Home Improvement Projects That Aren’t Worth the Hassle of Doing Yourself

Your home is your castle. However, the castle sometimes needs a few updates. A home is also an investment, and your free time is valuable too. There are certain projects where poor work leads to expensive code violations, injuries, and property damage. Don’t waste your time on those ones.

Here are five home improvement projects where you are better off hiring professionals to handle them from start to finish, and while a loan from Check ‘n Go can help pay for the costs, they are often quite affordable and will pay off tremendously in the long-term.

  1. Roofing- Adventurous homeowners sometimes attempt to fix or even replace an entire roof by themselves. In addition to the obvious risk of injury, a mistake by a novice leads to roof leaks and significant damage. The seriousness of this project means you do not want the work done by fly-by night roofers either. Pick an established company like Champion Home Exteriors that has trained specialists, guarantees the quality of its work, and has a lifetime protection agreement. The peace of mind offered by a well installed roof is worth the cost.
  1. Siding- New siding is also a major improvement, and just like roofing, there are serious consequences for unprofessional work. Shoddy work reduces the curbside appeal (and value) of your home. Improper installation, especially around doors and windows, leads to building water entry and substantial damage. It is best to leave this work to specialists with proven experience.
  1. Electrical- In addition to the risks of injury from fire and electrical shock, there are financial reasons to hand this work off to a professional. All electrical work needs to conform to local codes. Unprofessional work not only leads to violations, but when you go to sell your home, the buyer’s attorney will demand that all electrical work be brought up to code by a licensed professional. Hire a professional the first time around and save yourself time.
  1. Plumbing- If you google “do it yourself disaster,” you find plenty of examples of plumbing projects gone wrong. For major projects like removing an old water softener or installing a new hot water heater, you really want a professional. Valves that are not shut off properly result in water gushing through your home. The cost and time spent cleaning up failed projects quickly eliminates any financial gains.
  1. Tree trimming and tree removal- People sometimes think “hey, I’ll just get rid of the old branches myself.” After all, most homeowners have a ladder and handsaw to accomplish the task. Hold on. If you cut a limb too short or too long, you damage your tree. This activity, like electrical work and roofing, has a serious risk of injury if you make one small mistake.

Tree removal is a related area with significant risks. Trees sometimes fall unpredictably. There is a reason why searches for do it yourself tree removal yield images of trees that fell on cars.

This article isn’t meant to dissuade people from trying home repair and improvement projects. Installing a shower head or painting a room on your own does save you money and the risks are low. There are, however, just some instances where it makes sense to hire companies with specialized equipment and expertise. If failure on a project equates with injury and/or economic loss, go with trained professionals that stand by their work.

How To Know When It’s Time To Leave Your Job

Just starting out in your career? An important and often overlooked element in your career development is knowing when to leave a job. Here are some signs, straight from a former recruiter’s mouth, about when it is time to find a new employer:

Problem #1- A Long Tenure

Many articles discuss the problems with “job hopping.” However, a long tenure at one company actually makes you less marketable too. When there has been career movement, it conveys that you had to learn new corporate cultures and sharpen your skills. Recruiters define an attractive candidate as someone with between 2 to 7 years at each of his or her employers.

There are other benefits to changing employers every 2 to 7 years. Companies often give a boost in pay that is greater than the typical yearly raise to attract new talent. You are also more likely to convince a new employer to produce desirable professional development opportunities if you maintain an attractive career profile.

There are exceptions to this rule of course. However, you need to be aware early in your career that most organizations view long tenures negatively.

Problem #2- Rumors of Financial Problems

This one seems obvious. If news articles talk about the poor financial state of your employer, it makes sense to move to another company. If you work for a company that keeps its financial information closely held, you might wonder how you can discern your employer’s financial health.

It is often good to look at the actions of people who know the most about a company’s performance. Are executives suddenly leaving for “better opportunities”? Has accounting developed a turnover problem? These signs, from the people who see how much money is coming in and exactly how much is going out, can give you a picture of your employer’s financial state.

Problem #3- Lack of Growth

Many job articles talk about growth, but in today’s workplace, it is up to you to promote your career development. HR departments exist to handle the administrative tasks associated with hiring and managing a company’s workforce. There are several signs you can look for to assess whether growth opportunities are or are not there.

If you work for a large company, the most visible sign is that you are not selected for promotions or desirable assignments. Look at your most recent performance review. While companies often use performance reviews to cover themselves in legal disputes (otherwise known as CYA), it is a valuable tool for an employee to determine his or her manager’s true views. Take it seriously if a manager likes your performance at your current position but seems unenthusiastic or evasive about opportunities for growth.

The decision to leave a small company is less straightforward. Successful small companies are ones that identify and grow lucrative niches for themselves. An individual employee can have the freedom to introduce process improvements or initiate new service offerings that might get vetoed at a larger company. These experiences are crucial for professional development. However, if the business owner loses interest in staying abreast of marketplace trends, a small company can quickly deteriorate. This situation means that growth opportunities will evaporate for you. The best advice in this case, leave quickly.

Career progression is a personal responsibility. Making sure you know when to exit a job that has become stagnant is critical. The three items mentioned above can tell you when it is time to go.

Take the Scissors to the Credit Cards

It was extremely difficult to resist the temptation of credit cards in the early years of the 21st Century. There was growth in the real estate market and the economy was booming. Easy credit fueled everything and complacency was common in both realistic loans lenders and borrowers. The former saw little risk and focused on profit with seemingly few risks involved. Borrowers were effectively being given an open checkbook; it was too tempting not to spend. The debt crisis certainly stopped complacency. There were numerous casualties and even though recession has receded there are still people falling into the trap of excessive spending and supporting monthly expenditure by the use of credit cards.


Many people used to have a wallet full of credit cards. Often they juggled between the cards, accepting 0% balance transfers when available and generally paying off the minimum each month on each card. That is a recipe for disaster with the inevitable outcome a balance on each card.  Each incurs high interest rate charges and there is no easy solution to that kind of problem.

If you get into this situation the first thing that you must do is to sit down and write every liability down, leaving nothing out. The first debt that needs to be cleared is the one that is incurring the highest rate of interest. The reality might be that the reason why you got into trouble in the first place is because of your inability to repay your commitments. Ideally the solution is increasing monthly income but that may not always be possible.

Low Interest Rates

Interest rates are currently low and one solution may be to investigate whether the problem can be solved by taking out a consolidation loan. It will put the core balances into one figure that can be paid off over a defined period with equal monthly instalments. There is help out there for those who need it though the rates on offer may be higher for those with a poor credit score.

It might be difficult for you to sign up to a term loan without actually receiving any money to spend but what is the alternative? Penalty interest will continue to be charged until the balance is paid off; and it is growing by the day.

You may actually rid yourself of this huge problem but that is not the end of the issue. Some of the card companies may be delighted to allow you to continue to use their product. While a credit card is certainly convenient there is an inherent danger. It is to only pay off the minimum monthly requirement which was where your problems began in the first place.

Self Discipline

How good is your self- discipline? If you have a credit card for convenience then it is essential that you pay off the outstanding balance at the end of every month. You do not need to have a wallet full of credit cards if you are disciplined enough to use a credit card purely for convenience.

There is no doubt that the days prior to the recession are unlikely to return. Lenders have stricter criteria than before but credit is certainly still available. If you have managed to extricate yourself from a seemingly hopeless financial situation you most certainly don’t want to return there. You don’t need to have a ceremonial cutting up of your credit cards but you must look at your financial situation realistically. There may be the need for a few economies if your expenditure seems to be outstripping your income but they will be worth it to get out of trouble.