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 DIY video from Homeclick?and 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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  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.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Ha ha, valid point. 🙂 I’m of the same opinion – as long as it doesn’t include electricity or other things like that then I’m all about trying to do it myself. I generally have no clue what I’m doing, but I’ve been able to teach myself a fair number of things. If I can work on something like a toilet then I know darn well others can, lol.

  2. AverageJoe says:

    GREAT MINDS! I wrote a similar article Thursday. We must be twins.

  3. Michelle says:

    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.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Ashamedly an oil change is the one thing on this list I haven’t done. I know it’s cheaper, I’m just nervous I’d do something to our cars, lol.

      Yea, it can save quite a bit. I always think it’s going to be some major issue when often it’s just replacing some gasket or something.

      • Catherine says:

        I don’t think I would ever do oil change because of the mess and because of the environmental recycling fee I’d have to pay to dispose of it. Honestly, not worth it.

  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.

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s a great one Aldo! I never even thought of that one. That’s great you’ve been able to teach yourself to do it, do it for others and save a nice little chunk of money while at it.

  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?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Thanks! Those are some good ones to do that also will save you a good bit of money. That’s a great question! Both my Grandfather and Dad are carpenters, though that skill seems to have skipped me. 😉 That said, I think there are plenty of things you could do from a simple bookcase, to a frame or small table. You just need the right tools.

  6. I will be doing an oil change and painting this weekend. Easy DIY tasks that save money for sure!

  7. Andrew says:

    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.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Yea, I’m not very handy myself but can do most of these things fairly well – save for the oil change. I’m not much of a car person, but pretty much anything else I’ll give it a try at least once.

  8. I think there needs to be a counterpoint to this article- Things that are not worth DIY 😉

  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.

    • John Schmoll says:

      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.

  10. The Bee says:

    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.

    • John Schmoll says:

      I agree, that’s also not to mention the fact that you get the satisfaction of fixing it yourself. Sorry to hear about that, but glad he eventually fixed it. 🙂

  11. debt debs says:

    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.

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