 18, 2019 at 8:42 pm -

    I agree when it comes to concern about the roof we need to call a pro roofer, safety is the top priority, even I can climb our rooftop but accidents may occur since I’m not that well-educated when to come to this. There are a lot of incidents when it comes to the roof and this is absolutely a pro job.

  21. Betty January 7, 2021 at 7:15 am -

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