Signs it is time to call in an expert

woman fixing showerhead in bathroom


Posted July 01, 2021

 It’s great to be handy – but sometimes, it’s best to leave it to the professionals. 

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

RACV Trades training manager Andy Anderson trains tradespeople who work for the RACV Emergency Home Assist team, who are there to help members in the case of a home 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 an expert.

Electrical work

Working with electricity is a dangerous and potentially deadly business. As Andy 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.”

Energy Safe Victoria even has a DIY=DIE campaign about this issue. Absolute no-nos are:

  • 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:

  • fireplaces
  • ducted heating
  • water heater
  • ovens and cooktops

Even something as simple as attempting to connect your home's gas to the outside barbeque could end badly, so make sure you call the professionals for help.

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 plumber. By trying to fix it yourself, you could not only void the warranty but affect your home's resale value (if it’s an inbuilt feature).


paint roller with tray and other utensils on a sheet

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.   

Replacing taps and installing showers and baths

Water is the source of life, but don’t let it become the source of aggravation as major leaks and flooded bathrooms invade your home thanks to a botched DIY job. 

Repairing broken glass

Whether it’s a shower screen or window, glass is hazardous and expensive. Leave these jobs to an experienced glazier.

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.


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