We all love a project and, with YouTube as a guide and your expertise in home improvements, there’s nothing you can’t tackle, right? Wrong. There’s certainly plenty you can do yourself but there are some jobs that are better - and, more importantly, safer - left to the professionals. Sometimes it’s simply a case of knowing your limitations as well as areas you should avoid when working on a project. Knowing the hazards is key, as our guide explains.
Be gas aware
If working in a room that has a gas connection, be sure to turn off the gas before you start. It may seem like an easy job but don’t try to move gas appliances yourself as it will involve disconnecting and then reconnecting the gas, both of which, if done incorrectly, could prove extremely dangerous.
Leave gas appliance repairs to the professionals
When it comes to gas, never think, ‘that’s a fairly small job, I’m sure I can do it myself.’ You may reason that attempting to fix or install a gas appliance will save you money but there is no job involving gas that is safe to take on yourself if you are not a licensed gas fitter. Gas will always find a means of escape, no matter how small, and it is too easy to get it wrong. Unfortunately, with gas appliances, getting it wrong isn’t as simple as a wonky floorboard or bubbles in the paintwork - gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning could prove fatal.
Be electricity aware
Before drilling holes into walls or taking a sledgehammer to them, it’s important to check that there aren’t wires within them - a voltage detector can help with this. If you’re working on outside projects, check for underground electricity cables and be sure that ladders and scaffolding have at least 5 metres clearance from overhead electricity wires.
Be wary of electrical repairs
Most electrical jobs are definitely best left to a registered electrician. Simple tasks such as changing a light switch may be within your remit but anything more difficult than that should be given to a professional to carry out. As with gas, anything involving electricity could be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you do attempt something simple, remember to turn the power off before you begin.
Unless you are a qualified electrician, anything involving rewiring should be avoided. Get it wrong and you or one of your family could receive a serious shock or you could end up burning your house down - neither scenario is a particularly happy one. On top of that, large electrical jobs not carried out by an electrician could affect your ability to sell your home should you wish to do you in the future - regulations may result in you having to call in an electrician to check your work and possibly do the whole thing again, which could end up being far more costly in the long run.