Your home and DIY: When is it time to call in the experts?

Builder with earphones, sawing

Putting up some shelves? Fixing a few leaks? Planning a renovation? All over New Zealand, people love to do their own home maintenance, repairs and extensions - often with great success. However, some jobs are best done with the assistance of experts. Here's how you know it's time to get in touch with the professionals.

There have been significant legislative changes 

Planning and construction legislation in New Zealand can go through significant legislative changes, often without being noticed by those not within the industry. One benefit of hiring professionals is that they have knowledge of the latest changes to the law - something that can come in handy during the planning stages.

"You have to know what you can do and what you can't do... and when you need to call in someone with a license," explains Consumer Policy Analyst Hamish Wilson in a January 2015 Westpac article.

Consent may be required

Some projects, particularly larger ones, may need consent from the local council before you are allowed to proceed. If you fail to get these consents, you could be fined and have trouble selling or insuring your building in the future. This is particularly important for people within the new bounds of the Auckland Unitary Plan, as the rezoning could have made significant changes on where and how you can extend or renovate your property.

While it is possible to get consent yourself, professionals can streamline the process. If you aren't sure if you need a building or resource consent, it may pay to check-in with the experts first.

The consequences of a mistake are high

Doing the work yourself can be an extremely rewarding experience, but sometimes the risks that come with some property repairs are not worth it.

The Ministry of Economic Development records that there are about 600 arc-initiated fires in residential properties every year, many of these caused by malfunctioning equipment or unsafe electrical work. The consequence of such a fire could be the damage or destruction of your home, or harm to the residents. As a result, it may be better to call an electrician rather than trying to rewire your house yourself.

Sometimes, it's better to call in the experts. The same goes for your mortgage as well: get the right advice before trying to DIY your home loan, and get in touch with the team here at Squirrel first.