Breaks, Leaks, and Mains: When Should You Do-It-Yourself and When Do You Need Help?

Live in one place long enough, and odds will be something will break.

Whether owning, renting, leasing, or even just house sitting, anyplace where a person can live can fall victim to basic maintenance needs. But when they do, the owner/renter will have an important decision to make: should they call a professional, or can they repair it themselves?

Weighing Your Choices

There are many reasons for wanting to attempt a do-it-yourself repair job: a chance to save money, an opportunity to use/gain maintenance skills, and even a good boost to the ego. After all, nothing says self-reliant like fixing the problem yourself.

When considering any repair job, the owner/renter needs to ask themselves several important questions. To start with, what kind of damage was suffered? How long will it take a person to finish the repair? Does the work required fall into the individual’s skill set, or can it be completed just by following the instructions. A hold in the drywall can be fixed with a drywall patch, and fixing a screen patio door might only require new netting and 10 minutes of your afternoon. Small do-it-yourself projects can be gratifying for the time, energy, and money a person can save by doing it themselves.

What’s The Cost?

Depending on the severity of the repair job, the owner/renter should then consider the cost of repair. Any type of repair job will require tools, time, funds, and energy to complete, and if the owner/renter lacks any of these, they might want to consider calling a professional to address the problem.

Sometimes, the cost of performing a do-it-yourself project might be more expensive than hiring a professional. The owner/renter needs to check their ego when making this consideration. Even if they believe the repair job can be easily done, they may lack the time to address the problem themselves. And if they lack the material and tools to do the job, paying a professional may be more feasible than going to a hardware store and buying everything they would need.

There are also safety costs to consider, as well. Home improvement jobs can result in high medical bills should an accident occur.

Consider the Options

The best way to make a decision between DIY and calling for help rests with considering the costs of the project. Don’t just think about the initial fees and expenses of purchasing materials or having a professional swing by to take a look. Think about whether the benefits of handling a repair job on your own outweighs the benefits of calling for help.

If a broken toilet seat can be replaced by a trip to a hardware store, don’t worry about calling a plumber. If a fence needs to be put up immediately and the contractor can’t address the problem for several days, consider doing it yourself.

And think about preventive methods as well. Tiny efforts like switching out the air filters and cleaning out lint traps can keep appliances running smoothly for years. Make a habit out of being proactive with a home’s maintenance needs.

Featured image credit: handycrowd / pixabay


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