5 Household Fixes You Should Stop Paying Others For
Spring is right around the corner, and with it comes the season for cleaning, fixing, and repairing things around the house. The problem is that many people simply open their wallets and pay for work that they could probably handle themselves, from leaky faucets and downed tree branches to pest control.
You don't have to be a professional handyman to take care of common hiccups. In fact, a little bit of patience and diligence can eliminate repair and maintenance costs and help heal your bottom line. (See also: DIY Home Improvement: 10 Free Options for Training and Advice)
Given that, here’s a look at five household fixes and chores you can probably handle solo:
Hiring somebody to rake your leaves, mow your lawn, fertilize, and mulch your shrubbery isn't always worth the cost. Instead of getting an itemized list of tasks done by a lawn service, you’ll get physical activity and money to put in your savings. Plus landscaping your yard gives you the freedom to do whatever you want creatively with the peace of mind that it’ll be done to your specifications. (See also: The 6 Best Lawn Mowers)
Minor car maintenance and repairs don’t require a new skill set. Changing your oil, replacing a dead battery, and installing new headlight bulbs all take a few minutes to learn but can save hundreds of dollars in the long run. Beyond repairs, clean your cars at home. Washing your cars inside and out lets you scrub every nook and cranny. Now there won’t be anybody to blame if crumbs litter your passenger seat, except your messy passengers.
Leaks and clogged drains happen. They’re inevitable. But don’t call a plumber who solves the problem in 10 minutes and charges you for an hour. O-rings, plumbing tape, and clog-removing chemicals easily save you a bundle of money. If trying to fix simple plumbing problems sounds intimidating, at least give it a try before diving for the phone. Worst case scenario, you have to call a professional. At the same time, avoid exacerbating problems by taking on projects beyond your means. There's no shame in knowing your limitations.
Pesticide sells for less than $15 at hardware stores and comes with spraying mechanisms. Pay close attention to the directions and clear areas you plan to spray beforehand. Be sure to mind the pets, too. Killing the insects yourself keeps the pesky ones away, but you still need a hired hand to take out termites. Don’t let a termite bond lapse, and keep a pest-control company under contract for termite extermination if termites are prevalent in your area.
It’s common for drywall nails to pop out, be an eyesore, and ensnare clothes. Use a nail set to hammer obtrusive nails back into the stud. Then, about two inches above or below the loose nail, tap in another nail flush with the wall. Spackle the dents, let dry, and sand smooth. Paint as necessary.
These are just a handful of do-it-yourself fixes. Please feel free to share your tips below.