Why You Should Do Your Own Home Repairs
Updated: Aug 10
Would you rather listen to this post? I cover this topic in the 7th episode of my podcast, "Money on the Brain". Click HERE to listen to it.
The next time you need some maintenance done at your house, consider doing it yourself. You’d be surprised how many home repairs you can do with just a little bit of research, determination, and a few common tools.
Over the past few years, I’ve taken care of several home maintenance projects ranging from fairly minor, like re-routing the gutter so that rainwater will actually flow away from the house, to more involved and difficult jobs, like replacing the garbage disposal and kitchen faucet. I’ve also replaced a toilet, fixed my showerhead to increase water flow, adjusted the innards of the toilet tank parts so that water will stop leaking, and replaced the screens on my screened-in porch.
I’m not and have never been a carpenter or a plumber. So how did I know how to accomplish these tasks? With my secret weapons: Google and YouTube.
My wife and I had been living in our house for about seven years when our kitchen faucet started to act up. It became extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible to swivel the faucet from side to side.
After Googling the problem it was obvious the faucet needed to be replaced. So I went off to YouTube to get an idea of how to do it.
Luckily, I found someone showing a tutorial on how to replace your kitchen faucet, and the faucet in the video was the same exact model I had, so that made it really easy to follow along.
I discovered that replacing a faucet is really just a series of unscrewing and attaching parts and twisting things on and off. I figured I could handle that. Armed with not much more than some pliers and screwdrivers, I went at it.
Things were going fine until I got to the part where I was supposed to unscrew a huge nut. Unfortunately, it would not budge. Not. One. Bit.
I thought, “Great, I’m going to have to call a plumber to come over here, he’ll spend all of 45 seconds with his jumbo super-strong wrench to unscrew this thing and then I’ll have to pay him $75.” But then I remembered we had a can of that miracle-lubricant WD-40. I sprayed the trouble spot, and a minute later I unscrewed the part with little difficulty.
From then on, the project was a breeze. I got the new kitchen faucet installed, and it has worked perfectly ever since.
There are some home projects I will not attempt, however. I did not install my dishwasher, water heater, sky-light, or the gas piping for my fireplace.
Could I have learned to do those tasks myself? I think so. But working with natural gas gives me the willies and I’m never excited at the thought of cutting holes in my roof. And the dishwasher installation looked a bit complicated, with electrical wires and water involved. I’ve never been fond of electrocution.
When the job looks too difficult or dangerous, I won’t hesitate to call in the experts. But when a task needs to be done, my first inclination is to see if I can do it myself.
Since an average fee for a service call is around $50, and a lot of businesses charge $50/hour on top of that, you can figure to save at least $100 each time you do your own home repair. The longer it would take to do the job, the more money you’ll save.
The next time you have a home maintenance or repair job that needs to get done, if your first thought is to call someone because you’ve never done it before, Google it and watch some YouTube videos first. Take the challenge to handle it yourself.
You might not finish the job as fast as an expert would, but that’s okay. When you’re done, in addition to saving hundreds or thousands of dollars, you’ll learn a new skill, gain confidence in your ability to take care of your home, and you’ll have a strong feeling of accomplishment.