Doing some of your home repairs yourself can save you hundreds of dollars – but if you get it wrong, it could end up costing you more than it was actually worth in the first place. Check out our selection of things you can do yourself without risking making matters worse.
Dishwashers and dryers
We’re not going to tell you to work with electric parts – that could be probably very dangerous, but sometimes, problems have simple solutions. God bless the mighty Google for that! So look it up and see if you can DIY repair the broken parts of your appliances, or you just have to leave it to a professional.
- Your dishwasher or washing machine doesn’t want to drain. Have you considered the possibility of a blocked outlet pipe?
- Dryers that don’t heat up could be in need of nothing more than a quick cleaning of the dryer vent. Check it out on youtube and give it a try.
- If your dryer is dead and won’t turn, you may need to do nothing more than change a fuse. It’s easy and very cheap!
You save callout fees plus the technicians time charge – we’re looking at well over $100 here!
Tip: Always make sure the appliance is plugged in before you panic. You will be amazed at how often workmen get called out for a device that isn’t working because it isn’t plugged in!
Mending faucets and valves
It’s not rocket science – and ladies can do it as easily as men – you don’t have to be a body-builder to have the strength. Just be sure you’ve turned off the water first and read up on what you ought to be doing (Google, the handyperson’s best friend)!
Dripping pipes could only mean you need to tighten a valve. All it takes is a wrench and about two seconds of your time to tighten it. Do you really want to pay a plumber for that?
Not only do you save on calling out a plumber or calling in favours from friends, but you also get rid of that dripping that’s adding to your utility bill!
See the tutorial at seejanedrill.
A chilled out fridge repair
Is your refrigerator not getting cold enough? Before you calling an expert, check if the settings dial hasn’t been bumped onto a warmer temperature. Believe it or not, technicians often get called out only to find the ‘repair’ is as simple as turning a dial.
If the thermostat is set right, take a look at the cooling coils. If these have become clogged with dust or animal hair, your fridge won’t work properly. Use a vacuum cleaner to clear away the gunk and see if your fridge works correctly now.
More instructions at familyhandyman.com.
Patching up holes in drywall
You can pick up everything you need at your local hardware store, without needing a lot of special tools, and you can easily get online all the instructions you need. Why call out a builder? It’s not exactly the kind of job you can get so badly wrong that it’ll cost you a fortune to fix!
For a step-by step tutorial, watch appliancevideo.com.
Painting your own home
Just about everybody knows that painting your own home can save you money, but before you start slapping on the paint, be sure you know how to prepare the surfaces. Get that right, clean the walls, wash them correctly, choose good quality paint, and you will absolutely save money on your redecorating project!
For more details visit howtopaintahouseright.com.
Refinishing a bathtub
It’s scratched, and it’s stained – you think you’ll have to buy a new tub, but if you research well, take an afternoon off, and a few dollars on materials, you can refinish your own bathtub at home.
If stains are your only problem, try making a paste of baking soda, cream of tartar and lemon juice. Smear it on and leave it for a few hours. You may even find you don’t need to refinish your tub at all!
Save on carpeting jobs
Fitting your own underlay is easy, and if you don’t do a perfect job, the new carpet will cover up your little imperfections. Get carpeting companies to fit your expensive carpet, but do your underlay yourself and save hundreds of dollars.
For a step-by step tutorial, visit diynetwork.com.
Tip: Stained or damaged carpets don’t have to be replaced if you kept a few offcuts when you had them laid. Simply use a craft knife to cut out a square of stained carpet and replace it with a neat square of the new carpet. You save the cost of having to replace carpets altogether.
Renew stained grout
This is an easy-peasy job, but it is rather time-consuming. Still, if you do a little at a time, it’ll eventually get done, and the results are so striking, that you’re going to feel great about it. Use a professional product and test it on a small area first to be sure you’ll like the result.
The big saving here is not having to pay for a handyman’s time. If you can use your time more productively go for it and get in a pro.
Warch the tutorial at diy.com.
When not to DIY
Although DIY work can save you a lot of money, there are several tasks that you should not tackle on your own. Use this checklist to decide which tasks need a professional:
- Any work that requires a licensed professional should be left up to the pros. For example, dangerous electrical work can burn your house down! Get an expert instead.
- You need to have a lot of special tools, and you probably won’t use them again. It’s worth getting someone who not only has the tools but knows how to use them!
- If you mess up, some tasks can work out really expensive. For instance, if you have to cut materials to size, getting it wrong could result in a huge waste. Either get pre-cut materials or get in a pro.
- You could seriously make more money with the time spent. It makes sense, doesn’t it?
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