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Do it yourself dangers

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The temptation of do-it-yourself home projects is obvious.

"I'm saving so much money,'' said homeowner Ewa Kalinowski, "doing the labor myself.''

But so is the potential of what you might be doing to yourself, frustration, delays and added expenses to fix mistakes, especially if you think it's as easy as following do-it-yourself shows on TV or the internet.

"These are professionals,'' said Josh Weiner, a Home Depot employee. "It may be a half-hour segment. But that was a two-hour job. There's some great ideas out there, but you need to talk to someone who's done it, that way we can get a feel for what your skill set is.''

But this is the do-it-yourself season and, it seems, a do-it-yourself era.

Last year at Lowe's, America spent $50 billion cutting, painting, tiling and fixing its most valuable possessions. That figure was $75 billion at Home Depot.

Still, workers at those stores are also trained to protect people from themselves and their own handyman ambitions.

"Absolutely they are,'' said Ray Sardella, who works at Lowe's. "We have to. We can't have people coming out here and thinking they can do something and god forbid something terrible were to happen.''

So if you are tempted to spend the summer working on that project you've been putting off, if you don't hire a professional, you might want to listen to one type or another.

"Anything electrical, anything that has to do with natural gas,'' Sardella said when asked which projects can be most difficult. "I would tell them not to even think about touching it. Don't even consider it. Hire a professional.''

Dr. John Molnar, director of the Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, warns that some equipment might be risky for novices to use.

"Power tools,'' he said. "I would say, in particular, saws and things like that. It's more easy to get a bad injury quickly. People are not wearing eye protection and coming in with a foreign body or piece of metal in their eye.

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