Ten Tips for Do It Yourselfers in the Making

diy paintingIf you own a home, you probably already know that maintaining it costs a lot more than you expected it would when you bought it. Even if you are not living in the first home that you bought, every house I have known has cost me more time and money than I anticipated. Every time something breaks, shuts down or backs up, you face a decision – should I fix the problem myself or hire someone to do it for me.

When I first moved into my current home, I was busy with a job that demanded a lot of my time. If something broke, my first reaction was always to bring in a contractor to fix it. I worked at home so it was always easy to answer the door when the contractor arrived and then to pay

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6 Responses to Ten Tips for Do It Yourselfers in the Making

  1. hap says:

    While I basically agree with your comments about electrical wiring, there are a couple of areas where I disagree. First, now that many of us have GFCI outlets, we tend to find out that those fail. Replacing an outlet is a reasonably safe and simple procedure that will cost you $15 and some time compared to who knows how much for an electrician. Second, replacing lighting fixtures is rarely a problem. In both cases, just turn off the appropriate circuit breaker. Use whatever device you want to double-check the line. I have a little device that beeps when it is near electrical current.

    Check your local codes, though. Who knows when you might have to call in an inspector for something that seems minor.

  2. Debbie M says:

    I’ve been surprised by how often I use a drill, especially for window treatments.

    Of course a hammer and a couple of screwdrivers are good.

    I have this metal spatula I use for scraping all kinds of stuff.

    I made a copy of my house plan showing which circuit all my outlets and light switches go to. I am always pulling this out, even when I call over a handyman.

    I agree with hap about those two electrical jobs. (Also about ceiling fans if you have someone to hold them up for you while you connect the wires.) I once called an electrician to install an outside lamp because I couldn’t figure out what to do with the third wire. He just stuffed it in the hole. Grr. I really hate when someone you hire because you feel incompetent does a worse job than you would.

    Thanks for these tips. I think I’m going to put a big, good ladder on my list now. (Any recommendations?) Thank goodness I don’t need a pressure washer in my neighborhood.

    I totally agree about organizing your tools and keeping them handy. That way when you spot a problem (or finally get annoyed enough to actually do something), you can just go directly to the tool and actually do it.

  3. David Mitchell says:

    Hi Debbie — Thanks for your comments. I have a Werner ladder which I really like after I have it set up. Unfortunately, it is a bear to set up because it is incredibly heavy. Based on experience, I would say the best advice I can give about ladder buying is to make sure, before you buy it, that it is not to heavy for you to maneuver it!

    Cheers!

  4. Laura says:

    OMG, where was this site when I purchased my first home?? Great information..

  5. berna says:

    this is one of the best article i;ve read…As a DIYselfer, i find this article useful..by the way, i;ve got a reaction to “Never Hire a painter.” In my opinion, this job entails expertise.we dont just paint but we create. we have to make sure thatbthe paint wwont worn out easily..and these are the jobs that sets painters to DIY.

  6. Pingback: It’s Time to Get Your House Ready for Sale - SavingAdvice.com Blog

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