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Home Repair: When You Need a Pro

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Home Repair: When You Need a Pro


Ray Flynn |


You’ve got that can-do spirit, and that’s a great thing. It’s gotten you far in life and comes in useful as a homeowner who has to patch things up on the regular.


After all, paint chips, tiles crack, and faucets leak. And those minor damages can render life in your palace rather unpleasant, if not downright miserable. Luckily, for the rest of the family, you’re willing to roll up your sleeves and get to work every now and again.


But not every project is OK for you to tackle on their own. Some are too risky, delicate, or downright dangerous and require the skilled hand of a professional. Bear in mind that for any renovations to your home’s structure or systems, you’ll need a permit. Any contractor worth their salt would know far more about the details, but it’s worthwhile getting informedto protect yourself from fraud and to avoid further financial outlays due to additional repairs. You also don’t want to accrue any fines by violating neighborhood covenants.


The following are home repair projects where you should call in a professional.




The high price tag for repairs here may tempt you into tackling them on your own, with homeowners sometimes shelling out more than $10,000for stabilization. What’s even worse, though, is doing further damage to those bowed or tilted walls, which is likely to happen without the right expertise.




Patching a hole is no reason to pick up the phone and call the contractor, but tearing one down for that open-plan kitchen and dining room? It might be load-bearing, in which case you’d risk having the ceiling sag or even cave in completely. Unfortunately, you may have to pay the $500 to $4,000 that the job costs.




If you notice a few worn-out or missing shingles, feel free to replace them. Going any further than that, like replacing material under the top layer, is a risky proposition, and not just for safety reasons. Your materials likely won’t be covered by a warranty if not installed by a professional. That normally costs between $1,500 and $3,000.




Do you really need to know why you should leave this alone? Just in case, the two main reasons are danger of shock or a fire, both of which can be deadly. Having a new outlet installed, including the box and wiring, would only set you back around $100 to $150, according to the Spruce, while rewiring an entire 1,600-square-foot home would go up to $5,000.




You likely have declogged a drain or replaced a tap before. However, when the pressure drops too low or the hot water stops completely, it’s time to call the plumber, and likewise for installing a new toilet. Plumbers generally charge a two-hour minimum of $75 – $150.




If you’re having trouble with a heating and cooling unit, clean off the filter and see if that helps. If not, then you’ll likely need a technician. They may discover something hazardous to your health such as a blown fuse or a refrigerant leak, and fixing the latter isn’t cheap, costing between $225 and $1,000.


Gas Appliances


You want your family to be safe, which is why you should leave that furnace alone. Some of the many reasons to do so include the potential for fire and carbon monoxide poisoning if things go wrong. Luckily, the average cost of repairs is only around $270.


Old Insulation


Remember that asbestos scare from a few decades ago? That’s not completely over as the known carcinogen can still be found in older houses throughout the country, and that’s one reason to leave major insulation work to the experts. Installing new spray foam or blown-in material costs between $3,500 and $4,500for a 2,500-square-foot house.


Sure, it may be expensive hiring professionals to take care of these projects, but look on the bright side. It’s not you doing all that back-breaking labor.


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