Sometimes It’s Cheaper For Me to Do My Own Home Maintenance
Generally speaking, I’m a frugal person. While I’m more than happy to call in a professional to manage home maintenance that needs their expertise, I find that it’s cheaper to handle the rest myself. By embracing the DIY approach, I only have to cover the cost of parts or equipment. The labor is free, in the financial sense, as all is required is my time. Here’s a look at how I tackle home maintenance and some insights into the cost-saving potential of going this route.
How Taking Care of My Own Maintenance Saves Me Money
Generally speaking, doing your own home maintenance saves you quite a bit of cash because you’re removing one factor from the equation: the cost of labor. Essentially, you exchange your time to save that money, an exchange I feel is entirely worthwhile if a project is within my overall capabilities.
Even if I need to buy some equipment to get the job done, there’s still typically a net gain. As long as it’s maintenance I’ll need to repeat in the future, or the equipment can work for multiple projects, it is usually less expensive to make the purchase than hire professionals.
Beyond that, parts generally cost me about the same as they would if I got them through a professional who was also doing the work. Expenses for parts are essentially unavoidable. But if I do my own maintenance, I may get more choices about where I get the parts and the brands. In some cases, this can help me lower the cost, depending on the components involved.
The Home Maintenance Tasks I’ve Handled So Far
As mentioned above, I hire professionals whenever I need that level of expertise. For example, I’m not prepared to re-roof my home. Even if I had the equipment, that’s a big job. Plus, if it isn’t done right, the resulting problems can cost far more than I may have spent simply hiring a reputable company.
Mainly, I stick with home maintenance projects that feel reasonable for me to do mostly on my own. For example, I bought a pressure washer recently to clean my home exterior. It has helped me keep my siding, walkways, patios, and similar spaces in tip-top shape, and it usually only takes a few hours to handle it myself.
I also clean out my own gutters. It’s not a pleasant job, but it isn’t a hard one either. Plus, I made that easier by heading to a home improvement store and buying low-cost gutter guards. I even handled the installation myself, as it wasn’t overly complex.
For more complicated projects, I head to YouTube for instructional videos. That’s allowed me to branch out a bit. For instance, I repaired my washing machine and microwave with help from those videos and by getting the right parts. The process was quick and, without labor charges, it was incredibly affordable.
Over time, I’ll likely add more home maintenance tasks to the list of projects I personally handle. Exactly what they’ll be may depend on what my house needs along the way. If another appliance stops working right, I’m definitely going to see if I can handle the project. Additionally, if a moment arrives when my attic needs more insulation or something similar happens, I’ll explore that, too.
However, whenever I feel like I’m in over my head, I won’t risk it. In those cases, I’ll always hire a professional. In the end, ensuring the job is done right matters, so I’ll always make the call if I feel it’s the best move.
Do you find that it’s cheaper to take care of your own home maintenance? If so, which projects do you tackle personally? If not, what do you do to keep your costs down? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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Tamila McDonald has worked as a Financial Advisor for the military for past 13 years. She has taught Personal Financial classes on every subject from credit, to life insurance, as well as all other aspects of financial management. Mrs. McDonald is an AFCPE Accredited Financial Counselor and has helped her clients to meet their short-term and long-term financial goals.