DIY: Reducing Home Repair Expenses

One simple way to save big on home repair expenses is to do much of the work yourself.

You don’t have to be the world’s expert with a hammer and drill to save huge amounts of cash by a little do-it-yourself around the home. All it takes is a willingness to learn a few things you might have hired someone else to do for you. You’ll also find it can be a lot of fun and very satisfying.

If you don’t have the proper tools, they can usually be purchased for less than you would pay a professional to come out for an hour. A drill, a few screwdrivers, a hammer, and other simple tools can all be bought for less than $100. Once you have them, of course, they can be reused for generations.

To save the absolute most money on tools shop at garage sales, eBay, weekend markets, and other venues for used tools. Most are just as good as new and will generally be half-price or less.

Then, hit the Internet to find out the best way to repair a leaky pipe or replace a faucet. Look for articles to give you hints about how to replace a tile without destroying your floor. Search for information on laying carpet. All these and many more can be done by anyone male or female. Professional results are within reach of anyone who wants to make the effort.

That information gathering step is crucial and only costs your time. Plunging in before you have a basic idea of how home fixtures, floors, and more are put together is a recipe for a major repair of a minor problem. And, as one savvy professional put it: “If we fix it, the price is $100. If you have already ‘fixed’ it, it will be $500.” So, learn what to do before you try to do it. Experimentation without education is a bad idea.

There are some areas where you will have to think long and hard about whether it’s wise to save money by doing it yourself. If it’s dangerous or you truly lack the skills you can end up with an expensive disaster on your hands.

Roof or wall repairs are a good case in point. Some simple repairs are well within the skill level of an experienced do-it-yourselfer. Laying roofing paper or tiles requires patience and some know-how, but it can be done. However, if you’re not fairly athletic, it’s often a losing proposition.

Hospital visits after an accident are typically much more expensive than the cost of a professional repair person. Even if you don’t injure yourself, but only the roof, it can end up costing you much more in the long run. The same might apply to electrical work, or even plumbing, or – worst of all – electrical work around plumbing fixtures.

Still, there are dozens of home repair jobs that take minimal skill with just a few tools and materials. Save money and gain the pride of accomplishment at the same time by tackling them the old-fashioned way: with personal elbow grease.


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