To DIY or Not to DIY? That Is the Home Maintenance Question

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Man painting wall

The lazy summer days are almost over and fall is fast approaching. In Salt Lake City, the colder weather creeping in means it’s time to start tackling all those maintenance projects you’ve been putting off.

When it comes to doing maintenance jobs, you have two choices: you can either do the repairs yourself or you can hire a pro. The first option is a smart way to save money, but there are home repairs that are meant to be handled by experts because they can be way too technical or downright risky. So, how do you distinguish which tasks safe to DIY and which ones require expert handling?

Below are home repairs that you can safely do on your own and also those that are best left to professionals.

Try to DIY: Cleaning Your Gutters

If you’re not afraid of heights or of getting dirty, cleaning the gutter is an easy enough task – that is, as long as you have the right gear for the job. Simply climb on a sturdy ladder (make sure someone’s holding it securely from the ground), scoop out the debris using a trowel or your gloved hands, and repeat the process throughout the length of your gutter. Then, hose (you have to have a long-enough one) down the remaining dirt until the water that comes through the spout is clear.

Go to a Pro: Repairing Your Garage Doors

Good ol’ wear and tear, as well as rust buildup, can break your garage door springs. If this happens in your Salt Lake City home, it’s best to leave the garage door spring repair to the professionals. Torsion springs can be highly unpredictable when they’re broken or strained and you might end up injuring yourself.

Try to DIY: Mending Your Fences

With all the heat and summer activity at the moment, it’s no surprise that your fences have taken a beating. You might notice busted rails, leaning posts, and other issues that will only worsen and become harder to fix once winter sets in. Fortunately, fixing fences is a pretty straightforward task. Simply arm yourself with a mallet, hammer, and some nails and get to repairing.

Go to a Pro: Painting Your Home’s Exterior

No matter how big or small your home is, painting its exterior is a huge job. Apart from the complicated, meticulous process, from prepping the surfaces to sealing cracks and making sure the detailing around fixtures is precise, exterior painting also requires extensive use of tall, sturdy ladders, scaffolding, and other equipment that may be costly to purchase if you won’t be needing them again. Professional painters not only have all the gear they need for the job, but they also have the experience to make sure your home’s exterior is painted precisely and perfectly.

Try to DIY: Re-grouting Tiles

Re-grouting is one of the easiest and most common DIY projects for homeowners, although it can get rather tedious. Using a grout saw, you can easily remove damaged grout and clean the area. Then, mix the new grout according to the manufacturer’s directions and start filling in all the joints between your tiles. Smooth over with a damp sponge, wait for it to dry, and you’re done!

Go to a Pro: Installing Light Fixtures

Electrician fixing socket

Any electrical repairs and installations are best performed by a professional. You don’t want to accidentally cut wires not meant to be cut and end up without electricity throughout the whole house. Worse, you don’t want to accidentally electrocute yourself. Professional electricians can safely disconnect old wires and light fixtures, and connect new ones.

When deciding whether to DIY home repairs or to call a professional, stick by this rule: if you’re not experienced at doing that task, do not have the know-how to safely use the tools required, or do not have the time and patience for it, then leave it to the pros. Otherwise, you can save money and DIY to your heart’s content.

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