When my husband and I bought our first home this past spring, we knew we were in for some surprises during the first few months, or years. We understood that toilets would clog, drains would leak, and things would break, with no landlord to call, but we bought the house anyway. Hey, it looked nice and sturdy. Totally worth the risk.
The major problem, of course, is that I’m no Martha Stewart and my husband is not Bob Villa. We’d love to be crafty, creative do-it-yourselfers but we just aren’t. Not by nature, anyway. Then, of course, when faced with our first real issues, we learned the real value of doing things yourself around the house.
Why You Should Do It Yourself
Aside from electrical work and major plumbing jobs, most things you’ll need to fix, install, or re-do around your house don’t require a certified professional. While it’s probably faster and easier to just call someone, you’ll definitely pay for that convenience when the service bill arrives. Talk about sticker shock! Rather than paying someone for materials AND labor, investing a little time can really save money in the long run.
Not only will you save on those expensive labor costs, but doing home projects yourself has other benefits. First, you can make most projects a family activity. Get everyone involved, turn it into a learning experience—you may be surprised how much fun it can be. Friends are also great to involve. We turned many of our DIY yard projects into a BBQ and got lots of extra hands to pitch in. Paying them in burgers is a lot less expensive than the alternative!
Being a DIYer also gives you some control over the quality of the materials used and the overall job. When my husband decided to change our locks himself, we spent some time at Lowe’s talking through our options and picking out the best system for us. We had control over all the costs, the style, and the model. Then, once he figured out how to get the job done, he took the time to be sure it was done properly. This way, we didn’t have anyone to call back in to make changes or correct mistakes—and we didn’t waste any of our hard-earned money, either.
How to Do-It-Yourself
Thankfully, my husband and I are homeowners in the age of the internet, which means anything we can’t do, we can learn! Turning to the web for some money-saving projects to do on our own turned out to be educational, informative, and effective too. So far, we’ve painted the bedrooms, unclogged a drain, changed our own locks, uprooted some stubborn shrubbery, replaced the curtain hardware in every room, and learned all about lawn care. I don’t even want to think about how much those services could have cost us!
Looking ahead, we’ve got lots more plans for being handy around our house. If you do too, check out resources like the website Family Handyman DIY Projects. You can also save some money on popular home and gardening titles with our Magazines.com Coupon Codes. Get started today to see how much you could be saving!