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The Hazards of Home Improvement


It is the time of year when many people undertake home improvement projects. With the arrival of spring, a lot of homeowners decide it is the perfect time to paint the house, clean the gutters, landscape the lawn, and do any number of other repairs. Many homeowners attempt these projects on their own--as "do it yourself" or DIY projects--out of cost concerns or because they enjoy personal involvement in making their home the best it can be.

Unfortunately, DIY can become IY--injure yourself. A 2013 survey showed that a quarter of homeowners who engaged in DIY home improvement projects injured themselves or someone else in the household. Of those injured, one in two were injured doing yard work; one in four were injured while painting; and one in five were injured while doing routine maintenance. In fact, 170,000 people go to the hospital every year due to injuries from DIY projects involving ladders.


Of the DIY projects homeowners engage in, there are certain offenders that are most likely to cause injury--to end up on the IY list. The top ten projects are listed below:

Cleaning out gutters: this involves heights and ladders; enough said.

Cutting down an old tree: big saw, big tree...big injuries. Better to cut up trees that have already fallen.

Roof repairs: again, heights and ladders are not a great mix for amateurs.

Carpentry: often involves power tools, so proceed with caution.

Electrical work: other than changing a light bulb, always dangerous.

Repairing gas lines: leave to the professionals. Period.

Landscaping: big gear can spell big injuries, but for the most part people survive.

Painting or working with chemicals: keep the area well ventilated and never mix chemicals other than as directed.

Demolition: other than obvious risk of falling objects and structures, demolition can release toxins into the air that are harmful to lungs and skin.

Simple repairs: plumbing repairs, routine maintenance, etc, often turn out to be anything but simple. Even a thorough spring cleaning can involve products with dangerous chemicals like bleach and ammonia.


If a home improvement project results in injury, one possible source of recovery for medical bills and other damages is homeowner's insurance. However, the policy will not cover injuries sustained by the homeowner, the policy holder. The nature of the personal liability coverage of the policy is to protect the homeowner from claims and lawsuits brought by others who are injured on the homeowner's property. Therefore, the friend or family member helping with the DIY project who is injured may be able to recover his/her medical costs and damages through the policy, but not the injured homeowner.

An injured homeowner may be able to recover damages due to faulty equipment, incorrect instructions, or other potential sources of liability.


If you or someone you know has been injured in a home improvement project, contact Dave Thomas at The Thomas Law Firm for a free evaluation of your legal rights.

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Thomas Law Firm
Located at 945 East Paces Ferry Road, Resurgens Plaza, GA 30326.

Phone: (678) 264-8348.
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