D.I.Don’t

Every year the home improvement wizards come up with the lists like “Top 5 DIY Projects” or “Great Eight Sexy Home Tips” but this time we thought we’d do something a little different: “DI-Don’t.” That’s right, the following is a list of projects you could do… but probably shouldn’t.

Call them the Darwin Awards of home improvement if you like, the following is a list of nifty home improvements that can either send you to the pearly gates or—at a bare minimum—re-arrange your body parts.

5). Windows:

There are too many ways to mess up a window, and the consequences are dire. You can get leaks, then dry rot, then extensive repair bills. Not to mention the thrill of falling off the ladder while trying to install a window on the second floor.

4). Garage Door Replacement:

Even though this subject scores very high on Remodeling Magazines “Cost vs. Value” report, that large spring you see running the width of the garage door—just above the top of the door– is under extreme pressure. It’s called a Torsion Spring. Every year there are fatalities associated with folks messing around with that spring. Even though the garage door is the one most used in American homes, it’s jut not worth trying to replace one yourself. Call a pro.

3). Natural Gas Lines:

This seems rather obvious, doesn’t it?

Did you know? Natural gas is actually colorless and odorless. The rotten egg smell comes from the chemical Mercaptan, which is added to make it stink so it’s easy to detect a leak.

2). Messing with Your Circuit Breaker:

Much like natural gas lines, projects that involve messing with a service panel (or “breaker box”) is something best left to those who know what they’re doing. If you’re working on a project that involves installing a new circuit, you can always hire a certified electrician to do that part of the job and then DIY the rest yourself.

Trivia Time: Who invented the concept of a Circuit Breaker? Well, it’s a familiar name: Thomas Edison. He knew that short circuits could damage the filament of his light bulbs, so he came up with the concept of a circuit breaker.

1). Lead Paint:

If your home is built before 1978 odds are good that the exterior was painted with lead paint.  According to the Department of Health and Human Services lead is the “number one environmental threat to the health of children in the United States”.  If you sand or grind lead paint it becomes airborne and a very real threat to humans, pets, and wildlife. So it’s certainly a D.I.Don’t.

You might be wondering, why was lead ever added to paint? Well, lead is very insoluble in water, so it made paint highly water-resistance with a durable, washable finish. In most cases, lead has been replaced with titanium dioxide—which is commonly used in food colorings.

David Schmitke

David Schmitke

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