Legal Trouble! Do NOT Do These 5 Home Improvements


Did you know you can get into legal trouble with some home improvements?

When we set out to make some home improvements, we rarely think about the potential legal troubles they may bring about.

Sure, it is popular to DIY parts of your home, and there is a lot of buzz on social media to make the changes you want, but know you can get into trouble too.

There are several things that you can do around the home with no issues, but there are some important things around the home for which you need to get a permit first or call a professional to do them for you.

You may think that it is no big deal, but to the legal system, these home improvements are not anything an amateur should attempt. Even if you are not an amateur, you will still get in trouble with the law if you are found to be doing this.

But what are these home improvements that can get you fined? Keep on reading to discover them!

Have you ever had legal troubles with any home improvements? Share your story in the comments!

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Replacing the electrical panel

This is one of those things that gets inspectors heated when it comes to illegal home improvements.

The main electrical panel (and any electrical panel for that matter) is not meant to be replaced or repaired by people with no electrical expertise and experience.

Not only do you run the risk of injuring yourself or someone else in the home when you attempt to do this, but it can lead to disastrous consequences like house fires and even injury or death to a loved one or a pet.

A lot of people end up injuring themselves because they do not have the expertise and they accidentally hook up the power and ground wires backward; the wire is not electrified, and it will hurt anyone that touches it.

If nothing happens and you want to sell the home, any electrical panel shenanigans can bring about fines and even loss of revenue for buyers.

The cost of replacing the electrical panel depends on whether or not you need wiring done as well as the average of the panel, but on average, experts report a price of around $1,274.

While pretty big, it is nothing compared to the dire consequences you could face otherwise.

Taking out a wall

You may love the idea of an open floor plan, but it is not as easy as taking a sledgehammer to the wall and making it yourself.

As much as some of the walls in your house are cosmetic and can be moved wherever you please, others are needed to support the roof.

If you are not careful, you can easily compromise the integrity of your home by removing a wall without talking with an expert first.

Not to mention, if you get an inspection or you want to sell that house later, you will need to have a permit to remove such an important wall.

The best course of action is to talk with an expert and then remove any walls and chance compartmentation in your home with people who know what they’re doing—that way, you can see if it’s just cosmetic or load-bearing and what you can do.

The price of professional help can be anywhere between $300 and $10,000, depending on the type of wall and where it is in the home, at ground level or on the upper floor.

legal trouble
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Cutting down trees

You may think that it is not a big deal to cut down a tree on your property, but there are certain types of trees you should not touch without consulting a professional.

This is especially true when it comes to large trees since they are the ones that can cause you a lot of legal trouble.

Depending on the state, even if you have the proper tools to do this on your own property, the law may say that it is illegal to cut down large trees if you do not have the certification to do so or if you are an arborist.

The best way to go about it if you are not sure about the law in your state is to check if you can do this on your own or to not take the risk and talk to a professional or a landscape business that will know what to do.

Not only that, you can get fined, but if you have never cut a tree, taking down a large one can open you to a ton of potential injuries and even accidental property damage!

The cost of removing a tree always depends on the age of the tree in question and how large it is. With smaller trees, you can get the deed done for $200, while the biggest ones can cost up to $2,000 to remove!

On average, a big tree removal should cost around $750.

Installing a water heater

You may want to make your showers more efficient, but you should not be attempting to change the water heater on your own.

You will be dealing with either 220 volts of pure electricity or a live gas line to be able to install it, and if you do not know what you’re doing, you can either electrocute yourself or leave the door open to the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning.

No matter how good you are when it comes to DIYs and how handy you generally are, this replacement is not something you should attempt to do by yourself.

Despite this, there are a lot of people who are too confident in themselves and risk their lives and their homes.

If something happens to your home since you DIYed it, you will not be able to claim insurance, and then you also risk legal trouble.

The best course of action is to call someone advised to do it so you do not expose yourself to the risks. The average cost for a water heater replacement is $1,304, with prices going as low as $880 if you are lucky!

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Installing a deck

Who does not want a deck for their home? The bad thing is that one of the biggest DIY safety hazards is self-built decks, according to home inspectors!

Not only do you run the risk of your jurisdiction requiring a building permit for one that you will most probably not have, but you can also end up with a faulty deck.

There is more to building a deck than a hammer, some wood, and a copy of ‘Family Handyman’! Safe decks have many requirements they need to meet in order to be accurate and appropriate for use, and you do not want to run any risks with these.

Both because your family can get injured and also because if you get into legal trouble, you will be fined and also have to take it apart since it could be deemed unsafe and unauthorized to be built!

An average deck is about $8,000, including materials, but you can probably find a local business that can do it for a lower price.

These DIYs can get you in trouble with the law, but that does not mean that you should never attempt some smaller ones around the home. For that, you will need a trustworthy tool kit; this one from Amazon is our favorite!

Certain things you may attempt to change about your home will bring about legal trouble, but other things in your home may give your guests the impression that the home is from another era! Check out here the things in your home that may be spelling outdated!