Lately, every time it rains, the drain in our basement bathroom backs up. One very rainy night last week we called in a plumber to see if he could figure out what was wrong. He put a tiny camera down the drain and through the pipes as my husband and I looked on anxiously. “Wow” the guy said as the camera snaked its way under our basement floor. “Clearly a do-it-yourself job.”
Turns out our basement plumbing is of the Frankenstein variety — a hack job probably done by a former resident bent on fixing everything personally (to the detriment of future generations). The professional diagnosis — our pipes are so twisted they can’t be cleaned out.
The lesson: doing it yourself at home doesn’t always save you money. In fact, it can create bigger headaches over the long-term — my husband and I are now faced with the prospect of digging up our basement to get the plumbing done properly.
I’ve learned the hard way that there are some things you should leave up to professionals — otherwise it can cause a whole lot of expense and stress down the road. So in honour of our poorly put together plumbing, I thought I would dedicate this blog post to a few big household repairs you should never try without professional help. So here goes — four things that should never be DIY-ed (feel free to add more in the comment area below):
1. Plumbing: Based on recent experience, I have to say this is my number one no-no for DIY-ers out there. Got a clog or a leaky pipe? Call a plumber, please!
2. Electrical work: Leave this up to an electrician and put your toolbox away. Attempting to do major electrical work without the proper experience could lead to disaster — faulty wiring or injury.
3. Cutting down/trimming big trees: A lot of people think chainsaws are fun to use — but climbing up a high tree to trim branches, or cutting the whole thing down, are other household chores that could lead to serious injury. Call in the professionals before you get badly hurt.
4. Taking out walls: Sure, it can be satisfying to take a sledgehammer to a wall to open up your space. But if you don’t know what you’re doing, you could find that your upstairs bedroom just collapsed into your living room. A professional can help you identify which walls are load bearing — and that’s kind of important if you want to make sure your house is still standing when you’re done.