When NOT to DIY

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There are some home projects that should not be tackled as a DIY project, unless you have the appropriate skills, of course. Around 70,000 people die each year from DIY accidents. The majority of deaths are caused by falls from a height, but don’t underestimate the dangers of splinters and dust inhalation!

Here are some projects where it’s best to call in the experts. Ignore our advice at your peril.

Asbestos

Asbestos is dangerous when disturbed. If asbestos fibres get into the lungs, they can cause serious respiratory illnesses. It may not happen straight away, but one day death will come knocking on your door. Unfortunately, you may not know you have asbestos in your home. Asbestos was commonly used as a fire-resistant insulation material in buildings constructed pre 1980, so if you own an older property, there is a fair chance there is asbestos lurking somewhere.

Don’t take any chances. If you suspect you have asbestos in a roof, wall, garage, or anywhere else, call in the experts. This company can conduct an asbestos survey, and if they find any asbestos, they will advise you on what to do next.

Electrical Work

You are legally allowed to do any kind of electrical work in your home, but some projects must be certified, as per Part P of the Building Regulations. This states that work in more dangerous areas, such as the bathroom, or where a new circuit is needed, must be signed off by a qualified electrician or building inspector.

Since electrical faults are a leading cause of fires in the home, this is one area where it is sensible to err on the side of caution. If you are reasonably competent, you should have no problem replacing a light fitting or adding an extra socket to a circuit, but don’t try fitting a new extractor fan in the bathroom or rewiring your home without the appropriate qualifications. Instead, hire an experienced electrical contractor to do the work safely. It’s cheaper in the long run and your house won’t burn down – with you and your family in it.

Major Structural Work

Imagine this: you’re sitting watching TV one night and the wife turns to you and says: “Wouldn’t this room look better if we knocked down the dividing wall and made it into one large space?”

So, the following weekend, you grab a sledgehammer and do the deed. If it all goes to plan, the worst that will happen is a ton of mess. But if things go pear-shaped, your house could come crashing down around your ears.

Walls should never be removed without professional advice being sought. Extra support will be needed if a load-bearing wall is removed. Always consult an engineer if you are not sure whether a wall is a supporting one. Even if there isn’t anything above, the wall could still be taking some of the load, which could cause problems if it is removed.

So, while you may be a dab hand at some home repairs, there are some you should definitely leave to the professionals!

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