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Most homeowners choose to DIY because it saves money. While this is often the case, it isn’t always. Ask anyone who’s undertaken too big a project alone if it saved them money and they’ll tell you "no." There are certain projects that you should go straight to the pros for help. The following projects are inherently risky and are more likely to cost you even more if you try to do it yourself first.
Roofing work of any kind
For obvious reasons, roofing work of all kinds pose an inherent risk. Not only are they far above ground but they’re sloped. Many Americans are killed each year by falls from their roof. Whether you need a whole new roof or you just need a leak patched, you’re better off hiring a professional roofer who has the proper training and equipment. Besides, you wouldn’t want to void the warranty that came with your shingles.
Electrical work is also inherently risky for obvious reasons. Not only do you risk electrocution, you could start a fire or short out your whole system. Electrical work requires a license for a reason. If the work you envision requires rewiring or moving electrical outlets, call a professional.
Unlike the previous two, plumbing work isn’t likely to kill you, but like the previous two, it can result in costly damages if you try to do it yourself which is why you want to leave plumbing work to the professionals as well. The average homeowners is unlikely to have all the special equipment that a licensed plumber would have and one wrong move can flood a room and cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars and you’ll end up needing to bring in a professional in the end anyways.
Wood floor installation
Even though wood flooring comes pre-cut, you’ll still need to do some cutting of your own to work around a kitchen island, funny angles, or all the other quirks that every home has. Using a saw has it’s own risks if you don’t know what you’re doing. Even if you do, you’re unlikely to cut everything perfectly and install it without a single gap. Gaps in flooring means your new hardwood floors won’t last long since spills will get beneath it and lead to rot.
America’s Funniest Home Videos has managed to last for 27 seasons in large part because of the number of homeowners who try to remove large trees or tree limbs on their own. If you’re tempted to save money on tree removal, go online and watch a few trees fall on homes, garages, and vehicles, then go call a professional.
What can you do?
Despite these and other projects that you shouldn’t do by yourself, there are still many, many projects you can do safely and successfully in order to save money. They’re the smaller-scale tasks that don’t require special training or equipment which the homeowner is unlikely to have. Instead of electrical work, install some new lighting fixtures. Instead of plumbing work, install some new sink fixtures. Other good projects include repainting, refacing cabinets, or installing baseboard heater covers.
Measure the height from the floor to the top of the metal wall plate.
Follow our guide for baseboard heater cover measurement:
Any baseboard larger than 7 3/8" (188 mm) will be compatible with our standard cover.
Any measurement greater than 9 3/8" (238 mm) will fit our tall cover.
Measure from the bottom of the finned tube heating element to the top of the metal wall plate,
A measurement of 5 1/2" to 6 3/4" (140 mm – 172 mm) will fit our standard cover.
A measurement of 7 1/2" to 8 3/4" (191 mm – 222 mm) will fit our tall cover.
Measure the distance from the wall or the metal wall plate attached to the wall, to the outside of the finned tube heating element.
Any measurement of less than 3 1/8" (76 mm) inches from the wall will fit our
Any measurement of less than 3 1/8" (76 mm) inches from the wall will fit our tall cover.
EZ Snap™ Wall Widgets are used when your old or existing wall back plate has been removed or if you have to hang your new cover 1 inch or higher to bring them up to a height that will fit our installation guidelines. Just measure your overall desired height, subtract 1", drill a hole, preferably in a stud and attach it to the wall with the included screw.
EZ Snap™ Floor Fidgets easily raise your new covers ¾ inch to compensate for any ¾ inch floor (wood, tile, or other) that has been installed any time since your baseboard heater was originally installed. May be used for any reason when the overall height has been shortened and the total height is less than 7-½ inches for standard height or 9-½ inches for the TALL height EZ Snap™ BaseBoard Covers. Just use the self-tapping screws to secure them to the top of your existing wallplate.
EZ Snap™ Wall Contraptions are used when your wall back plate has been completely removed. EZ Snap™ Wall Contraptions receives your EZ Snap™ BaseBoard Cover and keeps your aluminum fin tube from sagging. These completely replace your wall back plate. To install, slide up from the bottom and make sure the top is at your desired height. Screw to the wall, then bend the front finger up to hold the fin tube in place.
Measure from wall to wall and subtract ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) The endcaps can be pulled or slid ½ inch outward on either end to fit your existing length requirements. Choose 2 flush to wall end caps.
Measure the overall length of the existing unit with ends attached then subtract ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) The endcaps can be pulled or slid ½ inch outward on either end to fit your existing length requirements. Choose 2 Closed or Open-end caps.
Measure from the corner to the end of the unit with ends attached then subtract ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) The endcaps can be pulled or slid ½ inch outward on either end to fit your existing length requirements. Choose 1 Closed or Open-end & 1 flush to wall end cap.
Measure the left side from corner A to corner B (see diagram). Then subtract 3 inches for the 90 degree inside corner, then subtract another ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) Repeat for the right side if also wall to wall. You need to subtract a total of 3½ inches from each side that is wall to wall. Choose your end caps.
Measure the left side from the corner of the wall to the end of the unit with ends caps. Then subtract 3 inches for the 90 degree inside corner, then subtract another ½ inch (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.) Repeat for the right side. You need to subtract a total of 3½ inches from both left and right sides. Choose your end caps.
L-Shaped outside radiators ending in the middle of the wall:
Measure from outside corner of the wall A to the end of the radiator unit with end caps attached B, then subtract ½" (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.)
Measure from outside corner of the wall to the corner of the wall, then subtract 1/2" (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.)
Left leg - measure from the corner out to the end of the radiator subtract 3" for the corner and ½ (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.)
Center leg - measure from corner to corner and subtract 3" for each corner a total of 6"
Right leg - measure from the corner out to the end of the radiator subtract 3" for the corner and ½" (to allow for wiggle room when installing your new covers.).
We recommend that you order covers a little longer than normal and cut them on site, as there are many opportunities for mistakes in measuring and installation. By cutting on site you can fit and cut to fit. The covers can be cut with a good quality jigsaw and a fine metal cutting blade.
Now that you’ve learned how to measure baseboard heaters,
you’re ready to order.