7 Home Improvement Projects That Should Never Be DIY

When you’re trying to save money, there are various options for corners to cut.

Try shopping sales, or maybe switch from name brands to generic.

But while it’s one thing to buy basics over brands at the grocery store, it’s another thing to take on home improvement projects on your own as a way to curb spending.

When it comes to home improvement, there are some instances where you should accept the charge and let the professionals take charge.

No matter how much confidence you may have in your home improvement abilities, there are certain things in your home you should never do yourself.

In order to avoid some major home improvement mishaps and dodge possible dangers, leave the 7 home improvement projects below to the experts.

Want to be Floored by Your Floors? Leave it to the Professionals!

We get it—you want flawless floors. But when it comes to tiling, or resurfacing or refinishing hardwood floors, leave this area of home improvement to the professionals.

Handle Your Hardwood (by NOT Using Your Own Two Hands)

While renting equipment to refinish hardwood floors sounds easy enough at a glance, sanding off the top layer of wood to reveal refinished floors can be much harder than expected.

Sanding machines require just the right touch and should be left to someone who has lots of practice from doing the job day in and day out.

As tempting as watching a how-to video and approaching the job on your own may seem, you won’t get the feel for the machine unless you try it with your own two hands multiple times.

In the end, just a few seconds can make all the difference, as sanding for a little too long can leave you with drum marks on the floor

Drum marks occur when you drop the drum of the sander when it’s not in motion.

These unfortunate scuffs are extremely difficult to cover up and are notorious when it comes to belt sanders, as they appear if the machine is improperly run or wrongly tuned.

We’re Laying it Down—Avoid Trying to Tile

Since the job for great-looking tile floors requires a lot more planning and effort than just slapping some squares down, don’t try tiling on your own.

To tile properly, you need to make many measurements, cut edges, and lay it down—and don’t think you won’t need a steep learning curve to scale with cutting tile. 

Glass mosaic tiles especially are tough to cut.

If you’re thinking big tiles are the way to go so that you’ll have fewer to install, think again.

Large tiles are even trickier to tackle, as they are even harder to cut than small glass mosaic tiles!

Additionally, you’ll be left with a lot of waste if you try this job at home, so save yourself some time, money, and stress, and hire a professional instead.

Step Away From the Saw!—Don’t Take on your Own Trees

Cutting down a tree means dropping a few tons of lumber onto the ground.

To try this on your own brings with it a great potential danger. The danger alone is a reason to hire a pro.

Not only is there a possible hazard of dropping a tree limb on yourself and finding yourself physically injured from the task, but there are also potential damages that can be done to your home, electrical, DSL and telephone lines.

Keep in mind that while wielding a sharp chainsaw, you’ll be taking on an overwhelming amount of branches and leaves.

Don’t forget that those branches and leaves will have to be disposed of afterward, requiring a wood chipper (which is an expensive tool).

Avoid the climbing, tricky tools, dangerous distances from the ground, and an overall disaster waiting to happen.

Hire someone trained in the task of tree removal to take care of the job safely.

A Dire DIY Don't--Electrical Work

This DIY don’t is crucial, as working with electrical wires can be deadly. 

The proper precautions and knowledge are imperative with electrical work.

While you may be fine to flip a fuse switch to turn the power on or off in your home, leave it to the professionals to attempt to repair wiring or other electrical issues throughout your house. 

Every year, there's an estimated average of 60 electrocutions associated with consumer products, and in the U.S., more than 2,600 people are killed in house fires, according to the Electrical Safety Foundation International.

It’s not wise to fool around with electricity, and although YouTube may seem like a reliable source for electric tutorials, it’s a good rule of thumb to leave these home improvement projects to those who are skilled in electric work.

So go ahead and change that light bulb that’s blown out, but in order to avoid starting a fire or electrocuting yourself, homeowners are urged to steer clear of any and all other electrical work.

With the Electrical Safety Foundation International reporting that 50,900 fires each year are attributed to electrical failure or malfunction, resulting in almost 500 deaths and more than 1,400 injuries, saving a few bucks with this kind of DIY is not worth the risk.

When it Comes to Walls, Avoid Taking Them Down

Knocking down a wall or two seems like an easy task, right?

On the surface, taking down a wall is simple. Behind those walls, however, could be electrical wiring, gas pipes and plumbing that you’re unaware of.

Suddenly, that ‘easy task’ for home improvement has created a huge problem for you and your building.

However, if you do decide to try to conquer home additions or structural changes to the house, be safe and make sure to consult a contractor first.

When it Comes to Walls, Avoid Building Them Up

Don’t risk retaining walls either—let professionals build them for you instead. 

A retaining wall is a structure designed to restrain soil to a slope that it would not normally keep to. Typically, this involves a steep, near-vertical or vertical slope. 

Retaining walls are used to bound soils between two different elevations, and they are not a Do-It-Yourself project to approach on your own. 

To properly build a retaining wall, you must acquire a number of special tools and supplies. These include a block, a paver base, leveling sand, landscape fabric, and drainage pipes, just to name a few of the very, very many.

If you don’t already own most of these tools, you are probably better off hiring a contractor to take care of the work.

Rethink Risky Roofing

Raise the roof all you want on the dance floor, but when it comes to roof repair at your home, think twice. 

Working on top of a roof is incredibly dangerous, and the potential to lose your footing or slip and fall is not a risk to take lightly.

Thousands of Americans die each year from falls, mostly from roofs or ladders while cleaning gutters or fixing a roof (according to the National Safety Council).

Not only can roofing be detrimental to your health, but it can also just as easily be damaging to your house’s structure. 

If you don’t know the proper way to install or repair roofing it’s best to call in some backup. Either way, if you do decide to brave the task of climbing up to check the roof for damage or perhaps clean gutters, bring a friend along and proceed cautiously.

Pay Attention to ‘Permit Needed’ Work

If the home improvement ahead requires that you obtain a permit, avoid the project, even if you don’t understand why you may need it in the first place. 

To stay safe, you need to fully understand construction documents and what’s entailed in a DIY that requires a permit for completion.

Skipping seeking permits altogether when doing it yourself puts you at risk of being shut down by an inspector.

You are likely risking more than an inconvenience by being shut down, however, as you may also face problems selling the house in the future.

You must disclose unpermitted work when selling, which could majorly hinder sales.

Which home improvement projects have you successfully taken on? What home improvement projects proved to be a major fail?

We want to hear—tell us about your experiences below!

About The Author

Hi, we're the Designblendz team! We blend overlapping design disciplines to raise the standard to design, visualize, and build virtual and physical environments.