There are many instances where do-it-yourself (DIY) renovations can save you a bundle of money as compared against what you’d pay the tradies for doing the same work. On the other hand, there are also times when a DIY reno gone wrong could actually cost you much more than you’d pay the pros to get the work done. Let’s discuss six types of home renovations you shouldn’t do yourself, unless of course you happen to be a tradie with sufficient experience and credentials to avoid all the countless possible pitfalls.
1. Roof repairs
Roofing repairs are high-risk renovations to execute, because falling from such a significant height poses life-threatening danger.
Furthermore, this type of reno involves a whole lot of legally required planning, risk mitigation and paperwork that you probably don’t want to hassle with. Current Australian law mandates that a Safe Work Method Statement (SWMS) must be prepared for any substantially risky construction project, particularly any project that places workers in danger of falling from a height greater than 2 meters. Even experienced pros sometimes need to get help with this paperwork from professional consulting services like SWMS Docs. That alone ought to give you a strong hint that roofing repairs are probably not something you want to attempt to handle on your own.
2. Staircase renovations
Staircases are notoriously tricky to design and redesign. If your calculations are off by so much as a couple of centimeters on your placement of even one stair, everyone in the home is at an increased risk of falling every time they ascend or descend the staircase. This is not the type of liability you want or need in your life.
If your staircase is a tall one, this is also another one of those construction projects where you’re likely to need to have filed a completed and approved SWMS.
3. Installing, servicing or removing an HVAC system
According to the Department of the Environment and Energy, the Australia Refrigeration Council must grant a license to any individual who performs work carrying a risk of fluorocarbon refrigerant being emitted into the atmosphere. Unless you hold this license, you’ll need to hire someone who does if you wish to lawfully install, repair or remove an HVAC system.
4. Installing a gas hot water heater or other gas appliance
It would be really easy to mess up a gas appliance installation if you don’t know what you’re doing. For starters, there are venting requirements you’d need to be aware of. Because of the dangers and idiosyncrasies inherent in this type of installation, Australian state governments have mandated a variety of legal requirements that must be met when installing a gas appliance.
The specific requirements will depend on the location of the property where the gas appliance will be installed. In all cases, you will typically need to have this work completed by a licensed gas fitter or plumber. It is also possible that you may need to additionally use the services of a licensed electrician in cases where a sufficient supply of plug-accessible electricity is not available in close enough proximity to the appliance being installed. In any case, this is a task that you will need to have professionals perform.
5. Moving or removing walls
Walls play a substantial role in maintaining the architectural integrity of a home. You don’t want to move or remove them without consulting a knowledgeable architect, structural engineer or similarly experienced building professional for advice.
Once you speak with a knowledgeable professional, you’re likely to realise that a wall removal isn’t as straightforward as simply taking a sledgehammer to the wall. It is likely to also involve complicated procedures like rerouting your electricity and gas, moving your ventilation and re-configuring parts of your heating system. These tasks may require separate consultation with the relevant tradies who could handle them.
6. Telephone line repairs
There’s no point in wasting your time on trying to repair a damaged telephone line on your property. This is Telstra’s responsibility. Give them a call if your phone lines have a problem and need to be replaced or repaired.
These are six types of repairs that would be challenging or illegal to DIY. For best results, we recommend having professional help with handling these sorts of renovations to your home.