DIY Don’ts: 5 Projects Not to Try at Home

By Megan Schmitt

Here are 5 home DIYs to avoid.

1. Just about anything electrical

It's just not a good idea. By attempting DIY electrical projects, you run the risk of:

  • Starting a fire
  • Shocking yourself
  • Ending up with code violations

Especially dicey undertakings include installing new electrical panels, wiring light fixtures, and repairing circuit breakers. But, if you have a home warranty, chances are it covers parts of your electrical system. Companies like American Home Shield cover fuse panel boxes, direct current (D.C.) wiring, and your main breaker. So, trust us on this one, and don't DIY.

2. HVAC repairs

It's tempting, we know. HVAC repairs don't come cheap and are time-sensitive. But, if you're thinking of taking on an issue yourself, consider that you could end up with a refrigerant leak, fall from a ladder, or burn yourself on hot equipment.

When it comes to HVAC repairs, keep your cool and call a professional. Many parts of heating and cooling systems can be covered by a home warranty, which could save you both time and money on repairs. From Jeffrey M., an American Home Shield member, “My A/C went out and a technician was at my house the next morning. The tech diagnosed the system and determined the evaporator was faulty. The warranty covered parts, labor, and refrigerant and saved me a LOT of money.”

3. Tree maintenance

Tree upkeep is expensive, so the urge to attempt maintenance or removal yourself is probably strong. But tree work is dangerous, with the biggest threat being — you guessed it — falling. Our (strong) recommendation is to leave it to a certified arborist or another insured company.

4. Roof repair or remodeling

Roof leaks can be caused by any number of issues. And finding the culprit can be challenging and unsafe. Just want to fix a few shingles? This is ill advised, too. You may be looking at rot, mold, leaks and even a flooded house if even a single mistake is made. Here’s some advice: If it’s roof-related, don’t do it.

Your best bet is to bring in a pro. Home warranty providers like American Home Shield have added Roof Leak Repair Coverage to some of their plans and have also made it available as an add-on, which is another great reason to look into coverage.

5. Exterior painting

Anybody can slap a coat of paint on the outside of a home, right? Wrong. While an updated paint job is an inexpensive way to boost curb appeal, it’s a big commitment:

  • There’s a lot of prep work involved
  • Painting requires expertise
  • Painting can be very time-consuming

Your best bet? Stick to interior painting projects and let an experienced painter tackle the exterior.

The bottom line is that there are plenty of DIY projects out there that are fun, give you a sense of accomplishment, and can make a big difference in your home.

In fact, according to research done by the Farnsworth Group and the Home Improvement Research Institute (HIRI), 60% of homeowners began DIY projects at the beginning of the pandemic — a number that grew to 80% by June 2020.

But, according to a recent survey, over 40% of homeowners said their DIY projects were more challenging than expected, more than 40% said the cost was more than they planned for, and nearly 80% made mistakes (both big and little).

So, for more complicated ventures, like electrical, HVAC, and roof leak issues, a home warranty from American Home Shield is an easy (and safe) way to make sure you know exactly who to call and that you have help with covered home repairs. Find out more and get a free quote here.