Building and maintenance workers manage to make their job look like a piece of cake, so much so that you might start to wonder what you are paying all your money for. The answer is, plenty. The reason those work rates are so high is that you get a lot of goods you don't see, like training, certifications and qualifications, architectural understanding, occupational health and safety awareness, and quality tools. That effortless breeze they undertake when doing your work is simply experience and confidence, not that the job is easy.
If you were to try to undertake some of those ‘simple' looking jobs yourself you may end up with a nasty mess and expensive repair work on your hands. So before you try and save a few dollars on DIY projects, first check in and make sure you can handle the work ahead.
To help you out we've put together five home maintenance jobs you should never try to do for yourself.
1. Roof leaks
Even if it's just in inspecting your roof to assess damage, you need to leave it to the pros. Professional roof repair workers can find and fix a roof leak a lot faster then you can and they know how to keep their balance and where to step to avoid further damage to your property as well as injury from falls.
The roofing you have will depend on the help you need, be that a tiler, a roof plumber or a slate specialist. Again you are paying for quality training and expertise with your workers so the more unique your roof materials or shape, the higher the price will be.
2. Dodgy lights and switches
With every electrical issue, be it as familiar as flickering lights or as common as the power-shorting out, electricity isn't something you can tame. For all electrical work, no matter how small, you need to call in a qualified electrician.
It's not just a matter of protecting yourself from electrocution in the process of making repairs, it's also about the circuits, wires, and cabling as a whole. If these are not managed and linked correctly they can easily overheat, short-circuit or combust, risking not just your electrical appliances and your property, but also the lives of everyone in the home.
3. Wall removal
Your dream home might include some features that need a little sledgehammering. There are many reasons why you would want to remove a wall and open up your space like open plan living, French doors to alfresco dining, entertainers kitchen, maybe taking out that ‘study' to enlarge a bedroom. Don't be fooled, even a timber-framed wall can be supporting load from the roof and integral to the home's structure. There is no way to tell by sight and material alone which walls can come down without putting stress on the rest of the home. Make sure you get a builder's okay before you make any structural changes or you might end up with a lot more space than you bargained for.
4. Stonework in wet rooms
While expensive stone looks and feels fantastic in your home be careful not to lay your own tiles, brick or stone in wet rooms. That white chalky residue that can appear on brickwork, masonry, natural stone and tiling is called efflorescence. It normally shows up in bathrooms and laundries and any other places where there is a lot of moisture.
While it looks like an easy job to fix up it's a symptom of a much bigger problem, one that will require professional help. Before you decide on what material you want, and especially before you lay down expensive stone, be sure to have a professional check out your intended space to prevent efflorescence build up in the future.
If you do notice chalky build up in your bathroom or laundry you will need to get a bricklayer or builder to come and check your mortar.
5. Bathroom mould
Mould might not seem like a big deal but if your bathroom is poorly ventilated or there is a significant moister build up it can be a sign of a genuine structural issue or faults in the fabric of the building.
If your mould problem is considerable or if resurfaces even after rigorous cleaning then you will need an expert to come in an find the source. This could be damaged waterproofing membrane or trapped, wet air. Investigations alone can be expensive and solutions can include installing sub-floor systems or an inline fan.
While saving money is something many people have in mind when it comes to home maintenance and renovations, investing in professional work is a worthwhile cause that can really payback when it comes to selling your home in the future. Getting some of those big DIY ventures wrong can set you back thousands of dollars. As well as saving you significant stress and being a solid long-term investment, hiring professional, qualified workers for your home projects may also prevent serious injury and loss of life, so roll up your sleeves on the fixes you can do and pay for help on everything else.