When it comes to maintenance and repairs, professional labor can be one of the most expensive parts of your budget as a homeowner. A lot of people opt to save some money by doing as much of the handiwork themselves, but not everyone has the skills necessary to fix their own homes, even with the help of instructional online videos. Attempting a DIY project without careful preparation and complete knowledge of the task at hand could result in expenses that far exceed the cost of a contractor.
Even with experience and know-how, it’s important to consider the time, materials, tools and permits required for your home improvement project. How do you know which projects you can take on yourself and which you should leave to an expert? Whether you need to know how to check if it’s the dryer thermal fuse, when your dryer isn’t working, or need to know if you should a professional for a clogged pipe, being organized about home repairs, is a useful skill.
Fixing a Leaky Kitchen or Bathroom Pipe
A DIY fix for a drain pipe might be as simple as tightening a slip-nut near the P-Trap. If the leak is directly from a hole in the drainpipe, a DIY fix would be a flexible coupling with hose clamps. If the leak is from a drainpipe inside the wall, you’re better off calling in a professional.
Fixing a Clogged Garbage Disposal
A clogged disposal might be cleared by using a small specialty wrench that will fit into the hexagonal opening on the underside of the disposal while the disposal is turned off. You might want to call a professional if this method doesn’t solve the problem.
Replacing a Faucet
A centerset type faucet is a good DIY job. All you need to do is follow the faucet manufacturer’s installation instructions. A more complicated, widespread type of faucet with various hose connections on the underside, however, is better handled by a professional.
Fix a Running Toilet
A running toilet can be comfortably fixed by someone with some DIY skills with a toilet rebuild kit from any hardware or big box store. These kits usually contain some straightforward and easy-to-follow instructions. If you have a one-piece or specialty toilet, this can be more difficult and might need a professional.
Clogged gutters can cause water to pool around your house, leak into the basement and seep under siding, causing issues like rot and mold. To prevent water damage like this, you should clear leaves and other debris out of the gutters every spring and fall. For a single-story home with level grounding around the foundation, and you’re comfortable on a ladder, you can go ahead and tackle this task yourself. It’s a good idea to do this when someone else is there to hold the ladder. If you’re not comfortable on a ladder or have gutters that are hard to reach, then hire someone else to do this important task for you.