9 Home Improvement Projects You Should Never DIY

Maintaining your home is important, and sometimes that requires bigger home improvement projects and remodeling. There are minor things that homeowners can tackle on their own if they want to while other projects are best left to experienced contractors, especially when it comes to things that require a licensed professional. As tempting as it may be, here are some home improvement projects you should never DIY:

1. Replacing Windows

Doing it yourself is one of the biggest window replacement mistakes to avoid. Any mistakes or slight mismeasurement when you are removing old windows and installing new windows have long-lasting consequences for your home.

Not only does poor installation increase your heating and cooling costs, but it also damages your home. Windows that are poorly installed become stuck and difficult to use over time, cause damage in other places, and also lead to water damage.

Additionally, some manufacturer warranties may be voided if issues are caused by poor DIY installation. In addition to quality work and proper installation that protects your home, some benefits of professional window installation can include access to more options, extended or extra warranties, and more.

Check out the video below to see Zephyr Thomas completing a window replacement and installing a new picture window for this homeowner!

2. Building a Deck

Although it may seem like you can tackle building a deck on your own, it’s not a good idea. Even if you don’t live in an area with an HOA, you still have to follow local building codes and get permits when you add a deck to your home.

There are structural plans that need to be submitted, reviewed, and approved before you get a permit. There are also inspections that need to be completed before, during, and after construction. Plus, everything needs to be done right for long-term safety and function.

If done without a permit, you could run into issues later down the line when you try to get permits for other additions or big changes to your home. In addition to potential safety issues and future damage to your home, you also run the risk of voiding warranties and running into insurance issues with a DIY deck. When it comes to deck additions, it’s better to work with an experienced home improvement contractor.

Check out the video below to see the Zephyr Thomas team building a deck addition complete with vinyl railings for this homeowner!

3. Removing Walls Inside Your Home

It may be tempting to knock down some walls inside your home to make a bigger room or create an open-concept layout. This can be one of the living room remodel ideas that pay off and can help you get more space in your home, but it’s not something you want to do yourself, at least not without some investigation first.

If you’re trying to take out a load-bearing wall, there are serious considerations that need to be made first. You have to not only consider the structural integrity of your home, but you also have to consider building code violations and other safety issues when it comes to removing a load-bearing wall.

Depending on your city and township regulations, you may even need removal permits to take down a structural wall inside your home. Working with an experienced contractor helps navigate these things, but doing it on your own can cause a lot of issues with your home and headaches for yourself down the road. This is why removing walls is one of the home improvement projects you should never DIY.

4. Putting in a Skylight

One of the biggest benefits of skylights is getting more natural light into your home. Skylights can also be a great way to add windows without sacrificing wall space or needing to consider privacy as much.

However, it’s important for these to be installed correctly. Not only do they require modifications to your roof and ceiling, but they are also a type of window. This means that poor installation can cause drafts, structural damage, leaks, and more. Whether you want skylights or sun tunnels, you want to make sure you work with a professional to make sure they are installed properly.

Take a look at the time-lapse video below to see the Zephyr Thomas team installing skylights for this homeowner!

5. Renovating an Old Attic

Adding new insulation and improving an attic is usually not an issue. However, if you have an older home with older, outdated insulation, it’s not recommended to tackle this by yourself. Depending on how old it is, the insulation may contain asbestos, which is toxic and requires specific removal processes.

There are laws and regulations in place for removing materials that contain asbestos. In some states, it may even be illegal for you to try to do this yourself. Old insulation and asbestos risk aside, there are a lot of other things to consider with an attic renovation, including proper roof ventilation and other structural considerations.

Depending on what renovations you want to make, you may also need to consider building codes and permits. Attempting to DIY in these cases is one of the attic renovation mistakes to avoid. Because of this, renovating an old attic is one of the home improvement projects you should never DIY.

6. Remodeling Your Bathroom

Small bathroom updates like replacing a toilet, adding shelves, or updating fixtures are things that you can do on your own. However, remodeling a bathroom usually requires licensed professionals and you want to work with an experienced contractor to get things done.

Any changes to plumbing lines will need to be done by a licensed plumber. Changes to the existing layout of bathroom fixtures usually require permits. Any structural changes definitely require permits. And, when it comes to large fixtures and water lines, you definitely don’t want to run the risk of leaks or flooding down the line.

Plus, when you are overhauling a bathroom and changing things around, you want to make sure that ventilation and drainage are handled properly. Working with an experienced, reputable contractor ensures everything is done properly, all permits are handled, and you avoid common bathroom remodeling mistakes.

Check out the video below to see the Zephyr Thomas team remodeling a bathroom for this homeowner!

7. Switching Your Stove

Depending on your stove, you may be able to replace it yourself provided you’re sticking with the same type of range and connection. However, if you are switching to a different type of range and need to change or install different lines and hookups for it to work, you do not want to try to do it yourself.

This type of work usually requires that licensed professionals do the work and also requires that all work meets certain codes and regulations. Depending on what is being changed, inspections may also be required.

For example, if you are switching from electric to gas, you’ll need both a plumber and an electrician. You’ll need to have a gas line installed and the electrical circuit will likely need to be modified to power your new gas stove. There are serious and dangerous consequences if any part of this is done incorrectly.

8. Fixing Your Roof

Another one of the home improvement projects you should never DIY is replacing your roof. Unless you are an experienced roofer yourself, it’s best to leave any roof replacement or repair to professionals. Your home’s roof is a primary protector between the interior and the weather. Even if it’s just a few shingles, incorrect placement or installation can lead to moisture issues, ventilation issues, leaks, and more damage down the road.

Poor installation anywhere on your roof can cause water to leak into your attic. It could also drain behind your siding instead of draining into your gutter as it should. Running water when no appliances or fixtures are running can indicate a leak and is one of the house sounds you should never ignore.

In addition to leaks and serious water damage, doing roof work yourself can also result in voiding manufacturer warranties. And, not just for the roofing materials. Should you DIY a roof repair or replacement and have issues with gutters, siding, etc. later on, it could void any manufacturer warranties on those things as well.

Take a look at the video below to watch Zephyr Thomas replacing this homeowner’s roof!

9. Renovating Your Basement

You can likely DIY small, superficial changes in your basement. But, if you are finishing or renovating your basement, it’s best to work with a licensed, experienced contractor. Permits, inspections, and more are all things to expect during a basement remodel.

This only becomes more important the bigger and more structural your desired changes are. When it comes to basements, you have to do far more than just ensure things are up to code. You also have to monitor and determine if a basement has excess moisture or other areas of potential leaks and water damage.

Basement renovations, especially if there is an expansion or new basement windows involved, need to be done right to avoid flooding and water damage in the future. There are also usually electrical and plumbing updates involved, which require licensed professionals and inspections.

Check out this video to see Zephyr Thomas completing a basement remodel for this homeowner!

Work on Your Next Home Improvement Project With Zephyr Thomas

Not hiring a professional when you need one is one of the top home maintenance mistakes to stop making. These are just a few home improvement projects you should never DIY. If you’re ready to get started on your next home improvement project, contact Zephyr Thomas at 717-399-4708 to start a free estimate!

And, if there are things around your home you need to have done that you can’t do or just don’t have the time to deal with, consider using our handyman services to cross some things off of your to-do list.