When you own a home you need to be prepared to tackle some home improvement jobs yourself. If you’re going to call in a professional every time you need a drain snaked or a light switch replaced then you’re going to be spending a fortune on home repairs. Wouldn’t you rather be investing that money or doing something fun with it?
Since I became a homeowner I’ve learned to appreciate the power of doing things for myself. Not only do I save money but I also get to feel a sense of accomplishment for a job well done. I try to do at least a few DIY jobs each year. Here are the projects I have lined up for 2014:
Last year I painted two bedrooms, my home office and the playroom. This year I’m planning to do the master bedroom, living room, and hallway. The ceilings are in pretty good shape so I might try and get away with saving myself some trouble and just painting the walls. Either way, doing this project myself will save hundreds of dollars in labor costs. Painting does take a bit of skill to do right, but I’ve had plenty of experience over the years so I wouldn’t even consider hiring a painter.
Removing Wallpaper in Bathrooms
We have two bathrooms with wallpaper that needs to come down. We don’t really like the patterns and there are some tears and rips that are very obvious. I’ve removed wallpaper before and the rooms aren’t big so it shouldn’t be too big of a project. I’ll also have to spackle any problem areas before I can paint. How much work that will be depends on the condition of the walls once the paper is removed.
Replace the Kitchen Faucet
There’s nothing really wrong with the kitchen faucet other than a slight drip, but I want to install a nicer one with a higher spout. Our current faucet has a lower spout that often gets in the way when you’re washing dishes and it gets on my nerves.
Rip Out Bushes in Front Yard
We live on a corner property and there are three gigantic boxwood hedges that have taken over a chunk of the yard. I’ve used hedge trimmers to cut them down to size but they grow back quickly. They’re the first thing you see when you pull up to the house and I think they’re an eyesore so I’d like to rip them out. I had a landscaper take a look and he said they would charge $300 to rip them out, but I think I could have a couple buddies come over and give me a hand digging them out for the price of some pizza and beer. Of course I’ll need to have a few yards of dirt delivered to fill in the holes left behind.
Doing all these jobs by myself will probably save me a couple thousand dollars this year. Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves and do some home improvement jobs yourself. Of course you also need to keep your own limitations in mind and don’t bite off a job that’s too big for you. If you do that you‘ll end up spending even more to have a pro come in and fix your mistakes.
Mike Collins is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in personal finance topics. He’s also a husband and father of three children who keep him very busy. You can read more about his quest to achieve financial freedom for his family at WealthyTurtle.com