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Five Things You Should Try to DIY Before Hiring Someone

DIYAs a homeowner, it seems that there is always something that needs fixing. If you decide to simply hire someone to come in and fix every single problem that pops up, you could find yourself quickly spending a lot of money. The good news is that many of the problems that come up around the house can be fixed on your own with a few simple tools and a little elbow grease. Even if you don’t know exactly how to do something, the internet can be a great resource for learning about simple household fixes.

Never do any job that you don’t feel comfortable with, especially if you feel unsafe. However, putting your DIY hat on and trying to complete some simple repairs could end up saving you a lot of money. Below are five things that you can try to fix yourself before hiring a professional.

Toilet issues

Over time, you are bound to have one or two problems come up with your toilets. These problems can be serious, but most often they are easy to fix with a couple new parts and a wrench. Open up the top of the tank and watch the mechanisms work as you flush the toilet. There is a good chance the problem will make itself known just by watching, and you may be able to fix it by just replacing a part. It really isn’t that difficult to do, and I know if I can fix a toilet then pretty much anyone can. ;-)

Painting a room is an Easy DIY Task

If you decide to repaint a room in your home, you might as well try it on your own before hiring a painter. Indoor painting is pretty straightforward, and you will only need to purchase a few supplies to get started. Again, this is something that pretty much anyone can do. If you’ve not painted before it will take you a little extra time, but the cost savings is well worth it versus paying someone to do it for you.

Yard work

Hiring a company to care for your yard on a monthly (or more) basis can get expensive. Doing the yard work yourself will require some upfront investment (lawnmower, trimmer, etc.), but you can save in the long run. While I’m not a fan of mowing the yard, I certainly have no desire to pay someone for something I’m more than able to do. If saving money isn’t motivation enough, then be motivated by the fact you’ll get a little exercise in as well.

Oil change

This isn’t a house-related job, but it can save you money nonetheless. Generally speaking, taking your car in for an oil change will cost you approximately double as compared to buying the oil and doing it yourself. Of course, your cars’ engine is quite expensive to fix, so make sure you know what you’re doing before taking on the oil change (and filter change) on your own.

If you’re unsure as to how to change your oil, there are plenty of free videos on Youtube that can walk you through it. Also, be sure to dispose of the old oil in a responsible manner.

Power washing

Your driveway or walkway might need to be power washed from time to time to bring back their clean look. Power washing isn’t that difficult of a job, as long as you have the right machine for the job. Instead of paying a professional, look into renting a power washer that you can use yourself. Most machine rental shops offer power washers for rent, as do many big box home improvement stores.

 

What are some of your favorite ways to DIY around the house? What skills have you been able to teach yourself that has saved you a chunk of money?

 

Photo courtesy of: AJ Hill

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John Schmoll is a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. He's passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes so that they can live lives free from the shackles of debt and empowered to make their money work for them. You can check out his other sites: Frugal Rules, for ways to improve your financial literacy; and Sprout Wealth for tips on different ways to make more money. John has been featured on Forbes, Lifehacker, Yahoo Finance and US News & World Report.

22 comments

  1. This is a great list John! Too bad Cat didn’t read it before her $139 tube of toothpaste in the toilet event. :-) I think that as long as the issue doesn’t involve electricity or some other hazardous component, then you really should try to DIY something in your house. My hubby replaced two toilets in our home and before marrying him, I would have definitely called the plumber, but he said that after watching some YouTube videos it was actually really easy. The toilet was heavier than he was expecting, though.
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted…Top Ten Ways Google Found MeMy Profile

  2. GREAT MINDS! I wrote a similar article Thursday. We must be twins.
    AverageJoe recently posted…Creating a Meal Plan that Sticks – STK 080My Profile

  3. We’ve changed our oil a few times ourselves, but have actually found that for both of our cars that it’s cheaper to get an oil change because of the amount of oil that our car takes. I couldn’t believe our total one day when we bought oil at an auto store – it was over $100!

    We did recently have a lot of plumbing issues and we paid each time. I still cringe at the fact that we could have saved so much money doing it ourselves.
    Michelle recently posted…The Undeniable Perks of Location Independence – I Made $21K In MayMy Profile

  4. You should also add “Changing break pads” It’s easier than doing the oil change. Well disk break pads are easy, drum break pads not so much. But most cars nowadays have disk breaks. I’ve done mine, my moms, my girlfriend’s, and a few of my co-workers. The first time I tried it (thanks to YouTube) it took me like two hours to do all four, but after that it probably takes me less than an hour and it saves me $100-150. Sometimes even more.

    If you’ve never tried it, look up some youtube videos and you’ll see how easy it is. If you know how to change a tire, you know how to change break pads.
    Aldo @ Million Dollar Ninja recently posted…The Friday Five – Backrub EditionMy Profile

  5. VEry great ideas for DIY. I like the painting and the oil change the best. I want to learn some easy DIY wood working projects. Anybody have ideas?
    EL @ Moneywatch101 recently posted…The Habits we KeepMy Profile

  6. I will be doing an oil change and painting this weekend. Easy DIY tasks that save money for sure!
    Grayson @ Sprout Wealth recently posted…My Tricks to Making Money With Affiliate MarketingMy Profile

  7. I’m not too handy but I think I can handle these jobs. I haven’t changed my oil but it’s tough when you don’t have the space to do it. There is street parking and parking in a lot…kind of hard to change your own oil.
    Andrew recently posted…If it’s too good to be true…My Profile

  8. I think there needs to be a counterpoint to this article- Things that are not worth DIY ;)
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted…What’s In a Name and Number? Job Title, Income, and ExpertiseMy Profile

  9. I’ve always said that if I know how to do it on my own I”ll do it or call in the professionals. I’m not one to waste my money doing something twice so if I can’t do it, I won’t bother. I paint, renovate, change my own oil, change my tires etc… but if it’s something a tradesman has to do, I don’t pretend I can learn to do what takes them years to do and become certified at doing it. Not worth it, especially if it can cause a serious accident.
    Canadian Budget Binder recently posted…First day of summer and family activities: The Saturday Weekend Review #77My Profile

    • Completely agreed Mr. CBB. I think there is definitely a time to do that, especially in things where it takes someone who has years of training to handle – like electricity and things of that nature as it’s just not worth it to try. But, I think it’s also easy to think that we can’t do/fix something when in fact it’s fairly straightforward to do.
      John Schmoll recently posted…Five Things You Should Try to DIY Before Hiring SomeoneMy Profile

  10. YouTube is an amazing resource for DIY projects. In addition to saving money, you know that you’re personally going to put in more effort and make sure it’s done right. We used to pressure wash our house 2-3 times a year. We had our own equipment and it was a fairly easy task, but we hired someone to handle it once when we were short on time. It cost $150 and the guy (who came highly recommended) destroyed some of our siding and our screened in porch. He eventually fixed it, but it was a huge headache.

  11. Hubster’s trying to do his front truck brakes and fix the broken garage door opener. I don’t see those on your list. He has to get a new spring for the door it seems. He did pay to have the rear brakes done because their more complicated he said. That was $750 bucks! Yikes! Another $300+ for parts for front. :-( Good thing we ate our pantry this month.
    debt debs recently posted…Top Ten Reasons You Need to Manage Your FinancesMy Profile

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