Owning your home can be a sure fire way that something always needs to be done. There are the regular upkeep and maintenance issues, updating and remodeling, and even those times of major appliance breakdowns.
If you don’t have the knowledge, tools or time to handle your own household needs, hiring handymen, service technicians and contractors can get very expensive very quickly. While there are particular areas of specialty where you need to exercise caution and it’s probably better to hire a professional, there are exponentially as many circumstances where fixing something yourself is certainly doable.
A do-It-yourself really IS do-able!
If you want to save money by tackling projects and fix-it issues yourself, here are 10 ways in which you can be your own handyman….or handyWoman!
YouTube is king for things like this. What do you want to know how to do? Look it up on YouTube. It’s that simple.
There are loads of videos and channels to watch. So if you don’t like a particular instructional video, go on to the next. Often, it’s useful to view more than one just to get a different take on how to go about your task.
Call or stop in at a store, find a friendly salesperson and ASK. There’s no charge for this, and the help you receive could prove invaluable. When you find the right people, which might include a neighbor, a co-worker or someone you talk to at your gym, you’ll probably discover that they’re more than happy to help.
Does your toilet run non-stop and drive you nuts? Want to know about changing out an air filter in your car? ASK. Keep asking questions until you understand what you need to do and what equipment and tools you need to complete the project.
3) LOOK IT UP
The quickest and best bet is to look up your question online. If at first you don’t get a result you like, hit up Google again. This time ask the question a different way. Eventually, you’re bound to find the answer to what you want to know.
Lost a manual to a product? Google it. I promise it’s on the web.
For certain products like windshield wipers and other simple car parts, you’ll find a service guidebook at the store right by these sorts of products that will tell you precisely what size and type you’ll need.
Other times, you will find that information right on the packing itself. So if at all possible, keep the portion of the packaging that indicates the model number, part number, size and/or style. Label it and keep a file of documents like this for future reference. You’ll be glad you did.
4) TAKE CLASSES
Helpful classes are held, often for free, at most of the major home repair companies and paint stores. Check your local Home Depot, Lowe’s, or Sherwin-Williams for schedules.
Check online, also, for webinars, instructional videos, how-tos, buying guides and project calculators.
If you live near a community college and don’t mind paying a small fee, you might have the opportunity to grow your knowledge exponentially in one particular area. Maybe a 6-week, non-credit woodworking course will get you on track to build a cubby for your entry. Or a landscaping class might boost your curb appeal like crazy!
Equally, a community sponsored program through a recreation department might have just what you’re looking for and will probably come with an even lower price tag.
Take time to pay attention to details.
If you plan on removing and replacing anything, make sure first to INSPECT how it was previously installed so you will have an idea of how the new one needs go in.
While that broken dishwasher rack wheel might pop out like a charm, you’re going to feel some frustration when it’s time to install the new one if you have no idea how it’s supposed to sit in the rack arm.
Take a close look at how a part is situated, what it needs to attach to, where it goes and what additional small pieces are necessary for finishing the job. You get bonus points for taking pictures to refer to so that you can complete the new installation. Genius, right?
It’s always helpful to have the part you need to replace in hand when you go to the store to buy a new one. There are so many small variances in sizes and types that you will never know the difference unless you have the old one to compare.
7) HANG OUT WITH PEOPLE WHO ALREADY KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING
If your neighbor is always outside using a table saw or upgrading rooms of their home with the latest DIY techniques, that’s a person you’re definitely going to want to hang with. People who love taking on tasks like this are usually more than happy to share their enjoyment AND their knowledge.
By now, you know your learning type, and if you can learn by reading, you’re in luck! There are about 20 quadzillionjillion books in the world that will not only describe how things work and how to fix/do/create what you aim to conquer, there are also amazing in-depth illustrations to guide you.
On my own bookcase, I still have what I refer to as my homeowner’s Bible that is 20 years old. It’s a Reader’s Digest and they are notorious for just plain awesome books on do-it-yourself projects and homeowners’ manuals. While owning one or even a few can be helpful, remember always ~ the libray is your friend. You can order basically anything you want online and request to have it sent to your local branch.
Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit global organization that works to build and improve homes through partnerships with families in need. You can easily find a local group who would love your volunteerism. Volunteering is a win-win. Not only will you gain handyman experience and knowledge, but you’ll also be meeting all sorts of folks with specific skills from which you can really grow.
Another great way to get some hands-on experience is by helping out a friend, neighbor, co-worker or family member who’s working on their own project. Since they’re already on the DIY train, chances are they’re willing to take on a new passenger and would love any help you can offer.
You’re doing great! Now, get to work.
10) JUST START WORKING
All the planning in the world isn’t going to get you anywhere. Yes, it’s a good idea to think through the process, prepare your environment and gather necessary materials. However, at some point, you’re going to have to get to work. Procrastination isn’t getting your project done so don’t let yourself be the holdup.
Roll up your sleeves and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. It’s part of the learning process. Every step is a step forward and an integral part of finishing a project you can be proud of.
In all the 10 steps, please make sure to remain safe and consult with a professional when needed. Read all safety and instruction manuals. Practice good skills by using proper tools, safety equipment and body mechanics.