Many things need to be constantly done to keep a home exactly like one wants it. Every few weeks if not days, one may find that the walls need painting or the tiles need grouting or the flagstone needs power washing. The exteriors and the interiors may need dusting to say the least. Most of the maintenance work and home improvement jobs are easy DIY projects but some need professional attention. So which of the jobs would be best if you handle them yourself and which ones must be strictly carried out by a professional? Which approach would make it energy efficient? Here are some pointers that one can follow before taking up any home improvement project.
Managing the walls
As long as the walls only require painting, this chore can be perfectly managed on one’s own. The only prerequisite to this is that one must have a steady hand and possess a wall ladder. However, it is advisable to cover up baseboards, ceiling moldings, windows and door frames that you do not want covered up in paint. On the other hand, if the walls require some repair work to be carried out due to structural or water damage, they may need to be sometimes demolished and replaced. In such cases, it is advisable to call a pro. Most builders take up these jobs. These kinds of jobs, require more people working at the same time and is therefore not a job for amateurs.
Except for installation work where one has to make sure that the tiles line up to the base boards and polishing and finishing them, all other floor related work can be done quite easily. Cleaning and repairing them is a one person job. For instance, a brown colored crayon can easily fill up scratches in the hardwood floors. Or in the case of vinyl seams that sometimes pop up, an adhesive and a heavy brick can do the trick. A professional may however be needed in the case of all the tedious and messy work that comes along during the first installation process.
Window works are a total DIY project. Windows do not require anything other than washing, repairing or replacing wood sills, treating small rot spots on window frames and sometimes replacing individual glass panes. Except for the last task all the others are a cakewalk and do not require more than a few minutes of your time. However, a professional attention is required when replacing entire windows or rebuilding frames. These require the finishing being precise so that the window panes fit in perfectly and do not rattle when opened or closed.
Some of the manageable masonry tasks are re – pointing brick or stone walls and even walkways by removing and replacing old mortar. However if you are faced with a challenge of building a new stone wall or laying a stone walkway, it is recommended for you to get professional help. Jobs such as these are meant for true craftsmen who know how to align the most non – align – able pieces perfectly.
The Electrical upgrades
Most of the electrical work requires direct contact with electricity and these are best handled by professionals. You can definitely do the simple chores like replacing outlet covers or switching the plates or even scrapping energy eating light bulbs in favor of energy efficient CFL bulbs or LED lights. But if you are faced with more daunting tasks like rewiring or adding power to places where there was none earlier or installing any heavy fixtures like chandeliers or ceiling fans, call a professional to do the job for you. However, if you decide to do these jobs yourself, be sure to turn off the main power supply to your home before you even go close to the circuits.
Playing with plumbing
Except for installing or moving plumbing pipes and fixtures to a different place, all other maintenance work can be carried out by one self. Installing or moving pipes or fixtures altogether require special tools and even skills. The other tasks like replacing a toilet flapper or fixing a leak by replacing the washer in the faucet are quite easy. The only thing that one must keep in mind before proceeding with these chores is that the water supply needs to be turned off. Upgrading a shower head or unclogging a hair clogged drain are other tasks that do not require special attention.
The only thing that one can do with a tile by oneself is repairing a simple backsplash or replacing and repairing old grouts and cracked tiles. For all other tile related jobs, one would be advised to call a professional. Tile jobs on the floors and walls are tough tasks. Laying them out, spacing and attaching them to floors and walls are harder than it looks. Sometimes tiles have to be cut to fit them into small or unusual spaces. Cutting tiles require extreme precision and heavy duty electric cutter machines. It is therefore best to leave these difficult jobs to professionals.
The counter tops
Counter top jobs are easy as well as difficult. Whether one must call a professional or attempt to do it on one’s own depends on the job at hand. Cleaning, sealing and caulking the stone counter tops are easy and they can be done on one’s own. Sanding a butcher block and even fixing small imperfections in laminate counters can be achieved without any fuss. But it becomes necessary to hire a professional to fabricate and install stone, composite, stainless steel or even wooden counters. These works are taxing and are quite heavy. Just one slip up can wreak the entire thing and even cost you big bucks. It is therefore best to rely on professionals to take care of these jobs. They can be trusted to do them perfectly and even if something goes wrong, it is their responsibility to make it right.
One can refer to the above pointers if home improvement is on the agenda. Doing things by yourself can save a lot of money. But hiring professionals can be quick although expensive. One can take a call depending on the task one is faced with.
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