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5 Home Improvements That Are Not DIY Friendly

5 Home Improvements That Are Not DIY Friendly

General advice says that you can save some money by taking on some of your home improvement projects yourself. HGTV tells you that there is nothing you cannot do to improve your home. That may be true of projects like painting, pressure washing, and gutter cleaning. However, there are home improvement projects that are better left to the professionals.

Check out five home improvements that are not just not DIY friendly, but can actually be more expensive when you do them yourself.

1. Anything You Need a Permit For

There are a substantial number of home improvement projects that require permits from the city, and the full list often depends on the ordinances in your local area. Generally speaking, anytime you need to break or move ground, you require a permit.

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Too many DIY-lovers skip the permit stage altogether, and that gets expensive if a neighbor tattles on your or an inspect happens to notice. It is also problematic if the work is being done to help sell your house. Homeowners are required to list unpermitted work upon selling. Not getting that permit can negate the money you saved on doing yourself in costs later. Basically, if your project requires you to apply for a permit, seek a professional to get the right permits and do the work for you.

2. Roofing

Roofing is a relatively easy project, especially compared to plumbing or electrical work. Nailing asphalt shingles to a flat surface does not require a huge amount of technical know-how. However, roofing is best left to the professionals simply because of the sheer scale of the project.

Think about it. You have been standing on your roof, and working hard for several hours. It is hot, and you are tired. You are also not completely confident when walking on the roof. Not only is it more likely that it will take you substantially longer to re-roof your house than a professional, but you are also more likely to fall and injure yourself during the project. Any work requiring more than nailing a few shingles down should be handed over to the professionals. It will cost more upfront, but generally speaking, a roofing contractor costs less money than an orthopedic surgeon.

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2. Removing a Wall

Open living plans are all the rage in modern home architecture, and homeowners with older properties are often tempted to remove some of the seemingly needless walls to make their home feel bigger and brighter. Tempting as that may be, do not do it.

Some of the walls in your home may be blocking light from reaching dark corners, but they may also be load bearing walls that support the ceiling in your home. Knocking down a load bearing wall without replacing the support ends in disaster. There is no question that your ceiling will come crashing down. Rather, it is just a question of when it will happen. When it does, it will cost more to fix than asking a professional which wall is suitable to remove.

4. Plumbing Projects

Anyone who has tried to remodel a kitchen or bathroom knows that plumbing can be prohibitively expensive for any project. Most of those people have also weighed the costs of doing the plumbing work themselves. Replacing the showerhead, hooking up a sink, and installing a washing machine are all jobs that you can complete on your own with the right tools and a good instruction manual. However, any time you need to touch a water supply line, or move a pipe to install an appliance, you need to call a plumber.

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Not knowing what you are doing can result in small mistakes that quickly result in huge disasters. Even creating a small leak in a pipe can cause a huge amount of water damage to your home if you do not have the experience to notice, not to mention the fact that a big mistake can result in a fire or flood.

5. Gas Related Projects

Installing a new gas stove is one of those project that should always, always, always be done by a professional. Connecting a stove to a gas pipe seems simple enough. You need a wrench, a pipe, and two thunks to get it done. But, use the wrong materials, or even under-tighten one of the nuts, and you can cause a gas leak. Gas leaks are dangerous because not only are you breathing in gas, but gas leaks often result in explosions, which can kill you and anyone in the general area.

All homeowners should have essential DIY skills for saving extra cash on small projects. Part of this knowledge includes knowing when to call in the cavalry and get professional work done for projects that are not DIY friendly.

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Featured photo credit: Scott Lewis via flickr.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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