• Do it yourself home repairs are usually pretty simple
You’re wishing you had stayed on top of your “do it yourself home repairs.”
Your family has grown. The house is too crowded. It’s time to sell and buy a larger one.
The real estate agent has come and gone—inspecting—and leaving you with a list of things to do that will help you get a quick sale and top dollar for your property. As you look over your list (which is pretty extensive), it becomes obvious you should have been more proactive with the do-it-yourself-home repairs.
These aren’t major repairs—mostly cosmetic stuff. There’s nothing here that you couldn’t fix, but now you don’t have the time. You have to pack, find somewhere to live, appease the children (keep them out from under your feet). Now, you have to hire someone to do things that should have been “Do it yourself home repairs”. That’s going to be E-X-P-E-N-S-I-V-E. Hiring someone to make repairs to your house is not a part of your frugal living lifestyle.
Looking Back (or Forward—because you’ll probably do this again)
Now, you wish you had kept your property in better shape. So, now that you’re getting a new place, do it. Think of it as maintaining a relationship—a friendship, if you will. The kind of do it yourself home repairs I’m talking about aren’t very hard, but they do take time (just like a relationship).
As I said, a lot of these projects are cosmetic: Updating–painting, scraping that old textured ceiling, cleaning/replacing grout, replacing damaged kickboards, nice hardware in the kitchen, trimming trees, etc.—basically, keeping/making your house and property look like what you’d be looking for if you were in the market to buy. But … You are in the market to buy. These are some of the things you’ll be looking for as you house hunt.
Two notes here:
1) I have done these projects and more. Some of them can be messy, and that’s a good reason to do them with a plan and a schedule as you live in (have a relationship with) your house—not in a time of crisis.
2) Some people are willing to attack “bigger” projects as DIY, too. They will install a new heating unit; work on the plumbing, wiring, etc. My personal take on that is to be honest. How confident am I in my ability. Will it be worth the money I (may) have to spend on tools? Am I patient enough to work my way through the instructions. How disastrous can it be if I fail, and if I have to call in professional help, how expensive will it be? Some projects need to be farmed out. Being stubborn is not necessarily the same as being frugal. (And, by the way, some of these larger projects may require permits—always keep it legal.)
Regardless of complexity, if you don’t know how to make a repair (or maybe you just want to make sure of the process), there are plenty of resources you can draw on. The internet, the library, and the hardware store are all good sources for information. AND, someone in your neighborhood may have done something similar to their place. (Maybe their house is the same model as yours???) Could be an EXCELLENT source of information—tips to make it easy and what pitfalls to watch for.
The internet provides articles and pictures that will help you identify the correct way of doing a particular job.
The library has a myriad of books and articles about home repair. Personally, I prefer to use the library for this kind of research. It is easy to carry a book or 2 with me, and while I’m on break or between tasks, I can open one up and continue reading.
Your hardware store can be a really valuable resource. The customer representatives are often experienced “do it yourself home repair” people (or even professionals) themselves. Usually, they welcome questions about the task at hand: What tools and products are best? Is there something else I need to complete this job? Anything special I should know?
Not long ago, a guy I know was installing cold tile in one of his bathrooms. He knew what he was doing because he’d done his other one some time ago. As we were chatting about how the job was going, he brought up a new (at least to him) product he was going to use. It gets incorporated into the grout mixture and keeps mold from growing. He learned about it by talking to a sales rep at Lowes. Moral of the story? Talk to these folks. They appreciate the opportunity to share their expertise, and you can learn a lot.
Most “do it yourself” home repairs are not difficult, but do take time. There is plenty of information on the internet, library, and your local hardware store. Spend the necessary time with your house just like you do with friends or family for the best results.