With summer just around the corner and temperatures steadily rising the time for barbecues and garden parties will soon be on your doorstep. You may be thinking that its time to spruce up my garden with a new patio or perhaps somewhere to relax like a sun room. The question is do you take on the project yourself or do you enlist the services of to a contractor who specializes in the type of work you desire. Generally this question is answered with just a few quick thoughts. Do you believe that a little hard work, perseverance and cost effectiveness outweighs having to spend a little extra to bring in a professional and get a world class finish on schedule without the hassle. However one thing that is often left forgotten is the potential health & safety risks that come with many ‘do it yourself’ projects.

Americans take on roughly 60 million ‘do it yourself’ home improvement projects every year and as you can imagine this equates to a rather large number of accidents and hospital visits.

Every year in the USA:

  • 250,000 Americans are sent to hospital due to falling from stools or step ladders.

  • There are roughly 85,000 emergency room admissions due to working with power tools.

  • Solvents paints and lubricants cause injury to 55,000 citizens.

  • 28,000 people required multiple stitches after working with chainsaws.


Now if you’re like me and dismiss the possibility that you could be involved in such an obscure accident how about being faced with a condition that could potentially kill you. Many people do not realize the dangers that lie within the four walls of their home. During the 20th century asbestos was utilized in multiple areas within the building industry often being used as insulation for pipes, boilers and walls. However exposure to asbestos fibers is now linked to severe health conditions such as mesothelioma and asbestos both of which affect your lungs and can have a serious impact on your lifestyle. The number of people pursuing asbestos claims has steadily risen in conjunction with the number of people being diagnosed. This is due to people being exposed to asbestos at work.

Asbestos is unlike other substances which can cause problems with your lungs owed to the amount of exposure needed. People who are suffering from health conditions such as pulmonary fibrosis (scarring of the lungs) due to breathing in excess amounts of dust will often agree that they have been exposed to large amounts of dust for extended periods of time whereas experts believe that although symptoms rarely appear prior to 15 years, breathing in just one asbestos fiber can have an adverse effect on your health. There are numerous cases in which people have developed mesothelioma just from drilling into a wall without knowing about the hidden killer behind it.

The debate regarding whether it is worth paying extra to hire a suitable professional or to give it a go yourself will no doubt remain for many years to come and in a way I am able to see positives in both. I agree that it may be worth doing minor renovations such as decorating the spare room or making some shelves yourself (Providing your not using a lead based paint!). However in my opinion larger scale jobs such as getting a new patio or an extension on your home is best left to the professionals that way you can guarantee a high quality home improvement without any hassle or health risks!


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