The tutorial you found on YouTube make it seem easy enough. Cut a few holes in the wall, move around some wires, and you’ll have brand new light switches installed in no time. You might even save a few bucks by not getting permits or hiring a licensed contractor.
But did you know that savings on a DIY project can end up costing thousands more in damages if wiring isn’t done properly? Worse yet, the safety of you and your family could be at risk.
Although it’s appealing to attempt a project on your own, the truth is, unless you’re a trained expert there’s no way to verify that the work you’re doing is safe. Online videos can be misleading. There may be unknown differences in your home that require an alternate approach. There may be special tools or safety gear you’ll need for the job which isn’t apparent in a video that’s edited for length.
When consulting home renovation videos ask yourself these questions before proceeding:
Does the individual providing instructions have the appropriate education/certification and knowledge to provide home renovation training?
Are there differences between your home and the home in the tutorial that may need to be considered?
Do you have access to the specific specialized tools and safety gear needed to do the job? (Substituting tools can increase the risk of damage or injury.)
If something does go wrong and there is an unexpected outcome, are you prepared for it? If you lack experience or knowledge about a topic (e.g., electrical currents), you may not be aware of the appropriate procedures which could lead to serious injuries.
If a mistake happens, will your home insurance cover it? Qualified individuals have verified licenses to carry out renovation work and typically have third-party liability insurance.
Insurance companies may not cover damages as the result of unqualified work. In other cases, they may request compensation, or “back-sue” for damages caused by work performed without a permit or inspection. Legally, a permit is required for regulated electrical and gas work under the Safety Standards Act in BC.
Technical Safety BC strongly encourages anyone in need of home renovations involving gas or electrical work to enlist the services of a qualified professional (you can find one here). If you insist on performing electrical or gas work yourself, make sure to consult our homeowner page to obtain a homeowner’s permit before you begin.
To stay on the safe side, hire a qualified professional when doing any electrical or gas work in your home.