Angie's List: Helpful hints for DIY projects

Tackling a do-it-yourself project may seem like a great way to improve one’s home and save money at the same time, but, sometimes the projects can be a disaster waiting to happen.

Matt Taylor knows firsthand how problematic DIYs can be, he had a little bit of a run in with a nail gun while framing a pocket door in the basement of his home.

"I was using a nail gun over my head. I should have had two hands on it, but I was using one hand and it recoiled and dropped down and popped me right in my wrist,” said Matt.

"I looked down and realized that the nail was in my hand and I couldn't get it out myself so I had to go to the hospital. I got a ride from my neighbor to the E.R. and it had to be surgically removed."

Trying to save some money on projects could end up costing a person in medical bills.

Founder of Angie’s List, Angie Hicks, says "Before you tackle a DIY project, ask yourself; if you know what you are doing. Do you have the time and do you have the right tools to do the project?”

According to Angie, DIY projects may take more experience and time then you expect.

"First, be prepared for the unexpected things come up in the middle of projects,” she says, “Also, know how you are going to handle having the work done and how your family is going to operate around it; especially if you are working on a kitchen or a bathroom. And be sure you know when you need to throw in the towel and call and expert."

Angie also recommends that homeowners avoid tackling projects like plumbing, electrical and roofing alone.

“When it comes to electrical, let's face it, you can burn your house down. Plumbing could lead to flooding, and unfortunately, we hear way too many stories of people falling off ladders when they try to get on the roof.”

Smaller DIY projects such as hanging a frame or doing minor paint jobs are more realistic for individual homeowners to do by themselves.

Matt Taylor says he still uses his nail gun after the accident, but says “I'm definitely more cautious with it. I just make sure to take my time and always have two hands on it now.

Other recommendations by Angie include starting small and gradually building up to bigger projects, and throwing in the towel if a project becomes too overwhelming.

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