Frugal Friday: Do-it-yourself Home Repair and Maintenance

by Mary O. Moss

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to pay someone to do something I have the time and ability to do myself. Don’t get me wrong . . . we’ve learned that it can definitely be cost-effective to pay someone to do the big jobs and the jobs we know we can’t do ourselves! Experience—and not necessarily pleasant experience—has taught us the value of being realistic and knowing when to get help!

Home Depot’s website offers dozens of “how-to” tips and techniques at the How To section. Whether you need to install a ceiling fan or new faucet or plan to undertake an outdoor project, chances are Home Depot’s site can help, including tips and techniques and supply lists.

Other great on-line resources include Do It Yourself, funfacts.com home repair section as well as dozens—maybe hundreds of articles—at other sites.  Just type in the words “do it yourself” on the search bar. You’ll be amazed at how much information others are willing to share for free!

I recently discovered HandyManTeacher.com.  In addition to his personal—great—advice, Hub Kirkpatrick shares links to dozens of other great resources for the novice or the pro.

Another great way to save time and money on home maintenance and repairs is to let your friends, neighbors and coworkers know what type of project you are planning.  One of my coworkers, who formerly owned several rental properties, installed a hot water heater for us—at about ½ the cost of labor had we had a contractor do the work.

If you can’t afford to pay even half price for some of the work you want or need to have done, why not trade services or goods? Are you willing to babysit your neighbor’s children in exchange for minor home repairs to you house? Can you cook? Clean? Organize? How about serve as  a “personal shopper” or agree to run errands in exchange for an equal number of hours of labor on your home repair.

This is what community is about. When we come together to help each other solve problems and enjoy a better quality of life, everyone benefits. Maybe your neighbor or friend could use some frugal living tips and techniques. What a wonderful way to share the joy of living in abundance – on less money!

Save up all that money you won’t be spending for a nice piece of furniture or a vacation or for an emergency fund for those inevitable times when you just have to call in a professional.

“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith” (Romans 12:4-6 NIV).

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