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7 Things To Keep In Mind When Doing Home Maintenance
Many homeowners might not believe it. But some small expenses as little $10 a year for maintenance with a little DIY time can prevent catastrophic damages that could cost thousands of dollars to repair years later.
If you man-up and embrace that masculinity in you, you can save a lot of money in the short and long term by taking on minor fixes yourself.
For a newbie who has an unexplained phobia with hammers and screwdrivers, touching up the ceiling or a hairline crack in the wall can be intimidating indeed. And don’t be surprised to find that you have a god given talent to fix stuff with uncannily superior workmanship. You might actually like it and make DIY a hobby.
Just be mindful that before you pull out that dusty toolbox, here are some of the important wisdom to keep in mind.
1) Do it right
The ultimate rule of fixing things at home is to do it right rather than do it fast. Panic can cause anyone to apply quick fixes to problems instead of spending some time examining what exactly is causing the problem, and how to fix it correctly.
Piping is a great example of this. Many homeowners just go for a quick fix when a leak is found. They plaster up cracks or tighten pipes with silicon bands. The problem almost always come back to haunt them. Sometimes at a bigger magnitude. Small leaks can cause huge problems when left unattended.
2) Act fast
Acting fast is not about going for a quick fix. But it’s about attending to the problem as soon as you can. A leaking roof for example can cause a carnage of damages if you put off patching it up and it starts to rain.
The same can be said of a refrigerator. A failure to take action, can cause all your groceries in the fridge to go bad. That means that your pint of ice-cream is gone.
3) Use a guide
There’s no shame in needing a guide to follow when fixing problems in the house. You can either find these information on the internet or buy a handbook from the bookstore. These guides very often come with graphics to show you the various methods to fix something. Don’t let all that wisdom collated into a cheat sheet go to waste.
Many of the available DIY home repair guidebooks contain information on fixing a variety of household problems. So you can keep it as a handy reference not just for 1 specific problem you are facing. It could very well become the most used book in the house.
Remember that if you are following a guide, make it a point to follow instructions. And also remind yourself of the first rule mentioned previously – do it right. For example, make sure you measure meticulously, cut properly, saw and drill correctly the first time, etc.
4) Don’t be a hero
The biggest reason why homeowners get frustrated with DIY is because they think too highly of themselves. There is absolutely no shame to admit you don’t know what you are doing. In fact, you are being stubborn if you just assume you know what you are doing.
It is really a sour feeling when you go about fixing something thinking you know your stuff, then learn that what you did not fix anything hours later.
Be open to accept the opinion of other members of the family. Don’t assume that you understand electricity when you are doing wiring, don’t assume that you know exactly what spare parts need to be replaced, don’t assume that you are natural at woodworking when you don’t even have wooding tools. Accidents can happen when you lack the proper knowledge and tools to do something hazardous.
5) Take pictures before driving to the hardware store
If there is one thing that will give you the most hassle is going out to the hardware store to buy what you need. And you can never tell for sure whether the item in the store is the one you need. This is why a photo of the part you are replacing, or the spot where the problem is, can save you a lot of time and frustration.
Sometimes by asking the guy at the store using your pictures, you might even find that what you need is something different than what you thought.
Anyway, with the ability for out mobile phones to take pictures these days, you have absolutely no excuse not to take a picture of your requirements. It can only be laziness of stubbornness if you walk down to the store and realise you have no certainty of your requirements.
6) Safety first
Never compromise safety for the sake of saving an extra minute. Hospitalisation bills will completely outweigh the costs of home repairs.
- If you are standing on top of a ladder, don’t push your luck when you are unable to reach for something beyond your reach. Get down and move the ladder.
- If you are working with sharp material like glass, make sure you wear gloves. Don’t attempt to save that extra minute by not getting into the garage to find your gloves.
- If you are repairing the lights, make sure you have the power switch turned off. Don’t keep the electricity on because you don’t want to climb up and down the ladder.
7) If an expert is needed, call one
The reason why many homeowners refuse to call in the experts, is the same reason as why we refuse to visit the dentist and choose to “floss” out a dental problem at home, the same reason as why we refuse to see a doctor and choose to self-mediate with home-made remedies, the same reason why we refuse to call in the pest busters and choose to set out own mouse traps.
But some part of us knows that any solution we find are just temporary fixes for a big problem. Learn to put your ego aside and recognize when an expert is needed. These expenses are often money well spent.
Let’s put it this way. A problem that might require days of your time, money from your pocket, and sweat from your forehead, could very well be solved within a couple of hours after calling in a specialist. They have the tools and expertise to resolve the source of your handyman headaches.
So why not just let your credit card do you a favour.