Many of us consider ourselves to be pretty handy around the house and after watching a few DIY programs on TV, we feel confident to take on nearly any task in our Boerne homes. However, there are quite a few projects around your home that not only are a little above and beyond even the most skilled DIY-er, they’re actually illegal to complete by anyone other than a licensed contractor or remodeler.
1.Converting from electric to natural gas
Natural gas is still all the rage for many homeowners in the Hill Country and is usually the preferred cooking method for the best of home chefs. If you don’t have natural gas already in your home, don’t be so quick to run out and buy a new cooktop and think it’s a simple weekend project, though. Converting from electrical to natural gas lines involves working with multiple complex systems, which sometimes requires converting the voltage and/or capping gas lines. Licensed contractors have received the training necessary to maneuver these systems safely.
*CostHelper estimates the cost of extending a gas line between $150 and $750 and if a new gas service is needed for your home, you can estimate about $2000.
2. Demo-ing a wall
Who here hasn’t thought, at one point or another, “I could just knock down this wall myself”? Easy enough, right? Determining what lies behind a wall, or if a wall is load bearing, isn’t as easy as it looks. Some walls can be removed with minimal impact but many times, there is electrical wiring or plumbing running through that will need to be rerouted. A licensed remodeling company will be able to make the desired changes, while still maintaining the structural integrity of your home. Even if you can say with absolute certainty that the wall you want to remove isn’t load bearing, or requiring anything to be rerouted, there could still be potential hazards lurking that you were completely unaware of, like asbestos.
*According to Angie’s List, a project like this could run anywhere from a few thousand dollars to over $10,000.
3. Asbestos Removal
As you’ve probably already read, in one forum or another, asbestos is an incredibly dangerous product that should always be dealt with by professionals. The dust that is released from asbestos is a carcinogen that can cause lung cancer. The Environmental Protection Agency advises that suspected materials not even be disturbed for testing purposes by non-professionals. Only a professional will have the proper training, special clothing and equipment necessary for safe removal.
*Houselogic estimates that the costs associated with inspections, testing and partial-home or full-home removal of asbestos can range from $200 to $30,000.
4. Roof Repair
Roofs are sophisticated systems that are necessary to protect you from the elements. Roofing systems are not all created equal, however, and many contractors will actually specialize in one type. Each type of roof has a warranty that is specific to its manufacturer and there are a wide variety of factors that will void part, if not all, of the warranty on your roof when repaired or handled in the wrong way. So, while it may not always be illegal to do some repair work on your home, it is much wiser to not skimp on these costs and hire a professional.
*Angie’s List advises that roof repairs can cost anywhere from $120 – $1500 per square foot, based on the roofing materials and the permits range from $150 to $400, depending on where you live.
Home ownership is quite empowering and we all gain a sense of pride when we successfully tackle a project that improves our investment. You want to be sure though, that any investment in your Boerne home will pay off in the end. So, be wary of tackling some of these major projects yourself, or you might find yourself paying more in the end to have it done right and up to code.