Home repairs aren’t something most people put on their fun to-do list, but they are something all home owners must tackle. We like to think of our home as our castle, so we have to keep that castle in good working order.
Left untouched, a home can crumble without repairs. Home owners need to be attentive to all the cracks, leaks, breaks, and creeks which are clues that a repair is needed. While some are more urgent than others, all issues need attention sooner or later.
Doing your own home repairs can easily save you hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars each year. It is always a good idea to assess the repairs needed and try to tackle it yourself. With a few tools and a few internet searches for how-to YouTube videos (or a helping friend) you can tackle most common home repairs and save yourself a bundle of money in the process.
My grandfather taught me a valuable home repair when I was in my early twenties. Our toilet had quit working in the college house in which we were living and I called him to help. The culprit was a flapper valve that needed replaced, which cost me literally $5.00.
He quickly explained that this is one of those home repairs which you must learn to do yourself. He showed me the three major components of a toilet which can easily be repaired by anyone.
Since then I have replaced at least a dozen flappers in the houses I have owned. That is a savings of $900 for that repair alone when you consider $60 for the flappers at $5 each, versus $960 for calling a plumber each time at $80 a call.
To get started with home repairs, you only need a few tools and a willingness to learn new things. The basic tools you should have at your disposal are listed below. The willingness to learn will come from some searching and speaking with others.
Tools you need to have in your toolbox for common repairs:
- Screwdrivers (flathead & Phillips head, various sizes)
- Crescent wrenches, large and small
- Tape measure
Other tools and materials can be purchased at the local hardware store on a per job basis.
Learning how to tackle a home repair job, or whether you should call a professional, can be done by searching online, talking with knowledgeable friends, or visiting your local home store.
The number of online resources aimed at tackling home repairs is seemingly endless. Everything from step-by-step text descriptions with pictures, to full video series dedicated to all types of repairs, are available at our finger tips. It could not be any easier these days – sometimes almost too easy. Be selective – not all suggestions and tips lead to the same results.
Here are a few home repair links to get you started.
Almost everyone has an uncle, a neighbor, a friend of a friend, or grandfather in my case, who can tackle most home repairs with confidence. They speak from experience and can guide you in the right direction on where to start, or lend a helping hand in showing you how to perform the repair. Just ask around; this is the perfect place to start.
Another excellent resource is your local home improvement center. These stores offer classes, seminars, and how-to’s on most common home projects. Do not hesitate to stop by and ask someone for advice. Most are professionals in the industry or at the very least knowledgeable do it yourselfers. They will help guide you in getting the job done right.
When to Call in the Professionals
Every homeowner will meet their match sooner or later when it comes to home repairs. Whether they have wrongly assessed the home repair, or the job is much larger than their capabilities, at some point your home will require a professional.
Some common repairs which most home owners will not attempt to tackle themselves are repairing/replacing roofs, windows, doors, kitchen or bathroom cabinets and countertops, floors, and utilities like heating/AC, electrical, or hot water heaters. If one of these major repairs are on your list and you are not extremely knowledgeable about that specific project, hire a professional.
Not only will hiring a professional save you lots of time and anguish, but it could also save you money by insuring that the job is done right the first time. In addition, you will have peace of mind. The last thing you want is to be second-guessing a repair you made that may jeopardize the safety of your family or home.
Once you start doing home repairs, it will become easier to recognize what needs done and to tackle it head on. You will soon look at a repair and say “I can do that, no problem”. You just need jump in there and do them before your house crumbles or the next repair pops up.
Trust me, there is nothing more satisfying than replacing a toilet flapper, which costs $5 and two minutes of your time, and saying to yourself, “Wow, that could have been an $80 plumbing bill!”