Many home owners these days are attempting remodeling projects themselves. Due to the economy we look for ways to save money and still do the upgrades we want on our homes. This may not be in the owners best interest however. Remodeling takes a level of skill that most home owners don’t have not to mention the specialized tools required to do the work right. And I repeat the word “right”. I’ve fixed many home owner jobs that looked good but after a few months fell apart. Most often I’m rehanging kitchen cabinets that have fallen off the wall or fixing sheet rock joints that just don’t seem to want to stay together. The most dangerous home owner fixes I’ve done involved their electrical wiring. Twisting wires together and taping it is not a safe way to fix or extend outlet or switch lines. If you can’t replace the wire back to the last connection box then there are wire connectors today for the purpose of splicing romex wire. These splice kits aren’t cheep so you want to keep your spicing down to the bare minimum. Also they are not the easiest things to use so plan on ruining the first one as your learning curve. If you can’t get it right then don’t fake it. This kind of situation can and does lead to house fires.
If you don’t know the basic codes or construction standards then you really shouldn’t be doing the work by yourself. Another frequent safety violation I have found is a home owner taking down a wall and building a small addition off the side of the house. Remember, all exterior walls are load bearing walls. That means they are what holds up the house. You must reinforce the structural framing and install a header across the opening. If you don’t, the opening will sag sometimes right away, sometimes after a few months. Depending on the size of the opening and the condition and age of the house this may even contribute to the collapse of the house. So far in the last 6 years of work I’ve had to jack up three roofs and install headers. Therefore if you don’t know what you are doing it is best to get professional help. Maybe you have a friend who has experience who will be willing to help you. Maybe buy a few remodeling books at Home Depot. I wouldn’t rely to heavily on the Home Depot thing though. The best thing, find yourself an experienced friend or professional to help with structural load bearing walls, an electrician and a plumber if needed. The rest of it you can probably stumble through without doing much harm.