With the internet as our guide, it seems no job is too large for our capable hands. Almost every kind of repair or renovation is explained in full online, many times with step-by-step video to go along with it. And in a time when every penny counts, paying a professional could mean dipping into your savings. However, attempting certain repairs can be dangerous to your house and harmful to your. There are jobs that you are better off leaving to a professional.
Windows and door repairs
Rashid Senyonjo, an engineer with HIL-Consult, cautions against carrying out repairs on windows and main doors because these are major parts of your home’s security. For example, he says, in case the a door’s hinge breaks or the padlock develops issues, it is always better to call an expert to rectify the problem in order to avoid problems such as being locked in or out.
He says replacing a broken window glass may appear simple but lining it up in the right position is hard if you are not a professional. He also says you might end up buying the wrong replacement materials due to lack of knowledge and experience.
Breakage in the drainage system
When she found her tap in the sink leaking, Christine Atuhaire tried to fix it herself. However, a simple twist resulted in the whole tap falling off leading to flooding in her house.
Sarah Katongole, a plumber at Izzona enterprises, says: “It is wrong to think that the solution to most drainage problems is just under the sink, as the saying goes. You will either need to go down to the P-trap to find the real cause. When you try to carry out maintenance work yourself, you may end up causing more damage although sometimes it may not be immediately noticeable.”
ROGERS EGWAG: an electrician, says any projects involving electricity should be approached with extreme caution. You may be able to pull off minor repairs such as changing a light switch or installing a ceiling fan as long as you make sure that your power is turned off before you start. You can also test the switch against the breaker to be positive that there is not a current, or you can just turn off your master switch to be sure.
“When it comes to sort sackets, you will need to trace out for the cause which can only be done by a professional electric engineer,” he warns.
Samuel Kizito, an electric engineer, says: “Extending or replacing circuits is dangerous if you do not know what you are doing. One wrong move could burn your house down, and a shock could result in injury or death.’’
Repairing a roof is not recommended for a do-it-yourselfer for one reason – it is easy to fall off the roof. Repairing a roof shingle or two is not the toughest job in the world, but getting up and down and carrying your tools with you poses the risk of injury or death. It is also tiring work, and when you are tired, you are more prone to make a mistake.
Senyonjo stresses that roofing repairs will require proper measurements or else one will mess up the entire structure.
During the contraction process or renovation, a professional engineer is equipped with all the safety gadgets such as gumboots, overalls, gloves and a head lamp.
Whether we like to admit it or not, there are home repairs best left to professionals no matter how many home renovation shows we watch. So, grab your phone instead of a hammer the next time you are faced with a large or potentially dangerous renovation.
Gas appliance repairs
According to online portal The Freeman.com, a typical home may have several different appliances that run on gas such as the oven and hot water heater.
Some homeowners feel like a hot water heater replacement is within the realm of their capabilities, and this is when accidents happen. Like water, gas will always find a leak. So while you may have done a good job in cutting off the gas supply line and moving the stove, you may not have been as careful when hooking it back up.
The end result of what you thought was a simple fix could lead to accidental carbon monoxide poisoning - something that has already killed many people.
Tiles and driveway pavers
Installing paving stones may look simple but it is a process that requires perfect positioning and measuring and even the tiniest mistake can ruin the work. “Without the knowledge, most people end up buying poor quality materials that will only last for one to three months,’’ say Senyonjo.
“For instance, many people will fail to differentiate between wall, floor and bathroom tiles. That is why sometimes the bathroom is slippery leading to falling and associated injuries,” he adds.