Do It Your SelfThe theme of this post is ” do it your self” ! This is by far the best way to save money on home maintenance costs and annual upkeep. Consider that if you need to pay someone to do something around your home and he or she is charging $50 an hour plus dispatch fees etc, you are really paying approximately $70 or $80 and hour before taxes. In other words depending on what tax bracket you are in you have to earn this much in pre-tax income to pay for a handyman to come around and do this work for you. Can you do it yourself safely and meet the quality level that you and your family look for? How about learning how to do this yourself?  Can you teach yourself how to do this work yourself?

Most people can answer yes to these three questions.

Most trades people are very competitive and you can sometimes negotiate how much they will charge, however recognize that there is usually a dispatch fee plus an hourly rate after they arrive. Sometimes the dispatch fee will include the first hour. The dispatch fee or call out ( they use various names ) can be as much as $100. Before asking tradesmen to come over, if you decide to go this direction, make sure you understand the costs first so there are no surprises!

Do the Math When You Decide to hire a Contractor

Now if you are quite rich and can afford it or you can make this much and more at your work, while the handy man is doing what ever you need, then it is a different scenario. For most of us we cannot make $70 or $80 and hour and so it makes sense for the average consumer to do the work themselves!

Another major advantage is the satisfaction of completing something on your own and doing a great job at it. There is a real sense of achievement in completing a small project at home which many people find rewarding when they are finished.

I do not Know How to Do These Things

But, many will say they do not know how to do this type of work. There are so many ways to learn how to do basic repairs that most people can pick up what they need to know to do most jobs. Sure it may take you a bit longer to complete a job, you may need to buy some extra parts or tools, but the combination of reward and reduced costs to you more than pays for the extra time and tools you need.

The internet is an unbelievable resource to find all kinds of basic help on a whole variety of tasks.  Some people though need the confidence of actually talking to an expert to completely understand how to complete a job. While others may have a specific situation that needs some discussion and thought about how to complete the job.

Most home improvement stores such as Home Depot, and many others have experienced staff that have spent many years doing this type of work. For example, if you are changing a tap, there is a plumber who has hung up his tools to work in a Home Depot store and will be more than happy to give you some pointers on how to complete your task. They will even help you pick put out all of the parts and the tools you will need to complete the job.

If you are tackling a more major activity such as laying hardwood floor for example, most of these same stores will put on training courses from time to time, based on demand to show people how to properly set up hardwood flooring installations and complete the job.

Do It Your Self! – Making Mistakes

Of course you are going to make mistakes! If this is the first time you are trying to complete a repair on something, drywall a basement, paint, install wall paper or lay hardwood floors, you are going to make mistakes. This is just part of the learning process and it will depend on how much preparation you do and how much training you get in advance.

There will be some extra expense due to your mistakes since you may need to buy extra tools or parts. However in most cases this extra cost will not come anywhere close to the cost of labor. If you have to purchase tools, you will have these tools for many other jobs. Their costs are not wasted in any manner.

Summary

Doing the work yourself can save you lots of money. Especially when you take into account what it costs you in before tax dollars.  Always find out the charges will be if you do decide to call someone in to do the work. The money you save will more than pay for the tools and the parts you need. Learn how to do various tasks by talking to the experts. A good source can be found at many hardware stores like Home Depot. Even if you make mistakes, it is ok. You have saved more than enough money to fix your mistake in most cases.

For more do it yourself ideas and general maintenance ideas, click here.

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