When it comes to some home improvement projects, there are some you should really just leave to the experts – even if you have some experience doing them, but aren’t licensed or insured. You may think you’re saving yourself a bundle in the short-term, but by attempting some of these house upgrades without the proper qualifications, you could be costing yourself a lot more down the road – not to mention potentially putting yourself (or others) in danger.
- Electrical work. The results of trying to do this kind of work can be shocking – literally! Unless it’s something very simple, light changing a fuse or replacing a switch (even the latter could be tricky for some), then you should call on the experts. In fact, the Ontario Electrical Safety Code specifies you must only hire a licensed electrician, and that even a handyman must have an ECRA/ESA license. Remember, bad wiring jobs for new lighting or other purposes can cause a fire – and your home insurance company might not be too pleased to learn you caused it.
- Demolition. Sometimes you need to get rid of the old stuff before you can start home improvements – or perhaps you’re looking to create that “open concept” look. Despite how fun it can be to swing a sledgehammer and break things, you don’t know what lurks behind walls – and you might not be sure if you’re dealing with a load-bearing wall. Smashing through old interiors can also potentially release asbestos and other substances that can be harmful to breathe – so leave this to a crew that knows what it’s doing.
- Plumbing. Renovation ideas for small homes often involve some kind of plumbing upgrade, whether you’re installing a new toilet or building a new stand-alone shower. However, even if you think you’ve got the hang of piping, you should hire a licensed and insured plumber or you may get soaked – financially and literally.
- Replacing Garage Doors. This one might seem a bit strange to some, but the truth is that there are components of a garage door – for example, the springs in a garage door system can cause serious injury – or worse. If you’re thinking of fixing or installing a new garage door (which is a house upgrade that can really boost your property’s curb appeal), hire a company that sells as well as installs them.
- Installing roofing. Even if you’re comfortable climbing a tall ladder and walking around on an inclined surface 30-feet in the air, you still should leave roofing to qualified roofers. This is an important home improvement that not only make your home look better, but can protect its contents from water damage – so it needs to be done right. That means using the right tools, the right materials, and having the right knowledge about how to apply both.