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15 Dangerous Home Improvement Projects

1. Adding Skylights

1. Adding Skylights

Not only do you need to be able to stand steadily on a slanted roof while lifting between 60 & 150 lbs, skylights have a tendency to leak unless installed by a professional.

2. Roof Bump-out

2. Roof Bump-out

Ladders, steep pitches, slick shingles, oh my! Roof line changes can not only threaten roof integrity, but they also provide a trifecta of possible falling hazards that are best avoided by amateurs.

3. Tree Trimming

3. Tree Trimming

In addition to the danger of falling branches and trees, chain saws have been known to kick back and injure the operator.

4. Installing a Sprinkler System

4. Installing a Sprinkler System

Installing a sprinkler system can be hazardous if you don't know where your utility and sewer lines are located. A professional will have easy access to this information, as well as know proper techniques to avoid any mishaps. 

5. Replacing Siding Near Electric Lines

5. Replacing Siding Near Electric Lines

You'll need a professional to replace siding near the place where electric lines enter your home in order to avoid possible electrocution. It's as simple as that!

6. Capping-off Gas Lines

6. Capping-off Gas Lines

The inexperienced might mistakenly believe it is appropriate to solder a cap on a gas line causing a spark. That could have serious consequences, so it's best to have a professional use the proper techniques. 

7. Replacing a Water Line

7. Replacing a Water Line

When it comes to plumbing jobs, it is important to have properly sweated joints. A small leak could lead to black mold and a large one could result in collapsing walls, ceilings, and/or floors.

8. Removing Asbestos Floor Tiles

8. Removing Asbestos Floor Tiles

If you have crumbling vinyl tiles or linoleum that contains asbestos, it must be properly removed to prevent loosing fibers that cause lung damage. If you try to do this yourself, you could end up in the hospital. 

9. Updating Your Circuit Breaker Panel

9. Updating Your Circuit Breaker Panel

The process of changing a circuit breaker panel is complicated and requires an electrician's understanding of electrical systems and the needs of your home. It takes years to accumulate this knowledge, so put the diy books down and pick up the phone. 

10. Installing Ground Fault Circuit Interpreters

10. Installing Ground Fault Circuit Interpreters

Changing building codes may require additional GFCIs in a kitchen or bathroom. If not properly grounded, these can result in fire or a loss of power.

11. Running New Electric Wires

11. Running New Electric Wires

When the wattage of a new light fixture exceeds the amperage of the available wire, you'll need a new wire run from the circuit breaker panel. Sound complicated? Hire an electrician.

12. Removing Walls

12. Removing Walls

If a load-bearing wall is removed to open up interior space, something must be added to support the structure. If this is not done correctly, you risk the danger of collapse.

 

13. Adding a New Deck

13. Adding a New Deck

To build a deck, you must have a clear understanding of how to properly frame it, foot it, correctly space joists, and construct a sturdy railing to safely host neighborhood barbecues. Someone falling through the deck can really ruin a party! 

14. Installing New Windows

14. Installing New Windows

If your new windows are not properly seated and sealed, you're no better off than you were with the old ones. Easily self-installed windows are hard to find, so let a professional take care of this task. 

15. Changing an Entrance Location

15. Changing an Entrance Location

Any time you breach the outer wall of your home, there are multiple considerations — structure, facade, insulation, and possible location of plumbing, drain lines, or electrical lines. If all these risks are giving you anxiety, call a professional.