There’s nothing wrong with wanting to take care of things around the house by ourselves; it’s more cost-effective, and it allows us to control how the task will go. However, there are some tasks that we need to entrust to professionals for various reasons—for our health and safety, and sometimes, even our sanity. Here is a list of home maintenance to-dos that homeowners need to entrust to the experts.
Structural integrity checks
If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, typhoons, super storms, floods, and other natural calamities, you need to make sure that your home is prepared to withstand different kinds of extreme conditions. Hiring a structural engineer to check your home at least once a year is a good investment, especially if your residential property is on the older side. Sure, you can do routine checks and inspections by yourself, but a professional eye can help you assess minor issues that could pose bigger problems later on. Hiring an expert can help mitigate risks that come with the ever-worsening climate change.
Cleaning of ventilation systems
Our HVAC system and dryer vents are not things that we often think about as homeowners, but it’s important to keep them properly maintained because the health of the home’s occupants is on the line. We need to entrust to professionals the cleaning, fixing, and general maintaining of our HVAC system and other ventilation systems. Dryer vent cleaning, for example, is more than just about being clean; it’s also about keeping your home safe.
Almost all the appliances in our home need regular upkeep, but unlike those small appliances, our dryers can cause a fire if not properly and regularly cleaned. Aside from being a fire hazard, another reason line in your aluminum vents is dangerous because it can cause humidity levels to rise, allowing for mildew and mold to grow.
Major renovation projects
Minor home projects like a paint job can be DIY, but some major projects need to be entrusted to those who know what they’re doing around power tools. Here is a general checklist for the kinds of tasks we need to outsource:
- Dangerous tasks, which require a lot of technical knowledge. If your safety could be compromised by doing the task or doing it incorrectly, hire a contractor instead. For example, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advises laypeople to avoid tasks that require a six-foot (or higher) ladder. Fixing things around the house is just not worth risking your safety.
- Tasks where mistakes could cost you more money. Home maintenance projects could cause you to pay more in the long run if you don’t do them correctly the first time. In the process of trying to save money by going the DIY route, you might spend double if you do it wrong.
- Projects that could cause your property to decrease in value, like issues in the structural integrity or tile work that’s poorly laid. You might think you’re saving by doing it yourself, but if you’re not a professional, you might end up doing work that could “cheapen” your home. It’s a safer bet to allow contractors to do these tasks for you, especially if you’re planning on selling or renting out your home one day. A visibly amateurish DIY job could turn off potential buyers and tenants and even cause them to wonder if the property has other issues.
- Tasks that require permits. Many localities in the U.S. require permits for structural, electrical, and other kinds of major home maintenance work. Do your research on what kind of tasks you can do and those you’ll need to hire a contractor. What you can do is to get in touch with local contractors to ask which remodel licenses are required in your area, or you can try contacting your city government. There’s a reason why permits are a requirement for these major jobs—they generally require a lot of technical know-how, so the government should mandate the professionals to handle the work. If you do opt to hire a pro, do your due diligence by confirming that the contractor has the proper insurance and licenses necessary to do the job.
The Bottom Line
Our homes are our most important asset, especially with a pandemic and recession. We are spending most of our day and our time in it, so we need to make sure it’s always in the best possible state. Don’t hesitate to entrust your home to the experts—it’s for your health and safety and that of your family.