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The first decision homeowners have to make when considering renovations is whether to do it themselves or hire a professional instead. If you’re particularly handy, you might wonder why anyone would waste money hiring a pro when you could easily do the job yourself. It’s true that there are a lot of home improvement projects you can take on yourself with minimal risk, but others can create substantial problems if done incorrectly. Learn about a few of the most common home improvement projects you might not want to do alone below.

Fixing the Foundation

Structural renovations should always be handled by a professional because they require permits and can be dangerous to you and your home if done incorrectly. This includes adding or removing load-bearing walls, changes to the roofline, and foundation repairs.

Foundation issues are probably more common than you think, with about 25 percent of all U.S. homes experiencing problems at some point, according to HomeLight. It’ll cost just under $6,000 on average to remedy the issue, with more complex repairs reaching $10,000 or more. 

If your house is on the market, you can’t really get away with skipping this repair. It’s one that buyers will almost always ask you to fix before signing a purchase agreement.

Furnace Repairs

If your furnace starts going out, you’ll have to diagnose the problem to figure out your options. Some issues are minor and can be repaired with minimal experience. However, complex problems can’t always be fixed, and you might be stuck replacing your furnace altogether. 

Replacing a furnace costs $4,337 on average, but it varies depending on the type you choose. Gas furnaces tend to be more expensive, starting at $2,000 and going up to $10,000. Electric furnaces, on the other hand, range from $1,000 to $6,000. Don’t forget that you’ll need to pay a professional to install it. Budget for $500 to $2,000 to cover labor costs alone.

Full Room Conversions

Converting a previously unlivable space can add a lot of value to your home. Dave Ramsey says that attic-to-bedroom conversions and full basement remodels are some of the more popular renovations that attract buyers. Converting a room is expensive, but you can often get a good return on your investment. Basements remodels average $19,500 to finish. 

Before diving in, you’ll need to think about the complexity of these projects. It takes more than a few sheets of drywall to make a room livable. When you convert a whole room, you’ll usually need to work with subcontractors who specialize in flooring, insulation, drywalling, or carpentry. 

Because there are so many moving parts, having a general contractor oversee the project may be beneficial. Not only is it hard to get everything just right on your own, you might also need to deal with electrical, plumbing, and HVAC issues to get the room fully converted. These types of jobs should always be left to professionals who are licensed and insured.

Replacing Windows or Doors

Installing new windows or doors can be a complicated project to take on. While you might be able to do the work yourself, it’s important to think about everything involved in replacing a door or window. Once you remove doors or windows, your home is exposed to weather, insects, and humidity. You need to take extra measures to protect your home during installation, which is hard to do on your own. On top of that, the job requires specialized tools and expertise. 

It’s tempting to take on DIY projects to save money around the home. However, many projects require specific training, materials, and expertise. You can damage your home or even hurt yourself if you take on more than you can handle, which is why it’s sometimes best to go with a professional.

Bret Engle |

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