Some home installations might be best left to a professional

Fewer things are more exciting to a homeowner than new appliances or a remodeled room. But in their haste to make a kitchen or bathroom look new, some homeowners find themselves with expensive, messy or dangerous mishaps instead. Here’s a look at five common mistakes to be aware of–and of course, when dealing with complicated appliances or electricity, it’s often best to enlist a professional.

Verifying Type of Range

Before installing your new stove, be sure to note whether it’s free-standing or a slide-in. A slide-in stove requires cabinets on each side, and there should be no gaps between a slide-in stove and the counter top. A free-standing stove, on the other hand, doesn’t need the support from neighboring cabinets, and is identified by its finished metal sides. Whether you’re trying to remodel your counter tops or are replacing your stove, be sure to understand the necessary support before doing anything costly. A great resource for professional appliance installation is

Out of Reach Power Sources

When wiring a kitchen for appliances, or choosing where an appliance will fit best, make sure your appliance will be close enough to a power source. It would be a shame if your appliance’s conduit were just one foot short of the distance from a junction box, or if your wall oven required an outlet located far above in a cabinet intended for the microwave.

A Faulty Drain Hookup

It’s incredibly important to pay special care in the installation of a dishwasher, or you might find the drainage from your kitchen sink leaking into your new appliance–and it’s not a pretty sight. Make sure the dishwasher’s drain hose is connected to an air gap device. If an air gap device isn’t required, ensure the hose makes a bend that reaches over the sink’s water level. Otherwise, you’ll be washing the dishes yourself, and the dishwasher!

Electrical Accidents

Working with electricity is dangerous, and many factors can contribute to accidents such as electrical fires and shock. If you’re going to set up wiring in your home, you ought to keep the following points in mind:

  • Putting a bulb whose wattage is higher than its fixture may melt lighting wires, adding risk to fires and shock.
  • Don’t tamper with your bathroom or kitchen’s wiring without installing GFCI (ground-fault circuit-interrupter) outlets first. A GFCI will protect from all sorts of electrical hazards, and are recommended when it comes to rooms that are prone to moisture.
  • Beware faulty wiring. It’s a common amateur mistake to overload circuits or let damaged wires go undetected.

Previous mishaps listed here are intended to prevent you from having to clean up after a mess or pay a heavy expense, but because of the danger present in dealing with electricity, it’s recommended to hire a professional unless you have a very clear understanding of home wiring.

Your Floor and Your Dishwasher

If you’re in an older home and looking to replace your kitchen flooring, there’s a few things you ought to know about your dishwasher. Built in the 60s and 70s, older home kitchens weren’t designed to include dishwashers, likely resting on thin vinyl flooring. By switching to thicker flooring, you may find that your dishwasher doesn’t fit under the counter top anymore!

When replacing your floor, make sure you take a look at how your dishwasher fits between the floor and counter top, and what space you can stand to lose.

Hiring the right contractor can be as daunting as deciding whether to do-it-yourself or not.  It’s always a good idea to hire contractors who are licensed, background checked, come well recommended and will do what they say they will do, on time and on budget!  Check out this great resource for qualified and vetted contractors from handymen and women to repairs, remodeling of all kinds