Home ownership brings with it a multitude of challenges, not least of which is the ubiquitous DIY question – should I or shouldn’t I? The fact of the matter is that whilst we might like to think we’re more than capable of taking care of everything ourselves, there are some tasks that should really be left up to the professionals. Because if we try to sort them ourselves, we might just end up making things worse.
So, what DIY tasks should you do yourself and which should you leave to the professionals?
Re-wiring – There’s no question at all here – re-wiring a home is a task that should only be undertaken by a fully qualified electrician. Not only are you tearing up floorboards, kicking into walls and working with potentially dangerous equipment but you also run the risk of using materials that are not properly insulated and that could be a serious fire hazard.
Painting and Decorating – Whilst there are hundreds of tradesmen who make a good living painting and decorating, it’s a job that is only usually ignored by those that simply don’t have the time to do it. As long as you have the right tools and a decent amount of patience, painting and decorating (which includes putting up wallpaper) is something that you should at least attempt yourself before calling someone in.
Gas leaks – Unless you are gas-safe registered you should never even dream of playing with the gas. This includes boiler work too! If you smell a gas leak, open all your doors and windows, turn your gas off at the meter and call an engineer as soon as possible.
Plumbing – This is a tricky DIY job, as it depends very much on the severity of the problem. Simple tasks such as plumbing in a sink might be possible as long as you do your research and take your time. However, note that if a plumbing job goes wrong it can be disastrous. Indeed, there are few things in this world as devastating as a flooded home. So, if it’s anything more complicated, don’t hesitate to call a plumber.
Tiling – As with painting and decorating, tiling is a job that most sensible homeowners should be able to undertake successfully as long as they have the time, the patience and the inclination. It can be a fiddly job, of course, but as long as you make sure your walls are even before you begin and you have a decent amount of additional tiles (you will undoubtedly break some along the way) then you should be good to go.
Carpentry – Another tricky one, as it will depend on the job. Hanging a door, for example, is relatively straightforward, whereas laying wood flooring or building furniture from scratch is obviously something that should be left to a professional carpenter.
There are countless other little jobs to consider of course (putting together flat-pack furniture, for example), but we think we’ve covered the big ones here. However, if you’re struggling to decide whether or not to undertake a DIY task yourself – simply ask yourself one question – am I confident enough to do this? If the answer is anything but a solid yes, reach for that phone.