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Take Caution Before Drilling Holes in the Walls!

by Dave Hiller 09/09/2019

Home Improvement Projectd

Image by isuru prabath from Pixabay.


I love to be the hero around my house in taking on a DIY "home improvement project".  However I usually underestimate the time it takes to complete and the complexity of the project.  You Tube can be a great resource in gaining project knowlege and confidence. However they may gloss over potential issues. I found the following article very useful on what commons pitfalls to avoid.


Drilling a hole in the wall to hang pictures or a TV might sound like a simple DIY project. But handyman services are warning that homeowners could do a lot of damage to a home if they aren’t careful.

Many homes have pipes and wires that run through a wall. Homeowners who are unaware of these could risk personal injury or serious damage to their home.

Realtor.com® recently featured safety tips to avoid hole-drilling nightmares, including:

Watch light switches and sockets.“The main dangers [of drilling into a wall] are hitting an electrical wire, water pipe, or gas pipe,” says Issabel Williams, a crew member with Fantastic Handyman. “All of these scenarios can lead to electrocution or flooding.” To help determine what’s behind a wall, Williams suggests to avoid drilling around light switches and sockets since electrical wires tend to go horizontally and vertically around them. “You can [also] get an idea of where wires and pipes run by looking in the attic and basement to see where they go up or down through framing,” Williams told realtor.com®.

Use a stud finder. A stud finder can help locate vertical beams that frame the house. Mark the stud location with a pencil so you know where to drill. Studs are usually placed 16 to 24 inches apart. “Electrical wires often run vertically along studs,” Matt Daigle, founder and CEO of sustainable home improvement site Rise, told realtor.com®. “A stud finder is a convenient handheld tool that makes locating studs hidden behind drywall a quick and easy task.” Drywall is not as supportive for hanging items on so it’s imperative to check where the studs are, Williams adds. “Otherwise you risk having a serious accident with falling objects,” Williams notes.

Be leery of bathroom and kitchen walls. Walls that connect to your bathroom and kitchen are likely to have pipes within. If you hit a pipe, you’ll find substantial resistance, Williams says. “And unless you hit it where it passes through a stud, your drill bit will probably deflect off of the curved surface,” Williams adds.

About the Author

Dave Hiller


HOWNW.com Certified Specialist


License No. 201226626

Oregon Licensed Broker

Hi, I'm Dave Hiller and I'd love to assist you. Whether you're in the research phase at the beginning of your real estate search or you know exactly what you're looking for, you'll benefit from having a real estate professional by your side. I'd be honored to put my real estate experience to work for you.