When we were growing up, they told us we could be whatever we wanted to be. Doctor? Go for it! Astronaut? Shoot for the stars! We’ve been instilled with the idea that we can do whatever we set our minds to. And of course, we can!
But we’re all adults here and we know that just because we CAN doesn’t mean that we SHOULD…or that we even want to do it all. Especially when we’re talking about home repairs.
Thanks to HGTV and the power of the internet, there are THOUSANDS of DIY tutorials on just about every topic around the home. These instructions, most of them created by seasoned professionals, were created to look easy and doable. But sometimes they are, and sometimes they’re not. So…what’s the balance? When’s the right time to DIY and when should you call your local handyman?
Here’s your quick-tip guide.
If you need to install a window…
ABSOLUTELY consult a local professional for window installation. Installing a window can seem simple enough, but when the time comes there are endless and intricate details. Window installments require training, apprenticeships, and patience…but why? What happens when you do it yourself?
Windows installed incorrectly end up costing you more in the end. Because, first of all, there’s an easy opportunity to break or damage the window. Many people also overlook creating the perfect, tight seal that prevents hot and cold air from escaping or intruding. And in terms of home safety, not knowing how to properly set the frame or locks could create an easy entryway into the home you’ve worked so hard to improve.
If you need to fix your toilet…
A broken handle or a clog can be a simple fix—for those with strong stomachs. Many of us will be okay to fix this one on our own, but…
If you need to replace your toilet or any other plumbing…CALL A PRO! Back to our first point, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. The process for replacing your toilet seems straightforward; remove the old model and pop in the new. What could go wrong?
Until you realize you have to fight the goopy brown wax seal that’s been keeping your toilet in place for ages, then drain and soak up all the extra water in the tank, move in the new toilet and out the old, AND try not to crack either (because it does happen), then you might realize that the seal wasn’t applied correctly and your toilet leaks! It’s a very frustrating path to calling the very person you didn’t think to call in the first place. Yikes.
When you try DIY plumbing, you open the door to the lovely world of leaks. That means floor and ceiling damage and crazy water bills. Leaks in major pipes can even lead to water damage or flooding, costing you money, time, and—ultimately—your sanity. And to further complicate the situation, not all your pipes from previous fixes will match up! The different materials all have their own quirks, too, which leads to tricks that are better left to those who have chosen to master this skill. Using a professional will also help you extend the lives of the pipes, saving you even more dollars in the end.
If you need to patch up your roof…
First, check to make sure you have the correct health insurance. Just think—only a few of us brave putting up elaborate lights higher than arm’s length around the holidays, and even fewer make it back without some form of minor injury. Now take that and attempt to climb (with a ladder, please) to the top of your home to take a look around, return to the safety of the ground, and CALL A PROFESSIONAL. Roof repairs require expert dexterity.
The roof is also a vital part of your home and should be treated as an investment. What appears to be a “slight fix,” like a missing tile or small leak, could be just the tip of the iceberg on a GIANT project. At least get concerns assessed by a professional to know what you’re dealing with.
You’re going to want to consult professionals who know the steps to take after the problem is identified, too. And don’t dawdle—this is to prevent the next rainy day from creating a new waterfall display in your attic.
We simply CAN’T say it enough: your whole home is an investment. It deserves your full attention and care so that it can give you the most value. And it’s not just the return on investment, but the return on enjoyment.
There will always be a DIY option for your home issues, so you need your priorities in order to figure out when you’ll DIY and when you’d rather let someone else check that fix off your list.
The next time you’re about to do some serious Google searching on “how to repair a….” take a minute and seriously consider the following:
1. Is this a MAJOR home repair?
2. Is the difference in the DIY vs. hired cost significant?
3. Do I have enough time to finish this from start to finish (with a few road bumps added in)?
4. Do I have the patience to make this work and keep up with it when it might not work at first?
Everyone has the ability to sing, but not everyone has the years of training paired with dedication to make a career out of it. And that’s okay! Just like when it comes to home fixes, we’d all rather sit back and enjoy a gorgeous, working home more than save a little now to pay in crisis later.
Do you have any DIY horror stories you want to share with us? Let us know! Leave us a message or a comment on our Facebook page!
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