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Erin Reynolds from DIYmama.net shares with Master Clean USA and its readers why sometimes it important to know when the "how to's" of DIY projects are all about finding the right professional. Thank you Erin for sharing your insight with us!
Certain home repairs are simple enough for homeowners to handle easily. These repairs, such as painting or replacing lighting fixtures, for example, are ways for people to save money and learn new skills while making improvements to their home. Other repairs, however, require skills or tools that most homeowners lack, or are tasks that may be inherently dangerous. For these projects, it’s essential for your home and your safety to find a qualified professional to handle the work.
Complex Jobs to Avoid
Unless you are handy or have the time and tolerance for making mistakes, avoid repair projects that require specialized skills such as fine carpentry, plumbing or electrical work. In many cases, a licensed professional is needed in these areas to ensure that you can obtain a certificate of occupancy for the repair. But even small maintenance in these areas can end up costing you more in the long run. Professionals earned their stripes over many years, likely including an apprenticeship of some sort, and their knowledge shows in their work. Unfortunately, your lack of skill will probably be evident as well, and this can cause affect your ability to sell your home in the future.
Safety concerns can make a professional the right choice
Even if the work is relatively simple, safety concerns could make the job inappropriate for a homeowner. Some roof repairs are straightforward, and could involve just nailing a small shingle -- a task that almost anyone could do -- but add the need for a 50-foot ladder and walking perilously on a steep roof and you quickly realize the value of a professional. A similarly simple but unsafe job is gutter cleaning. Again, the concern is ladder safety, and rightfully so. According to the National Safety Council, over 175,000 people were injured due to ladder falls in 2013. Even though cleaning a gutter may seem like a simple job, a professional has the tools and safety equipment to get the job done right.
Accessibility renovations have a higher standard
Renovations aimed at retrofitting a home for special needs is another area where professional contractor expertise is priceless. Retrofitting can include building entrances, enlarging doorways and bathrooms, removing lower kitchen cabinets to accommodate wheelchairs and more.
Making a home barrier-free, safe and accessible requires more than just the ability to build a ramp, however. Successful accessibility projects call for interaction with an occupational or physical therapist to determine the best accessibility solution. It also requires a keen eye for potential obstructions or structural limitations that might affect the ability to complete the requested renovation. A contractor trade group organized to inform members on these issues, Live At Home, provides professional education and materials for these renovations.
Before hiring an accessibility contractor, ask the following questions:
Is the company a member of LAH? If not, are they familiar with accessibility renovations? Ask to see photos of past work - most reputable contractors maintain portfolios of specialized work.
- Does it carry appropriate liability insurance?
- Can it provide references from other customers with disabilities? This is crucial, as it will tell you if the contractor has experience in these areas. When speaking to references, be objective. It’s normal for projects to involve delays and bumps in the road, so focus on the quality of the finished work.
When dealing with renovations that require a high level of expertise or involve safety risks, it’s best to seek out the help of qualified professionals. The more specialized the work, such as accessibility retrofitting, the more critical it is to ensure that work is done competently. This will help you enjoy your home and will protect its value in the future.
For more great blogs from Master Clean USA see our blog list or you might like this blog on the 5 most common cleaning mistakes.
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