When you handle your own remodel, you can save money, but you can also put yourself in the way of danger if you try to take on challenges too big for you. Consider your strengths, knowledge, and experience before taking on any DIY project, but especially those that involve heavy tools or machinery. With DIY projects on the rise, USA Today reported an increase in in-home injuries.
Homeowners trying to save money
President of the American College of Emergency Physicians Nick Jouriles, said he has seen "an increase in injuries from do-it-yourself projects in the past year, and . . . it’s probably the result of homeowners trying to save money in a struggling economy." However, inexperienced homeowners who attempt to take on projects they aren’t qualified for can end up costing them money in the long run-either in projects that need redone or in emergency room bills.
Stories of DIY injuries are pouring in
On Angie’s List, a website where customers can post reviews of contractors, a member poll showed that injuries ranged from "being hit in the eye by a falling hammer" to "slicing off half a thumb with a carpet cutter." One member recounted a story of needing a doctor to remove a nail out of his arm with pliers after the man accidentally shot himself with a nail gun.
Though there aren’t any organizations tracking do-it-yourself injury trends, the anecdotes keep rolling in. For instance an Akron-based emergency physician said he recently treated a man who had fallen off a ladder while fixing his roof. When asked why he hadn’t hired a professional to make the repairs, the man said he was trying to cut costs.
Another physician named Arlo Weltage said he saw a man "die from a brain injury after falling off a ladder while cleaning the gutter." Even when a task sounds simple, it might be better to let the experts take a hand. Weltage said, "A lot of these things are well-intentioned and not necessarily difficult, but unfortunately we see a lot of these [injuries]."
Weigh risks and benefits carefully
Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health’s education research center Jacqueline Agnew said, "There’s no cost saving that’s going to make it worth risking a serious disability," so homeowners should weigh their risks and benefits carefully before making a final decision.
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