We are living in an era of “Do it Yourself” home maintenance and repair, bolstered by the prevalence of home improvement stores and the explosion of home repair information available on the Internet. Today you can go to youtube and find how to videos for virtually any home repair.
It is true that many problems that pop up around the home do not require a licensed professional and that home owners can take these repairs on and do a satisfactory job. Everything from simple plumbing to light carpentry can be learned and carried out in many instances. There are even a few electrical repairs that homeowners can take on provided they respect the danger associated with electricity.
There are some problems however that homeowners should never attempt to tackle. This is because either they are dangerous, require specialized skill, are too difficult, or for all of these reasons. It is important for enthusiastic homeowners to understand this reality and draw the line on DIY repairs. Following are some instances when homeowners need to call a professional.
Air Conditioning System
Home air conditioners are complicated and delicate electrical appliances that are designed to work effectively and efficiently for an extended period of time. A quality air conditioning unit will give homeowners at least a decade of use providing it is serviced regularly and a service person is called when there are signs of a problem. Homeowners can perform some functions including changing filters, clearing any dirt or other debris around the unit, and clearing clogged ducts that are easily accessible.
For any other maintenance issues or any problems the unit is having, a homeowner needs to contact a professional. An air conditioning technician will use the service call to address any obvious problems, service the unit, and also determine if the unit has reached an unacceptable level of inefficiency.
If this is the case he will advise the homeowner that it is time to purchase a new air conditioning unit. When residential air conditioners lose efficiency, they do not work as well and they cost more to operate. When you factor in that today’s new air conditioning units are much more efficient that units manufactured only fifteen years ago, purchasing a new unit to replace a failing one is a smart decision.
Plumbing is always an area that homeowners like to take on themselves. There are some plumbing issues that they can easily handle including unclogging drains, fixing small leaks that require washers, and fixing a running toilet. These jobs require limited knowledge of plumbing and no risk if the homeowner does the job inadequately. However many plumbing jobs that seem simple are actually too difficult for the average homeowner. A professional plumber should be called to your home to fix a leak in a pipe or replace a bathroom or kitchen sink, or toilet. Also any issues relating to the plumbing outside of the home should be left to a professional. Quite often homeowners will take on these jobs, do considerable damage and end up with much larger repair bills than they would have incurred if they called the professional in the beginning.
Generally speaking electrical issues should always be referred to a professional. The danger associated with electricity, including potential electrocution and chance of fire outweigh any chance at saving money. However there is one minor issue that a homeowner can take on and that is to reset a circuit in the circuit box. If a circuit does break a homeowner can try and reset it. In some cases this will restore electricity. If not or if the circuit breaker engages again, it is probably an indication of a big problem. At this point, the homeowner needs to call a professional electrician.
This is definitely the time of DIY in home repair, but professionals are still needed in many situations and should always be called when needed.