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5 Home Improvement Projects You Should Never, Ever DIY

We're all for rolling up our sleeves and saving money when it comes to DIY home improvements. But all the HGTV binge watching and YouTube videos don't necessarily make us pros.

Painting kitchen cabinets

Choosing the perfect color is the least of your problems if you're planning to paint your own kitchen cabinets. "What many people don't know is that painting kitchen cabinets are a lot trickier than a bedroom dresser," says Newell Slade, a general contractor for Newell Building, LLC. "Often, there is a buildup of cooking grease and finger oils on the surface of the wood. Prep means extensive cleaning with a degreasing agent such as diluted TSP and using oil-based paint, fed through a sprayer." This home improvement is quite an undertaking and involves specialized equipment and safety measures than most homeowners don't realize. A skilled painter knows how to paint cabinets in a timely fashion with beautiful results.

Malfunctioning sink pipes

Drano didn't get the water flowing again but it's pretty clear the pipe under the sink is the culprit. All you need is a bucket and a wrench to get that hairy clog out, right? Think again. Doyle James, president of Mr.Rooter Plumbing says unless you are certain you know where the problem is, dismantling pipes can be risky. "Pipes are complex and very tricky to reassemble, particularly when they're in close proximity to other plumbing components and machinery, such as dishwashers or garbage disposals," says James. Even if you're certain the obstruction is under the sink, if you don't have prior experience with dismantling and reassembling pipes, you better leave it to a plumber, James says.

Installing dishwashers

Buying a new dishwasher at a superstoredoesn't always come with free installation, but hiring a pro is definitely worth the extra cost according to James There's a lot of moving pieces and it could be more trouble than it's worth. You may have to drill into a cabinet to make holes for the water lines, position the water and electric lines, hook up the water lines, and more. "The complexities involved with setup, such as installing water and drainage lines under the kitchen sink cabinet, are best handled by a professional."

Removing walls

Removing walls is often a viable option to creating a larger space or an open floor plan, but before you start swinging that sledgehammer, get a contractor to verify the wall isn't load bearing. "Damaging a load-bearing wall could have serious consequences like a ceiling caving in," says Jesse Fowler, President of Tellus Build. That's bad enough, but it can also be dangerous for the homeowner and result in serious injuries.

Installing new lighting

Installing new light fixtures to save money may seem like a no-brainer, but you do a lot can go wrong when dealing with electrical. "Aside from the risk of forgetting, or not knowing how to turn off the live power to whatever is being worked on, there's the possibility of getting shocked," says Fowler. "In addition, wiring anything incorrectly or overloading your power draw often equates to popping breakers, additional hassles, sparking outlets, and repairs that are more costly down the road, especially if walls needs to be re-opened up to fix the mistake," he warns. " A mix of low-voltage and higher-voltage electrical products make electrical wiring even more complicated for a DIY job. Fowler says to leave it to an electrician. "Safety and fire concerns make electrical DIY projects a bad idea."

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Alex Johnson

Chattanooga, TN

What a great team. So helpful, professional, and friendly.​ 

I'll be recommending the Edrington Team to everyone I know!​

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