Plumbers, electricians, handymen, almost any kind of trade person today costs an arm and a leg to hire. Even someone to clean your house now costs over $20/hr. which is a heck of a lot more than Holiday Inn pays their maids to clean their guest rooms. So how can you combat the high cost of service? Do it yourself!
People who would never have even thought of picking up a hammer or a screw driver are now doing it — because they have to. A small investment in basic tools, most under $20, can potentially save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the years.
Just take painting. The cost to paint these days is somewhere between $1.50 – $3.00 per square foot. At $2.00/sq. ft., it would cost well over $400 (and that doesn’t include the paint) to paint a 10′ x 10′ room. Compare that to the cost of a paint brush, a roller and a paint pan plus the cost of paint and your own labor and the saving is significant.
How about a caulking gun? Hiring a handyman at a minimum of around $30/hr. to caulk around tubs, showers, windows and elsewhere that needs caulk to protect against water leakage, and you’re spending some bucks. Do it yourself you you’re only spending a few dollars.
There are literally hundreds of do-it-yourself projects that can save you money. Even a kitchen remodel isn’t out of the question. If you’re lucky enough to have an Ikea store near you, it can be easier than you think. Ikea kitchen cabinets are not only very attractive but are also less expensive than comparable higher end cabinets from Home Depot with many more configuration choices. In addition, Ikea assists by making sure your measurements are accurate and will even put together and install all the cabinets for a nominal fee. Of course, you do the heavy work of ripping out the old kitchen. Painting is also on you. Certain tile work, plumbing and electrical is best left to experts. All in all, however, the savings of combining your own labor with the help of some experts can be dramatic.
Some do-it-yourself projects do require the work of professionals. Electrical projects come to mind. Of course, you wouldn’t call an electrician to change a light bulb, but replacing an electrical panel is quite another thing. The same is true of plumbing. It’s easy enough to replace a kitchen faucet, but reconfiguring a plumbing network is definitely a job for an expert.
And, of course, home decorating projects abound. These are among the easiest and perhaps most rewarding.
For some idea of just how much you can do yourself, check out the DIY Network.