DIY projects are a great way to add comfort and value to your home without spending a lot of money, but sometimes you’re better off hiring a pro. My first husband was handy with a hammer and saw, but there were several times when we got in over our heads.
A word to the wise, don’t make the same mistakes we did.
Sometimes It’s Cheaper to Replace Than Rehab
My ex will love hearing me say this, but I once insisted he sand and paint a range hood. He didn’t want to do it, and I basically made him – and yes, it’s true – he was right.
It was tedious work, which took him a couple of weekend days to complete. Plus we spent $30-$40 for supplies. In the end the hood looked better than it had when he started, but nowhere near as good as a new one. When you consider the value of his time, we would have been much better off buying a replacement hood for around $135.
Call Before You Dig…Really!
O.k. now I get to tell one on him. He once built a gorgeous fence for our back yard. It had a trellis arching over the gate. It took him weeks to finish, and was the envy of the neighborhood.
Unfortunately, we didn’t save as much money as we’d hoped to by having him do the labor, because he forgot to find out where the water line was, and he ruptured it with a pick axe when he was digging a hole for one of the posts.
Did I mention plumbers are really expensive – especially when they have to replace metal pipes outside?
And Also When You Till
In the same vein we once rented a tiller to churn up the back yard so we could re-sod it. This was in the days when your cable TV was brought to your home via underground lines. My ex severed the cable – not once, but twice – during the process.
Fortunately he was able to splice the cable back together, although the picture was never quite the same.
Don’t Forget Step 5
I’m not sure why, but for some reason we kept burning out garbage disposals. My ex replaced several in our second home. The last time he did it, he forgot a step. As a consequence, water couldn’t flow from the dishwasher into the disposal, and from there down the drain.
The way the plumber explained it to me; he forgot to remove a covering over the connection to the dishwasher. It’s basically like leaving the lens cap on a camera and trying to take a picture – which is ironic, because my ex is a photographer.
The lesson here: follow all the directions, even if you think you can figure out how it works just by looking at it. And once again you don’t save any money by doing if yourself if you have to call a plumber out to fix your mistakes.
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