Do it yourself - a good idea or a disaster waiting to happen?

One way many homeowners try to save money on hiring for home improvement work is by doing it themselves.

While DIY projects may work better for your budget, the problems that can arise can be disastrous.

Angie's List recommends asking yourself these questions before you take on a home repair on your own.

• Do you have the right skills and experience? While there are several resources that tell and show you how to do almost everything, there is no substitute for the skills and experience needed to successfully fix the part of your home that needs repairs. For example, if a repair project involves replacing a wall and you've never done this before, consider calling an expert.

• Do you have enough spare time? Some house repairs need immediate attention and complete follow-through, while others aren't urgent and/or can take weeks to complete. When the need to repair part of your home arises, consider your availability, the urgency of the repair and the amount of time it will take to complete the repair.

• Do you have the right tools? Not everyone's toolkit has specialty items like a tile saw, air compressor or welder. If you think that you'll use a new tool several times after completing a repair, you may find the investment worthwhile. If not, your local hardware store may offer rental options.

When you should always hire an expert? Any time the safety of your home and family are in question, hire a licensed expert to do the work. Such repair jobs can include the following:

• Electrical work

• Plumbing repairs

• Repairs that use potentially hazardous chemicals

• Roof repairs and maintenance

• Repairs that require ladders or scaffolding.

• Repairs that require power tools.

• Repairs that would void a warranty if you do them yourself

• Work involving natural gas lines

• Repairs that need a permit

Angie's List recommends starting  small and go from there. Don't be afraid to throw in the towel if you get in too deep with a project. Asking for help is better than ending up in the ER.

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