Jul 16

Five Repairs that Should be Left to the Experts

Five Repairs that Should be Left to the ExpertsThe do-it-yourself bug has bit many a homeowner. In most cases it is a good way to save money. Many upgrades and renovations can be successfully completed by homeowners who have basic knowledge of how to use tools and how homes are constructed. However, there are some repairs that should be left to the experts.

1. Adding an Electrical Circuit

Many homeowners install ceiling fans, replace switches and electrical outlets. However, adding a new electrical circuit requires taking the cover off the breaker box, adding a new breaker, and routing the power cable through the walls. Even with the main breaker shut off, feed wires and terminals are still electrically charged, which creates an electrocution hazard. Amateurs should not attempt this type of renovation.

2. Replacing a Water Main

The water main going into a home is buried below the frost line. This can be several feet deep in some areas. Digging a trench to access the water line creates a collapse hazard known to professionals. There has been tragic loss of life even among professionals working in trenches to replace water and sewer lines. It is a risk that amateurs should not take.

3. Pouring a Concrete Driveway

It usually begins with a successful pouring of a small concrete project such as a short sidewalk. Then, confidence is built up to tackle that new driveway. Large slabs of concrete require special reinforcing, pouring and finishing techniques. Power equipment is also used to speed up the job to get the concrete smoothed and brushed before it begins to set. Wet concrete will not wait. The water is actually initiating the chemical reaction to cure it. Leave big concrete jobs to the professionals.

4. Replacing Windows

An installer such as those with windows in San Jose CA know about how easy window replacement looks. Take off the trim, pull the fasteners and out pops the old windows. However, the issue is not taking out old windows. It is measuring for and installing new ones. Replacement windows are ordered to precisely fit in each rough opening. Replacement windows are built to fit the openings where they will be installed. Also, windows not installed perfectly plumb and level will not open and close properly. Leave window renovations to experts who do that type of work every day.

5. Cutting an Opening for a Door or Window

Cutting into the load bearing exterior walls of a home requires expert level knowledge. Every door and window opening has a header across the top part of the opening. This carries the weight that is bearing down on the framing members across the opening and down to the foundation. Special supports are used to bear the load while an opening is made and the header is installed. This type of renovation takes training and experience to protect the wall from sagging or collapsing. Leave it to the experts.

When making repairs or home improvements, homeowners should stick with doing projects that match their skill levels and the tools that they own. Also, be sure to consider the amount of manpower that is needed. Some jobs take an entire crew of specially trained workers to finish safely. Sure, it is good to save money on home renovations. However, a big project that fails can cost a lot more to correct.

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