Taking ownership of home improvement projects can be incredibly rewarding. There’s a sense of pride when you complete something that makes your house feel like home, especially if you have limited experience with handy work.
However, there are some tasks you should never try to DIY— electrical work, in particular.
Here are six compelling reasons why you should always leave your electrical work to a skilled professional rather than trying to handle it yourself.
You Could Cause a Fire
The National Fire Prevention Association (NFPA) lists faulty wiring as one of the top three causes of house fires in America. While all house fires are inherently terrible, electrical fires can be particularly insidious. These fires tend to start quietly within the walls and smolder. Families who experience an electrical fire tend to have less warning time to evacuate the home.
The risk of a fire is reason enough to avoid trying to DIY electrical work. It’s not worth the risk to your family, your belongings, and yourself.
You Could Invalidate Your Insurance
Depending on your insurance policy, if any issues arise from your DIY electrical work, your coverage could be invalidated. That means if your house burns down due to faulty wiring, you’ll receive no restitution.
Working with a licensed, insured electrician will ensure you’re adequately covered should a tragedy occur.
You Could Cause a More Expensive Issue
According to Safe and Sound Electric, the inter-connectivity of electrical work makes it inherently tricky. If you make a mistake and cause a surge, you could end up with a bigger problem than the one you were trying to correct in the first place.
Electrical work has a way of getting expensive. You may uncover an issue during your project that’s out of your depth. Having a trained electrician will help prevent costly mistakes and ensure the proper steps are taken if another issue is discovered.
You Could Experience a Shock
In addition to the hazard of starting a fire in your home. There’s also the danger of electric shock to consider. Even skilled electricians sometimes discover that the circuit they thought they had turned off was actually wired incorrectly. Putting yourself at risk of touching a live wire isn’t worth the cost savings you believe you are getting by taking a DIY approach.
Electrical shocks and hazards are responsible for 300 deaths and over 4000 injuries in the USA each year. Don’t risk adding to this number.
You Could be Fined
Some electrical work requires a permit and inspection to be considered up to code. If you engage in this work without adhering to the regulations, you could be fined for non-compliance.
An electrician will know which jobs require a permit, and better yet, be able to help you secure one. Depending on the regulations in your area, you may not be eligible to obtain a permit if you aren’t a licensed electrician.
In addition to the fine you receive, you’ll also have to cover the cost of replacing the work you did and paying a professional to get the job done.
You Could Limit Your Home’s Resale Value
Finally, taking the DIY approach could limit your home’s resale value. If your electrical work isn’t up to code, you’ll likely have to redo it to meet standards. If a home inspector discovers an issue with your DIY electrical work, potential buyers could walk away from the sale or put contingencies in place. It’s also worth noting that you could be held liable if the new owners experience an issue based on the existing electrical work.
With all of those financial and safety risks, it’s best to call a professional electrician from day one. Target your DIY passions toward projects that won’t compromise the integrity of your home or safety of your family.