You cannot blame people wanting to save an extra buck or two. Everybody wants to save money, especially when today’s lifestyle means that many people have to work long hours to make ends meet.
One expense that can bring a nasty financial surprise is house repairs. If ignored for too long, a minor maintenance issue can develop into an expensive structural repair or rewiring task. Advice on home repairs is readily available online, from neighbors and in the local hardware store.
Minor repairs are usually straight forward but require the right tools and materials. Many people know someone handy with repairs to show you how it’s done. Even if you can’t find a volunteer, you can hire someone the first time and then watch and learn.
You can also learn the basics of home repair through the numerous online tutorial videos available on the internet.
What you need to know
The house has plenty of components that need maintenance. From the roof and guttering to electrics, plumbing, woodwork and painting; all need some level of understanding if you want to do the job yourself.
You also need to be realistic about your own capability. Electrical repair is safe if the power is shut off, but you don’t want to make a mistake and short-circuit the house when you turn the lights on again.
Also, you don’t want to end up in the hospital because the ladder wasn’t long enough and you slipped when replacing an upstairs window pane.
For simple repairs, you can work out what to do on your own. For more technical maintenance around the house, consider signing up to a vocational course at the local tertiary college. These courses will teach you the hands-on skills needed for repairing your own home efficiently and safely.
Although the course has an initial expense, the new skill will save you from future costs. For example, the house heating system may need to change the old electromagnetic relays to more reliable solid state relays.
If you have the skills and bought the parts from a reputable supplier, you will make considerable savings in labor costs.
What you need to start
Once you have the skills, you need the right tools, parts and equipment. Building up your toolbox should include specific tools like hammers, screwdrivers and saws for woodwork, tape measures and spirit levels for accuracy, pliers, wire strippers and needle-nose pliers for electrical work and pliers, wrench and metal files for plumbing.
For bigger repairs, particularly for utilities, more specialized tools may be required. As you become more adept, you will begin to discover other equipment and power tools to make repairs more manageable, and sometimes fun. Electric drills, sanders and jigsaws enable tasks that would take much time and effort manually.
Should you do your own home repairs? If you have the skills and knowledge needed, then why not? It helps save some money and could develop into a useful hobby. Be aware of your capabilities; if the task is too technical, leave it to the professionals