Angie's List: DIY or not?

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Tackling a do-it-yourself project may seem like a great way to improve your home and save some money. But sometimes that project could be a disaster waiting to happen. So how can you tell the difference before you get in to trouble?

While DIY projects may work better for your budget, if you don't know what you're doing, you could get hurt.

"I was framing in a pocket door in my basement and I was using a nail gun over my head. I should have had two hands on it, but I was using one hand and it recoiled and dropped down and popped me right in my wrist," said Matt Taylor, homeowner.

Luckily, a neighbor was able to drive Matt Taylor to the ER to get the nail surgically removed from his hand. That experience has slowed down this self-titled handyman.

"I still use my nail gun, but I'm definitely more cautious with it. I just make sure to take my time and always have two hands on it now," he said.

"When it comes to DIY, homeowners should avoid projects like plumbing, electrical and even doing work on their roof. When it comes to electrical, let's face it, you can burn your house down. Plumbing could lead to flooding, and unfortunately, we hear way to many stories of people falling off ladders when they try to get on the roof," said Angie Hicks, Angie's List founder.

It's always best to start with smaller projects first, like painting areas you can reach without a tall ladder, tightening hardware or hanging picture frames or shelves.

Not everyone's toolkit has specialty items like a tile saw, air compressor or welder. If you think you'll use the tool often, buy it. If not, local hardware stores may offer rental options. And never forget that anytime the safety of your home and your family is in question, hire a licensed expert to do the work.

"Be prepared for the unexpected things come up in the middle of projects. Also, know how you are going to handle having the work done and how your family is going to operate around it; especially if you are working on a kitchen or a bathroom. And be sure you know when you need to throw in the towel and call and expert," said Hicks.