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What Projects Should Never Be DIY?

Posted by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 9:51 AM
  • 21 Replies


What Projects Should Never Be DIY?

Brain surgery. That's one job you probably shouldn't DIY. But it's not the only job. Some fixer-uppers in your home really do require expert help. Others are too costly to muck up. The DIY experts at Stack Exchange provide a list of home projects you should never DIY.

Illustration by Sean Gallagher.

Question:

What are the most common DIY projects that you should not do yourself? What must be hired out?

Originally asked by Jay Bazuzi

Answer: Domestic Gas Piping

Seems like it's trivial to connect a stove to the pipeline in an apartment—buy a pipe and two thunks, play with a wrench—what could be easier?

Then you overtighten or undertighten some nut or use a wrong type of thunk and you've got a gas leak and possibly a devastating explosion. Saved 30 to 100 bucks but destroyed your own and others' property and possibly killed and injured people. Bad Idea.

Answered by sharptooth

Answer: Garage Doors

This reminds me of this question. Garage doors. The tension stored in those springs is pretty dangerous. Make a wrong move while tensioning the springs and it could take your arm off.

Answered by Eric Petroelje

Answer: No-Fun Projects

You should never do the stuff that's not fun to do. It took me a while to learn this, but unless you truly love hanging sheetrock, for instance, assume a pro will get that portion of your project done 10x faster than you ever would. That's well worth the money, IMHO.

I put roofing on that list. It's certainly a DIYable task, but a pro roofing team can redo your roof in one day. That's a good thing.

Answered by DA01

Answer: Bricklaying & Plastering

My very handy father completely rebuilt a house, doing absolutely everything himself or with family assistance (I recall tiling a roof) except for a couple of large repetitive do-it-right-first-time jobs which he could do himself but he knew an experienced professional team would get done much better and much faster: bricklaying and plastering.

Answered by Mark Roberts

Answer: HVAC Work

Particularly the internals of the system. A heat pump is one of the most complicated pieces of equipment in a modern home. And there's plenty of warranty issues involved if you are not an authorized reseller.

Answered by msemack

Answer: Refinishing a Bathtub (In Place)

"It's just body work—I've done this a dozen times." Incredibly messy, hard to clean up, a ton of cramped work, and even with good ventilation—just an awful job. I saved my mom a few bucks, but never again.

On the other hand, I did try one of these paints on a bathtub I want to replace. It's been a year, still looks good. Gets horrible reviews though—I may have been lucky or used a different brand.

Answered by Steve Jackson

Answer: Know What Can Go Wrong

Homeowners should never do anything where they cannot list 3-5 ways in which it could go wrong.

Answered by Eric Gunnerson

Answer: When in Doubt, Ask an Expert

I'm a general contractor, and I make a living of correcting problems created by home owners trying to save a buck or two. Reading and researching online is great, but no substitute for experience and the proper tools for the job. The cost of fixing a botched job is always more than doing it right the first time, not to mention the agravation and possible safety hazards created. WHEN IN DOUBT CALL A PROFESSIONAL, or become good friends with a competent general contractor and ask for advice like my family and friends do all the time!

Answered by shirlock homes

Need help on a project? Check out Lifehacker's list of "Don't Do It Yourself" resources here.


by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 9:51 AM
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Replies (1-10):
shadenn766
by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 9:53 AM
1 mom liked this

 messing with gas pipes for sure...

BraydensMama163
by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 9:55 AM
1 mom liked this
Anything that requires my husbands assistance lol
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
romalove
by Member on Oct. 6, 2012 at 9:56 AM
6 moms liked this

 Asbestos removal

shadenn766
by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 10:32 AM

 lol

Quoting BraydensMama163:

Anything that requires my husbands assistance lol

 

KenzieQsMommy
by Heather on Oct. 6, 2012 at 12:01 PM
1 mom liked this

I don't do home projects myself. Ever. Lol.

 

I'm reeeeealllllllllly bad.

conniejo75
by Bronze Member on Oct. 6, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Same. My extent of DIY is painting :)


Quoting KenzieQsMommy:

I don't do home projects myself. Ever. Lol.


 


I'm reeeeealllllllllly bad.


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partyof54me
by Member on Oct. 6, 2012 at 1:27 PM

Anything that has to do with plumbing.

Idntreallycare
by Bronze Member on Oct. 6, 2012 at 1:29 PM
Electrical- if it is more in-depth than me taking an outlet cover off, I'll call somebody. I don't mess around with electrical stuff, I've been lightly electrocuted twice in my life, don't need to do it again
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ColieO
by Member on Oct. 6, 2012 at 1:29 PM
2 moms liked this
Lol at the don't do it if it isn't fun. My house wasn't fun, but had to be done. We did more sheetrock then I ever wanted, but it was necessary. We saved over $6k doing it ourselves. Not like a $100 savings, several thousand.
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matreshka
by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 2:58 PM
1 mom liked this

Ouch!  I have to agree not to do electrical work DIY.

Quoting Idntreallycare:

Electrical- if it is more in-depth than me taking an outlet cover off, I'll call somebody. I don't mess around with electrical stuff, I've been lightly electrocuted twice in my life, don't need to do it again


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