Do-It-Yourself (Your Advice)

In the do-it-yourself world, saving money is dependant on if you can actually get the job done without ending up doing more harm than there originally was in the beginning. Unfortunately, that is not always the case and this email from a reader wants to know how to discourage the problem:

I have a big problem with my husband. He thinks of himself as a do-it-yourselfer and for small things around the house, it’s fine. However, he thinks he can do anything including repair jobs that are way out of his league. This almost always results in more damage than there originally was and costs us even more money since we must call in a professional to clean up his mess. No matter how much I beg and plead, he insists on trying to fix it himself first. How can I make him realize that his attempts to save us money are costing us a lot more?

If you were faced with a similar situation, what steps would you take to try and resolve this problem?

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4 Responses to Do-It-Yourself (Your Advice)

  1. ben says:

    This is a difficult one because he probably does the things because he enjoys tinkering whether he is any good at it or not. My advice would be to keep him busy with a lot of small projects and call in a professional before he has a chance to get around to those bigger projects that could be costly.

  2. Jay Gatsby says:

    Many men (including me) take great pride in doing something ourselves. It’s not necessarily a blow to our egos to call in a professional, but we like to try to fix it ourselves initially. The husband in this case doesn’t recognize his that he has limited knowledge of certain repair jobs. Perhaps a good compromise is to buy him a complete set of repair books (there are encyclopedic volumes on home repair available, one was even on an infomercial from Time-Life Books). If he doesn’t consult those books first, then the wife would be justified in insisting that he do so before letting him touch the repair.

  3. I would wait until my husband goes to work and then call a repair person to have it fixed before he comes home.

  4. Rogan Creswick says:

    Would he be interested in working for Habitat for Humanity (or a similar organization)? It may (1) help quench the urge to get out and build/fix something, eventually it may provide some skills that he didn’t have before, and maybe it would help give him a better idea of what he’s really capable of.

    If none of that works, at least he’d be out of the house longer — providing more time for the professional repair folks 😉

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