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Using Common Sense With Home Improvement: Knowing When to Call In the Pros
By Seth Murphy, Guest Author
In most cases, the point of making home repairs yourself is to save money. After all, it doesn’t take much to rack up a massive bill and, sometimes, you can save a lot by pulling out your toolbox. However, it also doesn’t take much to get yourself into trouble by taking on repairs that are beyond your abilities.
There are many times when it’s well worth the expense to call a professional and make sure the job is done right - the price of paying for a botched repair job may be considerably higher than if you’d consulted a pro in the first place. Remember, aside from aesthetics, your goal should always be to implement repairs and improvements that positively affect your home’s value.
Here are a few tasks that are best left to the experts.
With a plethora of YouTube videos available, many homeowners are likely to feel empowered to handle pouring a concrete slab themselves. And while it’s possible for a DIY approach, this task requires careful planning, measuring and expertise most homeowners don’t have. To ensure your project is handled efficiently, look to professionals.
Out with the old
When it’s time to start working on home improvement projects, you’ll probably want to clear the home of furniture and other large items that you no longer wish to keep. But did you know there’s a proper way of disposing of these items? Rather than stressing about it yourself, search for professional haulers who will safely throw the items away. This service can remove old mattresses, refrigerators, electronics, and even carpeting. Make sure the service you choose is qualified and recommended by other homeowners.
Playing with fire
Any repair work involving a gas line is a dangerous proposition. Replacing an appliance that takes gas or relocating a gas line leaves you susceptible to a host of trouble, ranging from carbon monoxide poisoning to gas leaks and explosions. Unless you have training and are certified to perform such work, you’re literally playing with fire, so leave this one to the professionals. The average cost to repair a gas line or replace to accommodate an appliance typically ranges from $150 to $650.
Windows perform an important job in your home. They keep the elements out and your heat and air conditioning in. Windows need to be properly insulated in order to function correctly and save you on heating costs. Replacing one requires special tools you likely don’t possess, which means it’s a haphazard undertaking that can end up doing more harm than good. Be prepared to budget for this one, however. The average cost to replace a single window is $500. Trees and tree limbs
Cutting down trees or large tree limbs is a dangerous job that can easily result in injury or costly damage to your home, garage or car. It calls for using axes, sharp saws and ropes high off the ground. If you’re felling a large tree, getting it to fall where you want it to fall can go very wrong with just a minor misjudgment. You won’t be friends with your neighbors for long if your tree takes out any of their property, but you’ll certainly get familiar with their attorney. This is one absolutely best left to the pros.
You may be accustomed to dealing with pest infestations yourself, but termites are another matter, one far more serious than laying out ant traps every spring. Termites can destroy a house in a remarkably short period of time if not dealt with quickly and with expertise. Watch for crumbling or damaged wood, or maze-like patterns in the walls. Contact a termite control company right away if you suspect termite damage. The average cost for termite treatment is about $1,500.
There’s a lot to be said for homeowners who want to take it upon themselves to make repairs when things go wrong at home. You can save a lot of money - if you know what you’re doing. It’s when you overreach and assume you don’t need the help of an expert that you can end up doing more harm than good. Exercising common sense will pay off in the long run - the future value of your home will thank you for it.