The eager do-it-yourselfer can take on a wide variety of projects from landscaping to lighting. The smart do-it-yourselfer knows when a project is too big for their amateur skills and calls in the professionals. But how do you know when to put away the toolbox and pick up the phone?
The simple answer as to when to call the pros is when there is potentially dangerous work involved that could harm you or your property. Never try to perform electrical work unless you are a licensed electrician. The risk of setting fire to your house, electrocuting yourself or permanently damaging your wiring is too great.
Similarly, major plumbing work needs a licensed professional. Though the risk to your life may not be as great, a major plumbing leak can cost thousands of dollars to stop and thousands more to fix the damage.
If construction is a part of the job, make sure you don’t need a permit. If your municipality requires you to submit plans and permits, it’s probably too big for one weekend warrior to take on. It may be tempting to knock down that wall and add some square footage to the living room, but if you don’t know what a load-bearing wall is, let alone where it might be, pack away the sledgehammer.
Remember to always use common sense. If you don’t understand the project fully or have the tools, know-how, time or expertise, think twice before attempting any home project yourself.