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DIY home projects you should leave to the professionals

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Google may be your best friend when it comes to research, but it may also be your worst enemy. While it may not matter how many seasons Stranger Things has in everyday life, erroneous information about your home can be a matter of life or death when it comes to DIY projects.

If you rewire your outlet incorrectly or fail to clean your lint trap fully, you could suffer a home fire. While we understand and even embrace the allure of do-it-yourself home projects, we thought it best to list the projects you should leave to the professionals. This way, Google can't put you in harm's way.

Don't let this list deter you, though. You can DIY! We just want you to be safe while doing so. 

Project #1: Big plumbing jobs 

Tag in your plumber.

Water damage is one of the most expensive issues you can have in a home, and if you've ever flushed a water assembly valve, you'll know how powerful the water flow can be. Without a cup to deflect the water back into the tank, the liquid can spill all over the floor, splash onto the wall, and create thousands of dollars in damage.

While replacing a water fill valve is a 15-minute, easy project, we wouldn't recommend trying to replace your toilet - especially if you only have one bathroom. Plus, your annual plumbing inspection should always be completed by a professional, who is trained to see things homeowners aren't. 

Project #2: Electrical work - all of it 

Leave the electrical projects to licensed professionals.

Seriously. Electrical work isn't something to fool around with. According to the NFPA, one of the top five causes of home fires is electrical distribution and lighting equipment. Simply rewiring a light fixture can lead to a potentially dangerous and even deadly situation. Instead, contact a licensed electrician for your home electrical needs - from upgrading your outlet to fixing your outdoor porch light to installing your ceiling fan.

Of course, as long as your light is working correctly, you can change your own light bulbs. (We recommend LEDs.) 

Project #3: Appliance repair  

Give your appliances specialized attention.

Many of your appliances come with a limited warranty. Plus, if you have a home warranty or purchase a plan through a utility company, such as PSE&G, then you should use it when your appliances break down. By trying DIY fixes on your appliance, you could devoid the warranty or even damage the appliance beyond repair. Though you should always complete the routine maintenance required, such as cleaning out the refrigerator drip tray, it's best to leave the rest to trained professionals. (Don't have a warranty? Find your new appliance professional now.)

Project 4: Roofing  

Leave the high places to professionals.

Roofs are scary. Even on ranch homes, they are still high and can lead to all sorts of injuries. After all, ladder injuries alone send more than 164,000 people to the hospital each year. However, roof maintenance is necessary for homeowners to keep their insurance policy up to date, and insurance companies will not pay for any damage to your roof if it comes from wear and tear. If you suspect there is an issue with a roof, contact your local roofing expert to fix any broken shingles and highlight any additional repairs that may need to be made.

This might even save you thousands of dollars, especially if your roofing expert finds an issue that can lead to a leak or water damage. 

Project #5: Any job you're not confident, comfortable, or skilled enough to complete

Be safe when completing DIY projects.

We're of the belief that you can do anything you put your mind to, including home improvement projects. However, the best thing you can do for yourself is be honest. If you're a beginner DIYer, avoid installing a toilet or replacing your sump pump. Call the professionals to complete these projects, so you can sleep tight and safe.

Also, if you're looking to learn, take the appropriate courses and get the right training. Your local home improvement stores will have classes you can take on DIY subjects. The National Fire Protection Association has online tools about certain fire safety topics. Also, look at foundations, like the Electrical Safety Foundation International, for tips you know you can trust.

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