A good portion of the country takes things slowly over Christmas break. But that slow pace of life can also inspire some people to keep busy by making home improvements. Kiwi ingenuity is great for upgrades on an affordable budget… But some renovations are risky and can be dangerous or costly if they go wrong. In this article, we’ll highlight a few of the DIY jobs that can be a disaster and might be better saved for a professional.
Plumbing, Electrical, and Gas
These 3 are the big ones to avoid for all but the most minor fixes (changing a lightbulb, etc.). Electrical and Gas in particular are dangerous to handle and should be reserved for licensed professionals. It might be tempting to add in another electrical socket to a room that only has one or two single panels, but an electrician will make sure it’s done correctly and safely.
Plumbing isn’t necessarily dangerous on its own, but it can cause massive amounts of damage, with repairs easily running into the thousands. It can also damage the electrical system and be dangerous in that way. Even if you aren’t planning to do anything with the plumbing, it’s important to be aware of where the pipes are running throughout the house. You wouldn’t want to accidentally drill into a water pipe!
Knocking Down Walls
Expanding a room or turning two small rooms into one big room might seem tempting, but there are several problems that can come up. Most important is that the wall can’t be load-bearing. But even if you do everything right, there could be problems. A wall removal done by an unlicensed worker will show up on the LIM report, which can deter buyers. This can be a headache if you try to sell and probably not worth the trouble in the long run.
Heat Pump Servicing
Summer is sure to have a few scorchers where air conditioning can provide relief. Besides the basics like cleaning the air filter, heat pump servicing is another area best left to the experts. Because heat pumps use refrigerants, only licensed workers are authorised to work with them. If handled improperly, these refrigerants can leak out where they can be harmful to people, and the environment.
Unless you’re familiar with roofing, this one should be saved for the roofers. While at first glance it seems similar to general maintenance, roofing is a separate profession. This is because roofs have their own set of safety measures and because it’s important the job is done right so the roof is stable and durable.
Windows make great viewpoints to the outdoors, but they also stop draughts. In order to stop draughts, the windows need to be put in snugly and securely without any extra space. It can be hard to tell if these are done right, and you might not know until you have concerns with temperature or a higher power bill.
Other Honourable Mentions
For practical people, many of these might not be an issue to DIY, but could be a concern for amateurs or someone who is inexperienced:
- Bolting TVs or Appliances to a wall: If done on a bad spot on the wall these won’t stay secure and can come off easily. The appliance can be destroyed and it can be dangerous for people around.
- Paving the driveway: Getting the right mixture is crucial, as well as making sure that the paving is done smoothly and properly.
- Removing large trees: The larger the tree, the more preparation needs to go into the removal. Along with making sure it is felled properly, there may also be root structures to deal with.
- Cabinetry: These need to be level and if they have drawers, getting them just right can be a challenge. It’s especially important to be careful around anywhere with plumbing.
- Tile Floors: Both adding tile floors and doing repairs aren’t especially straightforward. There’s more to it than lining up the squares and holding them together.
If you’re looking for help with some of the bigger jobs like whole room remodels, get in touch with our team here at Nexus. We’re experienced and can help you make sure the job gets done properly.