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The Hidden Cost of Doing It Yourself... - Harmonious Surroundings


The Hidden Cost of Doing It Yourself...

In todays' day and age of HGTV, Houzz, Pinterest and other DIY shows/sites, we surely can get lots of great creative ideas about small home projects. It's the big ones that you have to be careful about. You might think you're saving money but there are lots of hidden expenses that could result from tackling a job meant for a professional. I recently read an article on by Molly Triffin that I'd like to share with you. It went something like this...

Remodeling Your Home

"From turning an old door into a coffee table to creating mason jar light fixtures, Pinterest can inspire anyone’s inner Martha Stewart. But getting carried away with home improvement projects can backfire. “One problem is that people often don’t follow the building code,” says Mary Ann Moran, kitchen and bath designer, contractor, and owner of The Kitchen Coach in New Haven, CT. “For example, if you install an island in your kitchen but don’t put in an electrical outlet, then it’s against code. If you want to sell your house later, you’ll have to redo the entire island.” Two of the trickiest areas to navigate solo are plumbing and electrical work. Small jobs like replacing a faucet are usually safe to DIY, says David Ratliff, owner and CEO of Midway Plumbing in Texas. But leave bigger stuff to the experts. A few years ago, Ratliff had a customer who installed his own hot water heater and cracked the drain valve when he put it in. The garage flooded, racking up thousands in water damage. “Plumbing is particularly dicey in old houses, where the pipes are easy to break,” Moran adds. Electrical repairs are precarious, too. According to Joel Worthington, president of Mr. Electric, checking smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is fine to do on your own, but installing outlets and repairing broken wires or fuses is a job for pros only. There’s also a health risk to remodeling: If your house was built before 1970, you could encounter asbestos or lead. “Many people make the mistake of scraping off or painting over lead paint, but that can have serious consequences,” says Moran, who worked with a client whose child suffered brain damage after chewing on a windowsill where an old coat of lead paint had simply been painted over. “Plus, the minute you move a piece of material that has asbestos in it, you run the risk of it getting loose and going into your lungs,” she warns."