Contrary to popular belief, no matter what area they specialize in, every contractor thinks there are some repairs that everybody should at least try to do themselves. If for nothing else, people who try to DIY have a better understanding of the major systems of their home. And while they’re at it, many homeowners may develop a new appreciation for the work that home repair specialists do all day. There are also some repair jobs that you should never, ever try to do yourself. Even though stucco and parging are our specialities, we consider ourselves pretty well-versed in general home repair.
Here are suggestions for things you should try to do yourself, and a firm recommendation for jobs to leave to the pros.
Do try this at home:
Apply caulking to your windows and around your bathtub. Caulking is a relatively easy, inexpensive way to protect your investment in your home, and it’s a remarkably forgiving material. Keep a wet rag nearby, and if your caulking goes awry, wipe it away while it’s still wet and try again.
Fix a leaky faucet. Most of the time when your tap just won’t stop dripping a damaged or missing washer is to blame. Trying this relatively simple home repair yourself is always worth a shot because it can end up saving you a lot of money on wasted water.
Clearing toilet clogs. If you have small children, at some point one of them is going to throw something in the toilet that fits in the bowl but won’t *quite* go all the way down. Oh, who are we kidding? This one is going to happen more than once. If you call a plumber every time a Matchbox racer is circling the bowl, you’re going to have a very happy plumber.
Replace broken tiles. If you still have the tiles used when you built or renovated your house, replacing a broken tile is easier than you think. It can also make a big difference to the look of your kitchen or bathroom.
Paint a single room. If you have very high ceilings or awkward landings to reach, it’s probably not worth the investment in specialized equipment for your DIY paint job. However, assuming it’s the standard “four walls, a window and a door,” painting a single room is not impossible, and the savings can be worth the effort.
Always call a professional:
Electrical repairs. Electrocution is a real thing, and the building and fire codes around electrical work are difficult for even licensed electricians to keep up with. When it comes to keeping the lights on, it’s best to leave this job to the pros.
Removing hazardous materials. Asbestos, lead and mould are all health hazards. Once you have discovered a hazardous substance in your home, it’s understandable that you just want it OUT. But unless you have HAZMAT gear kicking around and access to proper hazardous waste containment facilities, you need to leave this one to environmental remediation specialists.
Gas appliance repairs. Seriously. Just don’t.
Parging. While we think you should leave this one to us, we understand that not everybody lives in Edmonton. You should still hire a professional. Parging protects your foundation and a functional, attractive application affects your home’s curb appeal. Don’t leave this to the instructions of some guy you saw on YouTube!