Three Home Repair Projects that You Shouldn’t DIY


HGTV makes us believe that we can take a house in need of TLC and easily turn it into a beautiful home worthy of Magnolia Magazine — all with do-it-yourself repairs. Those television shows, along with a wealth of articles, make it look so easy — like, perhaps, even a home remodel can be completed in a week. In reality, if we actually started some of the projects, we’d likely end up with a demolished house, a burst pipe, and no idea what to do next.


While there are many projects you can tackle on your own, some are best left to the pros. In order to avoid botched jobs or injury, you should adequately save up for some repairs and find qualified experts to get the job done. Let’s discuss when to reach out for a helping hand.




One of the most dangerous things a novice homeowner could do is to attempt electrical work themselves. The dangers of improper electrical work are fire, electrical shock, or death. Electrical boxes control the power throughout the house. If at any time you notice buzzing, flickering lights, cracking sounds or blown fuses, then your panel should be updated as soon as possible and it’s time to call an electrician.


Costs can range from $503 to $1,735 when you need to upgrade or modernize an electrical panel. Here are some things involved in determining the cost:

  • Labor
  • Parts
  • Whether existing wiring needs replaced
  • Whether there are split circuits
  • Whether subpanels need repair
  • Whether old equipment needs to be disposed of



For a novice, plumbing may seem as simple a task as connecting tubes and connectors. In reality, however, so much can go wrong. Whether installing or upgrading, improper plumbing can result in more than leaks. A professional plumber is able to determine when pipes are unsafe and can affect the safety of your water.


A professional can also help identify areas where leaks are hidden — leaks that could cause mold and deterioration within the walls of the house. Furthermore, a qualified plumber can prevent such leaks during the installation process. It’s important to remember that quality work can last for decades and save you a lot of time and money, not to mention prevent stress.


Licensed plumbers are worth their costs, which can range anywhere from $45 to $125 an hour. They know when permits are needed and can obtain them. They can identify quality materials that are not only safe but can last a while. Most importantly, they can identify conditions that are unsafe for you, your loved ones, and your property.




When heating and air conditioning go out at the wrong time of year, everyone in your house pays the consequences. In some cases, it can actually be dangerous, such as the heat going out in winter or the A/C failing in summer.


If you need a repair or replacement, it’s best to let a professional do the job to prevent any future breakdowns, to ensure the repair or installation is done right, and to avoid injuries to you or your house. Additionally, the professional can warranty their work should something go awry. The average cost of HVAC repair is $284, and the average cost HVAC replacement is $4,274.


Some projects are manageable on your own; those projects typically don’t require special training, high risk or local governmental approval. However, some repairs and replacements necessitate a professional, like electrical, plumbing, and HVAC repair or replacement. When in doubt, ask yourself: If you were to sell or rent the house, would you need to have a professional do the work in order to avoid liability?


Bret Engle |




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