Around The House: Hire Help Or Do it Yourself?
When it comes to owning your own home, you’re probably aware of how many responsibilities you have. Because there are a lot! It’s always positioned as being the American Dream to own a beautiful home with the white picket fence and 2.5 kids. But in reality, it’s never quite as perfect as that. Of course, you’re probably head over heels in love with those 2.5 kids, but the rest? It’s always a bit of a mirage. Because homeownership is expensive and you never get around to putting the white picket fence up anyway! Nevertheless, you bought the house, and now you need to make it work for you.
But what are you meant to do when you’ve sunk the majority of your budget into the down payment? Because that’s what so many of us do. And when you’ve gone and bought a fixer upper, you often then need to invest in a whole bunch of different areas to get it into a livable condition. And that’s often enough to get your heart rate going. But instead of freaking out and worrying that this is going to take you forever to fix, you need to get smart with your decisions. Even if you’ve not just bought, but you have jobs around the home to do, here’s what you should do yourself and what you should look to hire help for.
As much as you may hate to do work around the house, of course, there are always a lot of things that you can take on yourself. If you’re on a bit of a budget, or you just want to be able to spend in other areas, here are tasks you can take on yourself.
When you want to rip everything out and start again, it’s easy to believe that you have to get professionals in to do it. But, believe it or not, you can actually do demolition yourself, as long as you know how. Just make sure that you read up on the safe practices you should look to use first. From turning off the gas and water to hiring a dumpster, with this in place, you can then get to work pulling out the old fittings and fixtures that you’re looking to replace. And there you have it, you’ve immediately saved money by doing it yourself.
Stripping The Walls
Then, you’re going to want to strip the walls. This is definitely one of the more obvious things that you can do yourself. Although it’s quite a tedious and time-consuming task, it’s something that you can do. So get yourself started on stripping and sanding down those walls. While you’re at it, you should look to rip up the carpets or old flooring yourself too.
From here, you’re then going to want to think about splashing some paint on the walls – in a well-ordered fashioned though! Again, this is another task that can be very laborious, but you can easily take it on yourself. When you learn to paint like a pro, it will even look like you’ve got experts in for the job too.
Less of a full-on renovation task and more of a maintenance thing, it’s tempting to hire a handyman to do things like hang pictures or light fittings. But this could be a wasted expense that is better spent elsewhere. So save yourself the money and take on the tasks yourself. You can often feel like it’s hard work, but after you’ve done it once, the skills will come!
Another thing that you can learn to do yourself is tiling. This is quite a funny one. It often seems like one of those things that you have to hire a professional for, mainly because it seems quite fiddly. But after watching a YouTube video and just having a go, you will find that actually, tiling can be quite simple to master – and having a go is going to save you money.
Next up, you’re going to want to tackle the whole decorating thing too. Sometimes, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when you’re trying to come up with decorating ideas. When you like lots of different styles, you can often find that you end up with a bit of a mix with no real central focus. And this is why it can be tempting to hire a designer. But if you work with the basic design principles, you should find that you can make it work quite easily yourself.
It’s the same with your gardening. When you’re not the most green-fingered of folk, it seems second nature to just hire a gardener to maintain your yard. But this is definitely the lazy route – and it’s an expense that can be spared. So definitely think about beginning gardening in your own way. If you have a low-maintenance yard, this should be quite easy to get the hang of too.
Closely related is the idea of hiring a cleaner. When you’re super busy, this may be something that you do need to do – but if you can, avoid it. You could be paying hundreds of dollars a month for a service that you could do yourself, if you just got up 15 minutes earlier in the morning!
Then, there are always going to be things that you need help with. Mainly because you’re not going to be skilled in the areas, but also because you’ve got a lot on your plate already and could do with some assistance too.
One kind of service that you’re not really going to be able to avoid hiring is a contractor. Depending on what work you need doing, you are going to need to work with a building team. For example, if you’re planning on extending your property, unless you are a builder yourself, you’re going to need to call in a contractor. But by ensuring you take on the DIY projects above, you can channel all of your budget into this.
At the same time, you may also want to think about getting a project manager in on the job too. When you’re busy taking on a lot of DIY tasks yourself, or you’re working full time, you may not be able to be around to manage the contractors on site. Sometimes, trying to deal with everything yourself on a project can be too much, so hiring a project manager can be cost-effective and help you to stay sane.
Of course, if you ever need specific trades work doing, you are going to have to hire professionals to take on the work. If you are doing a full renovation, then you may need both a plumber and an electrician. Again, here, unless you are a qualified plumber or electrician yourself, this isn’t going to be something you can avoid. So you’re best off putting the bulk of your budget into this, and taking on as much of the stuff you can do yourself.
After ripping out your old flooring yourself and realizing how fun it is to save money, you may then be tempted to want to lay the new flooring yourself. But don’t. This is actually a tricky job, and unless you’ve done it before, there’s a lot of scope for messing it up! So you are going to want to hire a fitter to make sure that your new flooring is perfectly laid.
Whether it’s during a renovation project, or just around the home in general, you may find that you come across pests. Again, it can be tempting to take them on yourself, but this could be more hassle than it’s worth. Professional exterminators such as Go-Forth Pest Control know what they’re doing. So hiring them could get the job done faster and save you money in the long run.
Although you’re going to want to focus on your day to day cleaning yourself, you should definitely look to hire specialists when you need them. There are lots of different specialist services that you could need, such as chimney sweeps or drain cleaners. If you’ve never taken on these tasks before, or even have the right tools, getting an expert in just makes more sense.
It’s getting more important than ever to have the right security facilities in your home. Many of which are now considered smart. And while they can be the best solution to work with, they may be more complicated to install. So, you’re going to want to ensure that you can hire a good security firm to set everything up properly for you, and to ensure your home is safe.
You may also want to work with a professional landscaper too. If you don’t have a garden design, it could take you months and a lot of money to be able to do it yourself. But, if you’re able to hire a landscaper to create the initial garden space for you (especially one that’s low-maintenance), the bulk of the hard work is done, and you can save money on maintaining it.