You’ve realized your dream: you’re a new homeowner! To paraphrase an old saying, you’re about to learn that a homeowner’s work is never done. Though the media is rife with DIY home improvement shows, not every project is as easy as suggested. In certain situations, you might be wise to rein in your enthusiasm and call a professional. Here are just a few of many with which you might require some assistance:
REMOVING WALLS: It may sound like fun to swing a sledge hammer and bang out your frustrations, but who knows what lies behind that wall board, plaster or paneling? Removing a load-bearing wall without proper support could compromise the structural integrity of your home. You also run the risk of unintentional damage to hidden wiring; the Electrical Safety Foundation International reports 30,000 incidents of residential electrical shocks per year, resulting in anything from minor injury to a heart attack caused by wayward current. In older homes, there is the potential of exposure to asbestos and lead paint, both serious health hazards.
TREE WORK: Don’t risk injury to yourself, your home or your neighbor’s property. The removal and even trimming of large trees is best left to a professional; there is an art to properly felling trees. Additionally, in certain circumstances, the work may require a permit. Be sure to confirm that your selected arborist is licensed and insured.
LANDSCAPING: Before commencing the excavation of your property, it’s essential to know where gas, electrical and water lines are located. Even small, shallow projects can be hazardous, should you hit and damage underground utilities. Before you begin your landscaping project, contact DIG SAFE, a free, non-profit service, by dialing 811 or visiting www.digsafe.com for more information.
See our Local Services page for recommended contractors and vendors that can assist with your home improvement projects.