A DIY repair may sound like the best way to go when you’re looking to save money or get a job done faster, especially when the issue you’re dealing with is small, minor, or seemingly simple to repair. In some cases this may be true—certain minor jobs may be perfectly fine to do yourself. However, plenty of people take on tasks that they simply aren’t equipped to handle and make things so much worse in the process. In fact, we are called in to fix a number of failed DIY repairs each and every year.
If you want to avoid accidentally damaging your home or making your minor problem into a major one, it’s important to avoid some of the common mistakes that many DIYers make. Here are five of these mistakes and what you can do to avoid them.
Not Using the Proper Tools
Whether the problem is with your plumbing, your HVAC system, or your electrical equipment, not using the right tool for the job is only going to set you up for failure. While the wrong tool may seem like it gets the job done, the truth is it more than likely is only going to do so for a short time. Repairs made with poor tools or tools used improperly often don’t last, and they may actually cause the issue to get worse over time as your system struggles to work around a repair that wasn’t done properly. Before long, the issue returns and you’re stuck scratching your head and wondering why the repair didn’t hold.
Another common issue is using the proper tools, but doing so incorrectly. A correct tool is only as good as the craftsman who wields it, and if the craftsman is improperly trained or doesn’t know what they’re doing, chances are they’re going to do it wrong and potentially botch the repair. If you aren’t properly equipped to do the job, leave it to a professional who is, and the results will be far better and more dependable.
Not Checking That the Repair Works
You’ve tightened the last bolt and it’s time to cover up your fix and seal it away. However, how do you know that what you’ve just completed works as intended? Have you tested the repair to make sure it works? Is that pipe repair you conducted really leak-free? Can it withstand the pressure of water flowing back through your line? You may never know unless you test the fix, and if you’ve covered the repair before turning it on again, it may be too late to fix any issues that may exist with the repair.
Mistakes happen, and the thing is fixing them usually isn’t difficult. However, it’s impossible to fix a repair that you can’t get back to because you’ve already covered or sealed the repair behind drywall or in a location where you can’t access it again. Don’t make this mistake—test your fixes first. It’s an important step that even the pros absolutely never skip.
Skipping Seemingly Inconsequential Steps
Do you really need to seal the threads on your new pipe with plumber’s tape? Is it absolutely crucial that you connect the ground wire when replacing your outlet? These seemingly small and inconsequential steps that many people skip are oftentimes the reason that DIY repairs fail. It may seem like a cost or time saving to ignore a simple task that may not seem all that important. However, these small tasks are the difference between a job done and a job done right. Make sure that you go through the steps and fully complete the job in order for your repair to last. You’ll only end up frustrated when the issue returns or you find yourself dealing with an even more costly problem because your repair has failed.
Not Doing the Research Ahead of Time
Do you know what you’re doing? The internet is a wealth of information, so there’s a good chance someone out there has fixed what you’re going through before and put step-by-step instructions somewhere online. YouTube and other video sites are packed with information and demonstrations for how to handle nearly any small home repair, and for the skilled craftsman these guides may equip them with the info they need to successfully repair an issue.
However, far too many homeowners try to simply dig in and get the job done before doing any research at all. In the best-case scenario, this means an improper fix. In the worst-case scenario, this can cause damage to something that wasn’t broken and make a small job into a big task that requires extensive repairs to plenty of other components as well.
Trying to Fix Something You Don’t Understand
Do you know how your plumbing system works? Do you know why certain pipes have to be certain sizes or angled in certain ways? Do you know how to safely handle electricity in a way that won’t cause serious injury? If you don’t understand what it is you’re working with, you’re setting yourself up for failure. While step-by-step instructions can help you do the job right, they’ll only help you so much if you don’t understand some of the finer and more nuanced details about your issue.
Want to avoid a hassle and an even bigger repair? Trust the pros at All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical and we’ll get the job done right. Dial (909) 253-0664 today to request a quote.