Do It Yourself or get a pro?

July 15, 2009 9:01:37 PM PDT
How to decide whether to tackle a do-it-yourself home improvement project or not. A recent poll found most folks who tackle DIY projects do so to save money.

No surprise there, right?

What you might find surprising is this: One in five ended up having to hire a contractor to come in and fix the problem after they got started.

Jim Sweeney of Best Handyman Services says when it comes to 'Doing it Yourself' certain projects are a 'Don't.'

"Water is the enemy. It's easy to do something wrong. Something as simple as shooting a nail through a pipe can do a lot of damage," Sweeney said.

Jim says also stay away from serious electrical work.

"If you do it yourself and you're not familiar with the code, there's a chance you're doing it wrong," Sweeney said.

You could also put you and your family in danger!

"Electricity, if not done properly, can cause a fire, can cause all kinds of problems," Sweeney said.

Jim says also call in an expert before tearing down or punching through walls.

"I've heard of homeowners knocking out walls and then later finding out, it was a supporting wall, you don't want your third floor to become your first floor," Sweeney said.

But there are a lot of DIY projects Jim suggests you DO tackle..

"Toilets for instance, the toilet is a pretty simple mechanism once you understand it," Sweeney said.

Jim says flooring can be an easy DIY, too, plus painting and dry-wall repairs.

If you're looking for a tried and true contractor or any kind of service company, look no further than Angie's List

Angie's List gets about 40-thousand reports a month from consumers reviewing everything from auto mechanics to doctors!

"We started rating health care providers about a year ago just out of consumer demand," Angie Hicks said.

As Angie's list was collecting info on health care providers, it uncovered a disturbing trend.

"Recently we've become aware of situation where a number of doctors are asking their patients not to talk about their health care experience with that particular physician online," Angie said.

Some doctors are slipping waivers in among other papers so unwitting patients will sign them.

"The good thing for consumers is there are choices out there, so don't feel you have to sign it, you have to use that doctor," Angie said.

Now there is a membership fee for Angie's list. $7.50 a month includes access to the online database, Angie's List call-in service, and a monthly magazine.

"And then we have a complaint resolution service so if you're having trouble with a company, we'll go to bat for you," Angie said.

LINKS: http://www.angieslist.com

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