PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Tackling a do-it-yourself project may seem like a great idea at the time and it could potentially save you money.

However, Consumer Editor Susan Koeppen found out how you could end up spending more money and needing more time on your project than you expected.

One way many homeowners try to save money on home improvements is by doing the work themselves.

While do-it-yourself projects may work better for your budget, the problems that can arise can be disastrous.

Matt Taylor decided to use his nail gun to frame a pocket door in his basement. While he was working on the door, his nail gun recoiled and hit him.

“I looked down and realized that the nail was in my hand and I couldn’t get it out myself, so I had to go to the hospital. I got a ride from my neighbor to the [emergency room] and it had to be surgically removed,” Taylor said.

Trying to save money on home improvements could end up costing you in medical bills if you’re not careful.

“When it comes to DIY, homeowners should avoid projects like plumbing, electrical and even doing work on their roof. When it comes to electrical, let’s face it, you can burn your house down. Plumbing could lead to flooding, and unfortunately, we hear way too many stories of people falling off ladders when they try to get on the roof,” Angie Hicks from Angie’s List said.

Do-it-yourself projects may take more time and experience than you expect, so if you’re thinking of doing something yourself, start small.

Try painting areas you can reach without a ladder, hanging picture frames or shelves, installing new curtains or drapes-or changing your wallpaper before attempting large-scale projects.

“Before you tackle a DIY project, ask yourself; if you know what you are doing. Do you have the time and do you have the right tools to do the project?” Hicks said.

You should also leave major projects to the pros.

Don’t try to attempt any electrical, plumbing, or roof repairs because they could void a warranty if you did them yourself. Any work involving natural gas lines and any work that requires a permit should also be left to the pros.

Start 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 emergency room.


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