66.4 ° F
Full Weather
Sponsored By:

Should You Do Your Own Plumbing And Electrical?

With so many people working from home and spending their free time there as well, it’s no surprise that home improvement numbers are up. Do it Yourself renovations are more popular than ever, as homeowners look to make updates for their personal enjoyment and/or to improve the value of their home.

But while many of these homeowners had DIY skills long before the pandemic hit, or have improved upon and expanded those skills with more time to focus on home, there are still plumbing and electrical, most people say you should leave those jobs to the experts.

Gauging the danger

You could fall off a ladder while painting or put a nail through your thumb from a hammering mishap. But the potential danger related to electrical work is next level.

“An electrical malfunction is listed by the U.S. Fire Administration as one of the top causes of house fires,” said Hiller Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical.

“When you attempt to complete electrical rewires on your own you put your health, the health of others, and your property at risk. Completing electrical work is dangerous business. When completing electrical rewires electrocution, shock and fires could result. Items in your home also have higher voltages. The higher the voltage, the more dangerous the project.”

Faulty wiring can also cause fires—a particularly dangerous situation since they “can also go undetected for years leaving the homeowner to feel like it was a DIY job well done until a fire occurs. In the U.S. alone 51,000 house fires are caused by electrical components and systems. These fires cost a total of 1.3 billion dollars in property damage per year.”

While you might be able to learn how to lay flooring or tile a backsplash by watching a video, a licensed electrician is required to complete 600 hours of instruction “covering safety, electrical circuits, and blueprint reading,” followed by supervised, on-the-job training.

Similar problems can arise from DIY plumbing situations.

“One of the biggest risks of doing your own plumbing repairs is the possibility of compounding the problem and making the problem much worse,” said Marietta, GA-based Plumb Doctor. “Even simple repairs done incorrectly can cause serious problems. The problem may be something minor like a leaking pipe that eventually causes water damage to your home, or it could be something more serious like a burst pipe. Either way, you run the risk of not only failing to take care of the original plumbing issue, but causing more problems that you’re unable to address properly.”

Is it legal?

If you do want to tackle your plumbing or electrical, you’ll want to make sure you know what’s required first. In both cases, you may need to obtain a permit.

“The legality of do-it-yourself electrical work varies from state to state, and from one municipality to another,” said The Spruce. “Always call your local permit office for the answer that pertains to you.”

While it may seem tempting to skip the permit process to save time and money—”Some municipalities charge 1% of the total construction costs to issue the permit and may take up to six weeks to complete the inspections,” said Investopedia—doing so could backfire.

“For the do-it-yourself remodeler, obtaining permits is expensive, time-consuming, and sometimes frustrating, but for many home renovations it’s necessary and required. Many homeowners sidestep the permit process as a result. According to the National Association of Realtors, failing to obtain the proper permits may complicate or cancel the sale of your home. During the home inspection or appraisal process, homeowners may have to show that the proper permits are on file. If the lending bank learns that remodeling work was done without securing permits, it will likely not make the loan.”

Written by Jaymi Naciri for Copyright © 2020 Realty Times All Rights Reserved.