Jobs you should always call a tradesperson for

RACV Plumber talking to a customer in their home


Posted July 26, 2023

It’s great to be handy around the home and tackle DIY – but sometimes, it’s best and safer to leave it to a qualified tradesperson. These are the jobs around the home that you should not tackle.

While there are plenty of jobs around the house you can learn and safely attempt yourself – such as changing a light bulb or painting a wall – with the big home projects and emergencies, it’s best to call in a tradesperson.

RACV Trades training manager Andy Anderson trains tradespeople that make up the RACV Emergency Home Assist team, who are there to help homeowners and landlords in the case of an emergency like a burst pipe or broken window.

Much of the time, Anderson says that callouts are the result of poorly done DIY jobs that have been a “ticking time bomb”.

Here, he recommends the jobs around the home best left to tradespeople. 

Woman climbing up a ladder

Using a ladder can be inherently dangerous. Photo: Getty.

Home renovations and jobs you should hire a tradesperson for

Electrical work

Working with electricity is a dangerous and potentially deadly business. As Anderson says: “With plumbing work, you can see water, so if it spurts out that’s the worst of it, whereas with electricity, you can’t see it or smell it, and if you feel it, then that might be the last thing you feel.”

Electrical work around the home is not only dangerous to do yourself, but also illegal. Electrical jobs you should never attempt yourself include:  

  • changing power-points

  • installing downlights

  • replacing a smart meter

  • attempting to rewire your home. 

Anything to do with gas

When it comes to gas, it’s never a question of DIY.

Gas is dangerous. Even a small mistake can put you, your family and your building at risk of a fire, explosion or undetectable leak. A licenced plumber is required to install and repair any gas appliances, including:

Even something as simple as attempting to connect your home's gas to the outside barbeque could end badly, so make sure you call a certified tradesperson to do the job.

Major plumbing work

There’s a big difference between fixing a leaky tap and installing a brand new bathtub. Small plumbing jobs like identifying a leak or unclogging a dishwasher can be done yourself but major jobs should always be conducted by a qualified plumber

"Plumbing is a licensed trade. Depending on the plumbing works you’re doing, it can be very unsafe,” Anderson says. If you're not confident in your abilities, he also recommends you leave even small plumbing jobs like changing a washer to a tradesperson as well.

“Some plumbing work that looks really good and appears to be working really well – it's not for years that you find out it’s been causing damage to the property.”

Plumbing jobs you should hire a tradesperson for include: 

  • Unclogging pipes that have not responded to off-the-shelf drain clearing products

  • Replacing or rerouting pipes

  • Installing plumbing fixtures (such as showers, baths, sinks and toilets)

  • Any job that involves your water mains or sewer pipes


An electrician installing a new downlight

Electrical jobs like installing downlights should always be carried out by a qualified tradesperson. Photo: Getty.

Roof repairs

It can be tempting to get up on the tiles and repair your roof yourself but it’s a job best left to the professionals. Aside from the fact that a botched job leaves your home open to water damage and pests, working on a roof is inherently dangerous.

“Most plumbing companies, if they work safely, will have two people on any roofing job and there will be safety equipment that will prevent them from falling off the roof,” says Anderson.

“Even gutter cleaning these days, there are so many companies that are doing it with equipment that allows them to do it from the ground for safety purposes.”

Roof slopes are often steeper than they look from the ground and homeowners can misjudge how slippery the tiles can be while also lacking the proper safety equipment.

If you’re ever doing any job around the house that requires you using a ladder, make sure you’re familiar with how to use the ladder safely – and when in doubt, call a tradesperson qualified in roofing instead for a job well done.  

Whitegoods and other appliances

If you find your fridge leaking or your split system blowing smoke, call the manufacturer (if it’s still under warranty) or a tradesperson. By trying to fix it yourself, you could not only void the warranty but may impact your home's resale value (if it’s an inbuilt feature).

Some things you can do yourself, but home emergencies are not DIY.

Removing walls

So, you’ve designed a striking new layout for your cosy inner-city terrace to give it an open-plan living room at the rear, but there’s a pesky wall in the way. Put down the sledgehammer, because that wall you want gone could be load bearing, and one fell swing could bring the house down, literally.  

Alternatively, it might have wires or utilities running through it. Contact a licensed builder to examine and knock down the wall instead.


two men laying tiles on a roof

Fixing a roof can be very dangerous and is best left to professional tradespeople. Photo: Getty.

Repairing broken glass 

Whether it’s a shower screen or window, glass is hazardous and expensive. A small chip may be something you can tackle with epoxy and a glass adhesive, but anything larger and you’re going to need to call in an experienced glazier to do the job. 

Building a deck 

Building a structure such as a veranda or a deck should be left to a carpenter or builder. The danger of doing it incorrectly may increase the risk of physical injury to yourself or your family.  

There are also legal requirements for constructing a deck and a building permit must be sought from the Victorian Building Authority to ensure the structure is up to standard.  

Preventative maintenance is better than a cure 

While many tasks around the home are best left to tradespeople, homeowners can still be proactive and help minimise repair costs through regular maintenance. 

There are a number of household systems and features for which regular servicing is recommended. Not only does this reduce the chance of them breaking down (which can cost more to address than regular preventative maintenance), it also makes sure your home is running as efficiently as possible.  

Finding the right tradesperson for the right job can feel like a difficult ask, especially when dealing with a treasured asset such as the family home. The best way to ensure you’re getting a tradesperson who is qualified, trustworthy and fairly priced is to do your research and ask the right questions – if they’re reliable then they won’t mind being asked.

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