One thing the pandemic has done is give homeowners plenty of time in their homes. Which means many likely have been compiling long lists of DIY to-dos that need to be tackled. With so much time on your hands, vacations postponed and summer gatherings on hold, you may be making a lot of progress checking things off that list, too! Kudos!

DIY renovations have always been popular, but the pandemic has given people a no-excuses reason to improve their homes and increase the functionality, beauty, and enjoyment – not to mention building that sweat equity! Many home renovations may include electrical or plumbing tasks. As your confidence in your reno skills grow, you may be considering tackling these tasks, as well.

Some homeowners may have the necessary knowledge and skills to safely complete electrical and plumbing updates, but there are some critical reasons why you may want to leave the bigger projects to the pros.

Hidden dangers

No home reno is without risk. You could fall off a ladder, shoot yourself in the foot with a nail gun, or slice a finger off cutting laminate flooring. But a mishap with electricity or plumbing could put your family or your investment at risk.

As a matter of fact, according to the US Fire Administration, electrical malfunction is the fourth leading cause of house fires (behind cooking, heating, and unintentional/carelessness). Working with electricity is dangerous. A strong electrical shock can cause serious injury and even death. Mistakes in wiring can lay hidden behind the walls for years, until a sudden house fire destroys all you have worked for or endangers your family. As a matter of fact, approximately 51,000 house fires per year cause $1.3 BILLION dollars of damage per year.

See Also: Signs It’s Time to Renovate Your Kitchen

Watching YouTube videos may be sufficient to successfully install your own flooring or backsplash, or fix a running toilet or a drippy faucet. But the difference between you and a licensed electrician is about 600 hours of training, on everything from reading blueprints to safety. And that’s not even counting the hundreds of apprenticeship hours, supervised by a master electrician.

Small plumbing issues can become catastrophic While you may not face danger to life and limb with plumbing repairs, you can definitely risk your hard-earned investment if done incorrectly. If you inadvertently make an error you could take a small problem and turn it into major water damage that could cost you thousands to repair.

Potential legal issues

Before you begin any project, you should check with your local permit office to find out if you need a permit to do the work – this is especially true for plumbing and electrical repairs, which may require an inspection to ensure the work is up to the code. Some localities may not approve permits for DIY work, depending on the complexity. Since requirements may vary by state or municipality, making assumptions about permit requirements could end up being a costly mistake.

Permitting can be an expensive process and time consuming process, so you may be tempted to skip it to save money. What many homeowners don’t realize is that failing to get required permits for certain construction projects can make it difficult to sell the home later. Missing permits may come to light during the appraisal or inspection process, and are grounds for potential buyers to cancel the purchase contract. Some lenders may even refuse to make the loan if they discover that work was done to the home without required permits, which will also put a potential sale at risk.

Basically, an attempt to save money in the short term could cost you big time in the long run.

Good luck with your projects! If you need help deciding which projects will give you the best ROI for your Northern Virginia neighborhood, we would be happy to help. Whether you are looking to buy or sell a home in Northern Virginia, we would love an opportunity to show you what a difference the Jason & Bonnie team can make for you! Contact Jason at 703-298-7037 or Jason@JasonAndBonnie.com.