At the end of Clint Eastwood’s iconic movie “Magnum Force,” his Dirty Harry character speaks seven memorable words that struck a dark chord in the heart of every homeowner (male or female) who has ever tackled a repair or remodeling project beyond the scope of their experience or expertise:
“A man’s got to know his limitations.”
The following is a public service for those first-timers thinking about taking on that ‘easy’ plumbing fix or ‘quick’ electrical job and a cautious reminder to those project veterans who have not yet learned their lesson:
A real shock to your system: A good reason tor a novice to avoid any jobs around the house that include electricity is the importance of knowing the Uniform Building Code. While making the wrong wiring connections may not be a problem today, they could be tomorrow. A great reason for a novice to avoid working with electricity is the possibility of electrocution. When in doubt, save time and possibly your life by calling in a professional contractor or electrician.
Water, water, everywhere: There are two downsides for amateurs thinking about doing their own plumbing. Again, most of us do not know about the safety requirements spelled out in the Uniform Building Code. And this is definitely one of those times when ignorance is not bliss. After all, when you make even a small plumbing mistake, you are faced with the threat of water leaking or gushing out every which way. When in doubt, save time and soggy floors by calling in a professional plumber.
Lean on me: If part of your decorating scheme is to create more space by removing a wall between rooms, you may want to stop and determine first whether or not it’s a load-bearing wall. When in doubt, an engineer or construction contractor should be able to tell you before the ceiling starts to fall on your head.