The Pros and Cons of Doing your Own Plumbing as a Home Seller
The DIY trend is still growing, especially in an economic climate where many people are trying to find ways to save money in any way they can. There are a huge number of do-it-yourself books, magazines and TV shows and on YouTube there are literally thousands of videos that purport to demonstrate just how easy it is to be your own contractor. And if you are selling your home investing a great deal of money into It’s not something any home seller wants to do.
One of the areas where people consider going it alone to save a little money is plumbing. Why pay someone quite a large chunk of change to do a job that, with a little help from those books and videos, you can probably pull off on your own?
That though is the problem, that word probably. If you make a few mistakes painting the living room wall you can always go back to the store, buy more paint and start again. Frustrating and the extra expense cuts into what you had originally saved by not hiring a professional painter but not the end of the world.
When it comes to plumbing though the consequences of a job poorly done can be far more serious (and fixing the problems considerably more expensive) and may even derail, or at least slow, the sale of your home.
On the pro side of DIY plumbing, homeowners should indeed know how to unclog a drain or free a backed-up toilet. These are relatively simple jobs that may not warrant calling out a professional plumber, especially if the problem arises on the weekend when the rates are indeed generally double the norm.
Anything more complicated than that though and a great deal of thought should be put into the matter before you decide to tackle the plumbing problem alone, especially when making repairs or upgrades to a home for sale.
Any alteration to a home’s physical plumbing system usually requires a permit, something that can be far more difficult for an amateur to obtain than a professional. In addition, the company from whom you purchase your homeowner’s insurance will almost always insist that such work is carried out by a licensed professional. Should a DIY disaster occur that warrants a claim on that insurance to fix, the company is very likely to deny that claim because the work was performed by an amateur. This could also be an issue that could delay or void a sale.
There are physical concerns involved with the practice of DIY plumbing as well. This is not a profession for those without stamina and a certain degree of bodily strength. The average professional plumber does not have a helper just to have someone to talk to!
Becoming a licensed plumber takes years. On average a plumber must have had at least 3 years on the job training under the supervision of another licensed plumber before he or she can even consider applying to sit the licensing exam. The new plumber must also have completed a certain number of “theory hours” as well. It’s a tougher job than many think.
In conclusion, there are some simple plumbing tasks that can be undertaken by the home seller themselves safely and effectively, but for anything bigger than a blocked toilet calling in the professionals is the only logical course of action.