Just how far do you go when it comes to DIY, or “Do it Yourself” type of projects?
For me, it was never a priority to be Mr. Super Handyman and do all maintenance around the house, no matter what the challenge may be. I would pick my spots, do what I could do, and outsource the rest.
Now, it’s clearly advantageous to be handy around the home, and can be cost effective in many circumstances. There are suprising examples of people who haven’t been able to do such things. I remember some years back, speaking to a lady living in a building who said that she knew a couple that called to have issues taken care of on a regular basis – to include the most basic things. Yes, they even paid to have light bulbs changed! That’s taking it too far, and is a total waste of money. There are situations where one can save a ton of money doing it independently, and individually.
On the other hand, trying to be a super handy person can go too far as well. Sometimes, there are things that can take far too much time for a non-professional to do. This makes sense, as nobody can be an expert at everything, and there’s someone out there that can do it more efficiently since he or she specializes in that type of work. In that case, time is money, and one should consider the value of time spent trying to do it yourself. Remember, the money that you truly save has the cost of time, and if you divide the hours spent by the monetary savings, you may find that you’re effectively getting a nominal wage. Is that the best use of time?
Other times, it’s not just a matter of time, but also a matter of specific knowledge on a repair process and getting a job done right and safely. For example, if there was a need for boiler repair or other type of work that requires certain expertise, I would be much more likely to call a professional to get the job done.
I have gone through a trial and error process in the past with some work at home, and learned some good lessons that way. For example, a prior home I owned was a bit older, but was purchased because of the location. After buying the home, we noticed some pests entering as the seasons changed. It was quite annoying, and I became “Mr. DIY Handyman” , as I tried to come up with different ways to deal with the problem. I went to the local store several times to buy products that I thought would work, but ultimately didn’t. It required a decent amount of time for very little in terms of impact. At that point, I called a professional, spent a some money, and the problem went away fairly quickly. There were never any issues again. Even though it seemed like an easy fix on the surface, it turned out to be a good move for me in terms of time and effectiveness to set aside my ego and hand it over to a professional.
Overall, I think it’s smart to really pay attention to what you can fix on your own and what you should pay for. Many times it really does pay big time to be handy and take care of things on your own to save money. No doubt about it. But other times, just as convincingly, it’s smart to go with a professional. It just depends on the situation.