DIY home improvement projects can be a great way to add value to your home and make your home more attractive. It’s equally possible that the opposite can happen. Some home improvement projects are best left to professional contractors who have the necessary licenses, equipment, and training. What follows are five projects you shouldn’t attempt yourself and five you can.
Garage door installation
While it might not seem too difficult, there are lots of moving parts, including powerful springs that all must work perfectly. Since it requires special tools and since the tiniest mistake can result in a garage door that doesn’t function or is dangerous to use, this is one project to avoid doing yourself.
Refinishing wood flooring
Sanding down and refinishing hardwood floors may seem doable, but unless you want to spend days on your hands and knees, you’re going to need a commercial floor sander. Run the sander a few seconds too long in one location and your beautiful hardwood floors are irreparably damaged.
Any project that will change the structure of the home should be left to professionals. After all, how are you supposed to know if that wall you just knocked down was load-bearing?
While swapping out light fixtures is within the scope of the average homeowner’s abilities, homeowners shouldn’t go much beyond that when it comes to electrical work. Don’t try to reroute any electrical wires or extend or add electrical circuits as serious injury, death, or a house fire may result.
Ladder or scaffold work
In any given year, close to 50,000 people will be injured in a work-related fall badly enough to have to miss work. Approximately 600 will die from these falls. Professionals have safety equipment to minimize the risk of such injuries.
So long as you take the proper precautions to tape off and cover everything that’s not supposed to be painted, painting the interior of your home is a pretty low-risk project you should be able to handle alone. Or you can enlist the help of family and friends as well.
Traditional wallpaper is a pain to apply and remove but fortunately there are peel-and-stick alternatives that make wallpapering a very simple task that allows you to transform the look of a room in almost no time at all.
Baseboard radiator cover installation
You can quickly transform the look of an old, outdated-looking baseboard radiator system by installing snap-on covers. Simply measure how many feet of covers you need, order the materials, and you can have the job done in minutes.
Resurface kitchen cabinets
While you probably don’t want to tear out and replace kitchen cabinets, you should be able to repaint or re-stain and swap out the knobs or pulls of all your cabinets and drawers in just a few hours. You can do the same in your bathrooms as well.
Replacing old and broken blinds or shutters and hanging new curtains or drapes is a job you can probably do in an afternoon.
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.