Home improvement networks like HGTV and DIY have dozens of shows designed to show homeowners how easy it is to remodel their homes themselves. The problem with these shows is that they gloss over 90% of what goes into the successful completion of a project. They may show the occasional humorous setback but even that’s made to look like no big deal. The truth is that DIY home improvement is almost always harder than you expect it to be. And while there are some projects you can probably do yourself with a little research and patience in order to save money, there are many you shouldn’t attempt. Here are seven of them.
Crown molding is a surefire way to class up your room but it’s not as easy as they make it look on TV. Walls are rarely perfectly straight, even if you have a newer home and especially if you have an older one. If you do it yourself, you’re going to end up trying to smooth over the imperfections with caulk and it will still be noticeable.
Refinish your hardwood floors is as simple as renting a sanding machine for a few hours right? Wrong. Linger a few seconds to long on one area of your floor and you have drum marks that are almost impossible to cover up. A few hours with a sanding machine isn’t enough to become comfortable with operating it like a pro would be.
Every year more than 400 people die as a result of faulty electrical work. If you don’t want to burn your house down or electrocute yourself, then don’t rely on YouTube to learn how to do electrical work.
This is one DIY project that may be doable if you have a little experience and a lot of patience, but most likely, you’re better off leaving this to the pros as well. No matter how carefully you measure before you start, you’re going to have to cut some tiles to fit them around fixtures and it’s harder than it looks. If you want to try your hand with tiling, start with a simple backsplash that won’t require you to cut tiles. Better yet, just go with a peel-and-stick backsplash.
If you thought DIY electrical work was dangerous, roofing makes it look like child’s play. More than 6,000 Americans die each year from falling-most from their roof or a ladder while cleaning gutters, hanging Christmas lights, or making roofing repairs. Hire a professional with training and the right safety gear.
DIY plumbing will almost certainly cost you more than it saves you. A single mistake can cost hundreds or thousands in water damage.
Never mess with your home’s heating, cooling, or ventilation systems. A mistake could kill your whole family with carbon monoxide poisoning. Best case scenario, your home will be less energy efficient than it would be if you just hired a pro. If you want to replace a baseboard radiator heating system but can’t afford to hire a professional, consider baseboard radiator covers to give it a more modern look without endangering your family.
In fact, as a general rule, just don’t do any work that requires a permit (electrical, roofing, HVAC, plumbing, etc.) Even if you manage to do it right without hurting yourself or damaging your home, you have to disclose unpermitted work when you sell and you’ll lose any money you saved in the form of decreased home value.
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.