Since there are plenty of home repair guides on the internet, many DIY-ers feel emboldened to tackle new, challenging home repair projects themselves these days. And while there are certainly home repair projects that the handiest, most dedicated DIY-ers can successfully complete themselves (like patching a torn window screen or fixing a running toilet), there are others that absolutely require the skill of an experienced and licensed professional. Here are 4 home repair projects you should never, ever do yourself.

1. Asbestos abatement

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that’s used in a variety of building construction materials like insulation, ceiling and floor tiles, roof tiles, some paints and patching compounds, and hot water or steam pipes. Exposure to asbestos (which can come from the demolition of asbestos-containing materials or other home repairs or maintenance projects that release asbestos materials into the air) can be extremely dangerous, potentially leading to lung cancer and other serious diseases. Because of the grave dangers of exposure, the removal of asbestos-containing materials or doing work that would disturb asbestos-containing materials should always be done by trained and accredited asbestos professionals. If you suspect you may have asbestos in your home, contact an asbestos abatement professional for testing, handling, repair work, and removal.

2. Electrical repairs

When it comes to substantive electrical work, you should always hire a licensed electrician to get the job done right. Shoddy electrical work can be downright dangerous, resulting in shorting, electrocution, fires, and extremely costly repairs. In addition to being unsafe, electrical work done without a permit may invalidate your homeowner’s insurance coverage.

3. Gas appliance installation or repair

What may seem like relatively simple repairs to a gas appliance or heater — moving an appliance to a new location or hooking up an appliance to a gas line, for example — could be enough to cause a life-threatening carbon monoxide leak or a gas explosion. Make sure all work done on your gas lines is permitted and performed by licensed professionals.

4. Roof repairs

Roofing is a dangerous business. Even minor roof repairs should be done by professionals who have the gear and experience to get the job done safely and correctly. In addition to the dangers of working up high in variable weather conditions, subpar roof work can lead to costly repairs down the road. And DIY-ers be warned: roof work that’s not done in accordance with local building codes or by a licensed professional may run the risk of voiding warranties that cover the materials being used in repair or replacement.

So go forth and DIY, but only choose projects that can be done safely and in accordance with the building codes in your local jurisdiction. And always make sure you’re doing everything you can to protect your home and your stuff with homeowners coverage you can count on.*

*Homeowners insurance policies underwritten by Esurance are available only in certain states. Esurance Insurance Company and its affiliates: San Francisco, CA.

Safe and smart | Home safety


about Rebecca

Rebecca is a freelance copywriter and editor living in the SF Bay Area with her husband and two kids. She enjoys productively channeling her anxiety into safety-minded articles for home and garden, running with her robot trainer, and advocating on behalf of the Oxford comma.