4 Things You Shouldn’t DIY


Having a DIY attitude is great for saving money. With online resources such as Google and YouTube, you have a virtually endless resource of free tutorials and guides on how to do almost anything. From installing a ceiling fan to repairing a toilet flush, you can figure out how to get the job done yourself. However, there are times that you can lose more than you save by doing the job yourself. Here are four home repairs that are best left to a pro.

1. Moving your home or office

Even the fittest athlete can get hurt when they move heavy objects like a sofa or cupboard. It is not worth the risk of injury just to save some money. The loss you suffer from the injury includes missing work for days, and also the additional cost of getting a mover.

Not to mention the pain you have to endure and the hassle of making various trips to the hospital for treatment and physiotherapy, or worse if you get admitted to the hospital. At the end of the day, you have to pay for medical services and on top of that still resort to a professional mover to get the job done.

This is why it is the best to leave home or office shifting to professional movers. For example, Myrelo charges about RM1,900 for a condominium and RM2,900 for a double-storey house. They provide you with up to three movers, who will pack and unpack your items for you, while securing them using packing blankets.

Another privilege you get to enjoy using a professional mover is that you can insure your expensive items such as antiques, electronics, and artworks, in case they get damaged in the moving process. For Myrelo, you pay a RM150 premium for a RM50,000-insurance.

However, if that is too steep for you, you can always rent one of those transport with the number listed on the lamp post, which cost just about RM400, depending on the location and the size of the lorry. There’s no guarantee on damage though.

2. House renovation or repair

It is true that there are some home renovation or repair works that you can handle on your own, like painting or changing the light bulb. This not only saves money, you also have fun playing around with your creativity. However, it is important that you recognise what you can or cannot do, and stay within that limit. Even a small mistake could result in serious damage to you, your home and its contents.

A Briton reportedly died in a mudslide while renovating his Spanish holiday home where he planned to retire. Andrew McGaughey, 65, was buried to his neck when the ground gave way as he filled a ditch with concrete.

That is a hard lesson to learn. To avoid that from happening, there are some safety precautions you can take. For example, never climb a ladder alone, as there is limited stability in using it and the floors could be slippery and you can fall while trying to replace that one missing tile on the roof. Or if you are doing electrical job like changing a faulty plug point, you may risk getting electrocuted or cause a short circuit that can break into a fire. You may try to repair rusted pipes and once you reconnect the water supply, the pipe gives away and your house flood ruining your cabinets, carpets and self-pride.

All these then end up in another hassle episode of visits to the hospital and medical bills. Worst case scenario, you could lose your life.

So, the best way is to hire a contractor or pay a repairman to get the job done for you instead.

3. Car repair

Most probably the only thing you should DIY with regards to your car is having the punctured tyre changed, and topping up the engine lubricant. Nothing else. Doing something that you have not been trained to do, could cause more trouble than help.

If you do the battery replacement yourself and if it is not right, you risk temporarily losing access to your radio. And again, it is double work and money to get to the mechanic to rectify the connection. Or if you constantly find your radiator overheating, a DIY rectification on the hoses or thermostat may result in a vehicle that no longer runs. If there is anything wrong at all with your car, you should get a mechanic to fix it for you.

4. Haircuts

If you are planning for a more advanced haircut, beyond Telly Savalas’s Kojak shave or simple bangs trim, you should hand over those scissors only to the professional hair stylist. Rest assured that most people will be able to tell the difference between those who paid for their haircuts and those who had a DIY hair makeover they learnt online.

To put an end to the disaster, you may need to wear a hat for the next three months till it is grown out of your DIY style, and then, still make a trip over to the hair stylist to fix it.

There have been stories of celebrities losing their jobs for poor hair grooming choices. Keri Russell was in the height of fame with her hit TV show,Felicity, where she played a New York City college student and was admired for her long, curly hair. Then she cut her hair short. Soon after, ratings declined, and the show was cancelled a season later.

You can always negotiate with the person you hire to get a lower rate, by negotiating aspects of the project, or offering to do prep or clean-up work.

There are times when we need to call in a professional, or pay for a service, because it is not practical, or safe, or because we just plain don’t know how to do something. There are DIYs that could cost more than hiring a professional if we fail to identify our limitations. After all, MacGyver was only a fictional character!

It is important that you take time to properly inspect a property before you invest in it, so you are not caught by these nasty surprises later.

Buying a home may be easy, but maintaining one can be costly. Here are some extra costs you may need to pay for as long as you own the property.

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