Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Save money on Home repair

Anyone who owns a house will tell you that there's always something to fix. Someone said once that when you own a house, every year you fix something small and every four years you fix something big. The problem is that if you have to pay for all those small fixes and that big one when it comes along, at the rate that contractors charge, it's going to cost an arm and leg. Maybe a lung too. You'll long for those days when all you had was a small apartment.

Even before you fork over the cash you have to make sure the person you hire is honest and reputable; a combination not easily found. There are horror stories of people hiring someone to do a job and the person takes half the money either up front or halfway through the job they're never seen again. Others complain that when the job was done and they paid their money, things start falling apart not too long after and the contractor is nowhere to be found.

You can save yourself all this mental anguish and your hard earned money simply by learning to do some things yourself. While a lot of people find it intimidating to fix a leaky faucet or repair the deck, those things are not that difficult. In most cases the first one just needs a new washer(for those of you with older faucets). Sure you're going have to set some time out of your day and get your hands dirty but when it's over, you get a great deal of satisfaction from a job well done(if you do say so yourself) and the fact that you saved a ton of money by not hiring somebody. In fact that last point is where the majority of the money on home repair bills go. There are some plumbers and electricians out there making almost as much money as doctors.

A few years ago I had to rebuild my deck and just looking at what had to be done made me want to bite the bullet and hire someone. In the end I did it myself over about four weekends(I have a 9 to 5 job) and it's still standing very strong and looking good. It took me about two hours to knock out all of the old wood but once I started I was motivated to finish it and have a nice deck. Now I'm not suggesting that you start rewiring your entire electrical system because that's dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. In fact the farthest I ever go with anything to do with electricity is change a light bulb. For any other job that won't send a thousand volts through your body, there are a lot of easy to follow books you can buy to do your own repairs. It only seems hard at first because it's new to you; but once you get going and finally finish you'll be bragging to the neighbors and making your wife(or girlfriend) roll her eyes.

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