Whether it’s to save some money, take ownership of their homes, or simply have a fun adventure, many homeowners attempt to tackle significant exterior home renovations on their own. While we understand the appeal, there are sometimes costly and even dangerous downsides to DIY exterior home renovations that you may not have considered. Read on to learn the most common pitfalls that come with DIY-ing your home’s exterior projects.
DIY Power Washing Pitfalls
With the appearance of inexpensive models on the market, many homeowners have invested in a power washer to save themselves some money each spring when it comes time to wash their exterior surfaces. Many hook up their machines, using no solution, and blast any dirt they find around the home with as much pressure as their machine will produce – on the windows and siding, on the deck and patio, even on the roof. When they step away, however, they’re often either disappointed with their results or shocked to see stripped paint, damaged wood, and shingle granules sprayed in the area around the house. They may even venture indoors and find the area inside their windows drenched with filthy water. Professional power washers make the job look easy, but in reality, power washing is a lot more nuanced than you might realize.
The Benefits of Professional Power Washing
Professionals know how much pressure to use on various surfaces to ensure they come away clean, but unharmed. They also choose from a wide selection of cleaning solutions to tackle the specific issues they see around your home, from algae and mold to dirt from nearby roads. They also know how to protect the landscaping around your home, so it does not suffer damage from overspray. Professionals have a keen eye for identifying potentially sensitive spots that could be worsened with too intense pressure, such
as weak spots in your foundation, damaged wood, cracked siding, or failing window trim. And professionals know roofs should never be power washed. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, professionals adhere to safety measures to protect your home as well as themselves. It may just be water, but the stream from a power washer has the potential to cause significant physical harm, not to mention send dangerous debris flying.
Issues with DIY Window Installation
Windows are some of your home’s most important features. As openings to the outside world, they provide natural lighting and even an inviting breeze on nice days. Homeowners often believe that replacing existing windows is an easy task. After all, the window has already been framed out, the only thing they need to do is pop out the old one and put the new one in its place. But the reality is window installation is a precise job. Improper installation can lead to a host of issues, not the least of which are the serious aesthetic problems that can arise from poor workmanship.
If the window alignment is off by even a hair, your windows could negatively impact your home’s heating and cooling efficiency. Not only could a poorly installed window create unpleasant drafts, but it could also drive up heating and cooling costs up year-round. If that isn’t bad enough, misalignment can also interfere with the window’s functioning, making it difficult to open or close. This can lead to safety issues, particularly during an emergency such as a fire, but also security issues if your window cannot lock because it is not closed all the way.
Window Sealing & Flashing
Along with the need for alignment, windows also need to be sealed to prevent water intrusion. Proper window flashing and caulking are essential for directing water away from the windows and keeping your home sealed against the elements. Even if they are aware of the need for this, many DIYers do not know the intricacies of how to flash and caulk around a window to successfully divert water and prevent damage to the home. One significant advantage to relying on professionals to install your home’s windows is the guarantee that so often comes with the installation. Professional contractors, like Aapex Construction & Restoration, typically offer guarantees on their workmanship, in addition to the warranty that covers the windows. Installing on your own, the craftsmanship is not guaranteed, and even worse, you may void the warranty provided by the window manufacturer.
The Dangers of DIY Roofing
Most homeowners understand the importance of proper roof installation. As one of the most important features of your house’s exterior, your roof protects your family and your home from the elements. On average, a new roof will run you about $8,000, depending on a lot of factors including the design of your roof and the materials you select. Given this, we understand the impulse to attempt to save on costs by installing a new roof yourself. However, we never recommend homeowners attempt a DIY roofing job, for many reasons.
The Physical & Financial Risk of DIY Roofing
First and foremost is the extreme danger than comes with working on the roof. Every phase of a roofing job – tearing off the old, lugging up stacks and stacks of shingles, and finally installing the new roof – offers many opportunities for catastrophic, even fatal, injury. Professional roofers have the equipment and experience to be able to complete a roof removal and installation safely. Beyond that, professional roofing contractors are also bonded, licensed, and injured against injury or damage. If somebody gets injured during a DIY roofing job, their medical expenses will often fall back on the homeowner. Any damage done to the home during or after a DIY roof installation will also fall to the homeowner. What’s worse? Often this damage is not covered by homeowner’s insurance policies because it is “self-inflicted.”
Structural & Aesthetic Issues with DIY Roofs
Professional roofing companies have the knowledge, experience, and tools to properly build a roof to protect your home from the elements. Every roof is different. Though it may seem like installing a new roof is no more complicated than tearing off the old shingles and nailing the new ones in their place, it’s actually quite more complicated than that. A professional roofing job entails assessing and repairing any damage to the roof decking, underlayment, and possibly even upgrading the roof’s ventilation. All that is before properly installing the new roof, which includes correct placement, positioning, and technique for fastening the shingles to the roof deck. Beyond the importance of the structural integrity of your home’s roof are issues related to the aesthetics of a DIY roof. The roof is the single largest exterior feature of your home, accounting for more than 40% of your home’s overall exterior. A poorly installed roof will stand out like a sore thumb. Professional roofers are skilled at laying a roof that will add to the aesthetics of your home, increasing your home’s protection from the elements as well as its curb appeal for potential buyers.
Is your home in need of some exterior renovations? Avoid these DIY mistakes by contacting us and scheduling a free consultation. Aapex Construction & Restoration has more than 20 years of experience in the construction industry and is licensed, bonded, and insured to provide you with exceptional customer care. Contact us today!