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When it comes to home improvements, most Americans would rather save money and do it themselves. Seven out of ten Americans say they prefer the do-it-yourself option for home renovations. DIY repairs are seen as a less expensive alternative to hiring a professional for projects such as landscaping, bathroom remodels and kitchen renovations. Most homeowners feel they can handle these hazardous home improvement projects themselves with help from social media, books and other online resources.
But while some projects are relatively easy and safe to do on your own, others, such as water heater installation, are too dangerous to do yourself and really should always be done by a professional. Here are three home improvement projects to beware as they are too dangerous for the average homeowner to attempt on their own.
Water heater installation is a difficult and dangerous task. Water heaters have several components that require special attention, including making sure you’re using the right supply and drainage lines. You also need to know whether your heater supplies the correct amount of water for your home, which requires complex calculations.
There are also safety compliance codes and state regulations that must be followed. Overlooking these safety issues can cause gas leaks, fires or floods. In fact, water heaters cause 10 percent of home fires annually, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
Water heater cost for parts averages $550 to $1,600 for an electric tankless water heater and $1,000 to $1,800 for a gas tankless water heater. On top of this water heater cost, the installation process typically averages several hundred to a couple thousand dollars.
Roof repairs are dangerous even for professionals. Roofing is the sixth-riskiest job, with 50 roofers killed on the job annually, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows. Falls account for three-quarters of these fatalities. For every fatality, there are many more injuries. Other risks include electrocution and burns. For non-professionals, these risks are multiplied.
Roof repair costs average about $774 nationally, ranging from $149 on the low end to $4,300 on the high end. Most typical small roof repairs should cost about $150 to $400, with labor expenses of about $45 to $75 an hour.
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Electrical repairs are another type of home improvement project best left to professionals. While an amateur may be able to handle a minor project such as changing a light switch or adding a ceiling fan, any project more involved than a simple fixture should be handled by an electrician. Risks include electrocution and burning your house down.
The average cost of hiring an electrician is $317, with costs ranging from $80 on the low end to $905 on the high end. Electricians typically charge $50 to $100 an hour for labor plus parts costs. Projects involving expensive parts such as home generators can cost more. Installing a lighting fixture typically costs about $450.
Water heater installation, roof repairs, and electrical repairs are three home improvement projects that are dangerous enough that you should never attempt them yourself. Leaving these tasks to a professional will keep you safer as well as saving you tedious labor while ensuring a quality outcome that will improve the value of your home.