When you shouldn't DIY

Recent announcements on shutting down "non-essential" services amidst the coronavirus situation have left a lot of people scratching their heads.

They are quite possibly wondering, what exactly defines an essential service?

While access to groceries, petrol, pharmacies, food delivery, convenience stores and the like may be available, what happens when you need a plumber, builder, cleaner, gardener or electrician?

"Homeowners, renters, mums and dads all need to get things done around the house. Maybe even more so when everyone's stuck at home," Jeremy Levitt, CEO and co-founder of services marketplace serviceseeking.com.au said.

"With some extra precautions, you can hire a tradie and get your jobs done."

Extra precautions might include avoiding handshakes, paying online rather than in cash, asking workers to wash their hands as the first and last thing they do if they're working inside your home and asking tradies to quote via Facetime or Skype Video Chat.

Unless you're qualified, don't attempt any electrical or plumbing work, or other complicated projects.

Jeremy Levitt

Crazy scenes at some of the bigger hardware stores in recent days might indicate Australians are preparing to DIY (do it yourself) things around the house in the next few month, Mr Levitt said.

But he has a few words of caution when it comes to recognising what people can, and can't, do themselves when it comes to repairs in the home.

"Unless you're qualified, don't attempt any electrical or plumbing work, or other complicated projects," Mr Levitt said.

"Not only can it be dangerous, but you're also more likely to spend more when you eventually call in the professionals.

"In a lot of cases, it's still best to call in the right people from the start."

As people bunkered down at home to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Mr Levitt offered a list of the top five projects they should definitely not DIY.

So as we all bunker down at home, here are the top five projects you shouldn't DIY.

  • Electrical work (think anything more complicated than changing a lightbulb)
  • Plumbing (especially with anything that runs on gas, like hot water systems and cooktops)
  • Air conditioning installation and repair
  • Roof repairs, roof painting and guttering
  • Anything with a power tool or heavy equipment
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