While it is almost always a good idea to do maintenance and projects on your own house, you may not have the skills or the correct tools to for every job. In fact, there are many projects for which the everyday homeowner does not have the skills and training to complete. While there is no end of videos and articles online to help you figure out how to do this or that, there are still some jobs for which you need to hire a contractor. There are also several different kinds of contractors, each with their own skill set, unique to their type of license. The following contractors and job scenarios highlight when you would most need to hire a contractor.
Electrical work is definitely something you do not want to be messing with yourself. The average fuse box can conduct several thousand live watts of electricity through it, which can seriously injure you if it does not kill you first. Without a thorough understanding of how electricity and electrical wiring works, you would be attempting repairs or upgrades that way above your knowledge, skills and experience. It takes a lot more to do electrical repairs and upgrades than just changing a light bulb or switching out the face plates on electrical outlets.
If you need electrical repair or you need electrical wiring and upgrades for your home’s electrical system, hire an electrical contractor. Electrical contractors spend two years studying in a classroom and up to three years in apprenticeships to learn everything about their intended careers. He/she can complete all of your electrical work without causing him/herself and you any harm.
Concrete is a finicky mistress. Add too much water to the powdered concrete, and it never dries and sets. Add too much powdered concrete to the mix, and you get a pile of grit that does not smooth out and dries too quickly. For this reason you need an expert who works with concrete all the time. A concrete and cement contractor, also known as a paving contractor, spends months and years learning all the little tricks of the trade and how to make the perfect mixtures of concrete, cement and asphalt. When you want or need a new sidewalk, walkway, driveway or other hard outdoor surface, this is the type of contractor you should hire. Otherwise, you could end up with a concrete or cement nightmare on your hands that would still require a paving contractor to fix.
Plumbing, like faucet installation and clearing a clog in your toilet, are simple plumbing tasks you can do yourself. However, if your sewer lines fail, you have raw sewage backing up into your basement, your pipes burst, or any other major plumbing issue, you need a plumbing contractor.
Let’s look at a major plumbing issue. Say the pipes buried under your basement floor that connect your home’s plumbing to the city sewer line fail. Are you going to rip up your basement floor, haul out tons of busted concrete floor, excavate the failed pipes, replace the pipes and then repair the floor? Probably not, especially when the least little mistake with this job can cause your plumbing to fail completely and the repairs can cost several thousands of dollars. When major plumbing has to be done, you need a plumbing contractor, period.
Air Conditioning Work
Heaters and furnaces may require a couple of helpers to install, but they are doable projects for homeowners. Air conditioning, on the other hand, is an entirely different matter. Because of the presence of a volatile liquid and a dangerous gas in most central air conditioners, you cannot install a central air conditioner on your own. In fact, it is considered illegal in many states for unlicensed people to install air conditioners, which means you could be fined and/or jailed if you attempt to install your own air conditioner.
The contractor you want and need for air conditioning work is an HVAC contractor. HVAC stands for “heating, ventilation, air conditioning.” This type of contractor also handles refrigeration repairs, home ventilation systems and all kinds of furnaces and furnace installation. If you need anything else done that falls under these services, this is the contractor to call.
Water Damage and Mold Remediation
Another contractor you may need is for water damage and mold remediation. Because water damage can cause major issues to the structural integrity of your home, it has to be repaired right away. You should not handle water damage repair yourself, however, because mold may be present behind the water damaged areas of your house. Mold can be exceptionally dangerous to your health (e.g., black mold, which can kill you), and as such, opening up these areas can expose the rest of your home to the mold spores. If the spores spread, they will grow and make your home completely unlivable.
A water damage and mold remediation contractor can secure the area around the water damaged sections of your house. When these areas are cut loose or knocked out, any mold behind these damaged sections cannot spread because the areas are sealed off. The contractor can safely remove and destroy all of the mold that is present, and make the necessary restorations to your home. Additionally, the contractor can find where the water was seeping in and seal this area off so that repeat water damage does not occur. He/she can show you where the water was coming in and how, and then you can look for other areas in your roof or walls that may be suffering the same problems. If there are any other areas where the water damage is not yet visible, the contractor can find these with a special imaging camera and include these areas in the repair work.Whatever you do, do not attempt to do any of this work yourself.