So many homeowners take pride in performing some of the upkeep and maintenance on their homes and opt to forgo hiring someone to do the work. After all, there is a pride in ownership and purchasing a home is a major milestone for many people. Not only this, but many times people stretch themselves in terms of budget for their new home and are eager to find ways to save money any way they can. However, as a homeowner it’s important to know when it’s best to call in a professional, versus when you can do the job yourself.
Being able to discern when you should call in a professional can save you tons of money and time in the long-run. It can also help you maintain your home properly and therefore prolong the life of key structural components of your home.
It’s helpful for homeowners and do-it-yourselfers to think about two categories of home improvement projects. Although these are broad categories they help draw a pretty good distinction between projects that don’t necessarily need specialized training or equipment and those that do.
What’s important to understand about these types of projects is that they do not have any impact on the structural integrity or underlying structural supports and materials that keep a house architecturally sound. Cosmetic projects focus on the facade of the home or on the periphery of the home.
Landscaping is clearly in this category of projects and one where it makes sense for homeowners to take on their own projects. Projects such as installing sod, planting trees and other plants, mowing lawns, painting fences and more can be done without risking impacting the structure of the home.
There are some landscaping projects that may cause difficulty and require the work of a pro. When installing sprinklers, for instance, it’s important to have a professional analyze drainage and install proper size of sprinklers and pipes. The last thing you want is for water to pool near your foundation putting it at risk of water damage and erosion over time.
Painting projects are also the kind of home improvement tasks that fall under this category. Obviously, painting poses no threat to the structural integrity of the home which makes them one that can be undertaken by homeowners without professional help. However, there are some things to consider. Professional Painting contractors know which materials to use to give long-lasting results and can patch up any cosmetic issues with walls and trim.
These are more complicated projects that I highly discourage homeowners from taking on themselves. Roofing projects fit squarely in this category because the roof is such an important part of the house’s structure and really the part that protects the interior of the home. Homeowners tend to underestimate the complexity of the roofing structure. They don’t realize that missing shingles can be much more underneath the surface. A missing or leaking gutter can lead to water damage along the flashing and underneath the shingles on the edges of the roof. All of these things are easy for a trained professional roofer to spot, not so easy for the untrained eye.
One aspect of landscaping fits in this category and that is tree trimming and removal. For bigger trees, the risks are obvious. Not having the right equipment or training when trimming a large tree or removing one is dangerous. If these trees are near your home or overhanging your roof, it can be a huge risk of damage if a branch snaps or if a tree falls the wrong way. Even worse, is that you may also put your neighbor’s home or surrounding structures at risk. It’s best to let professional arborists handle these projects to minimize risk or injury or damages.