We’ve all been there. HGTV and the DIY networks have turned us into wannabe interior designers and wall demolishers. Admit it – you have had visions of knocking a wall down wearing goggles and swinging a sledgehammer – even if you’ve never held a sledgehammer. Or jackhammering that dust collecting, giant jet tub into a shattered pile. Where does one get a jackhammer, anyway?
It is impossible not to get inspired as some of the most popular series on television now revolve around home improvement. And getting inspired is great! Inspiration makes the creative world go round! Not to mention, we all want simple ways to save money around the house. The question is: can you take on do it yourself projects on your own or is a professional needed? It all depends on your skill level, time, and money.
Life is Expensive
The average American only has $3,800 dollars in savings. If you are among that group, maybe living paycheck to paycheck, hiring a contractor is not always feasible. Most families need simple ways to save money around the house. Start by making a list of what you want done around the house. Take an honest look at the list, and decide what you can realistically do yourself. Maybe barter with friends.
Have any friends who are plumbers or handy in some way? They may be willing to help in exchange for pizza and beer. As you take that realistic look, keep this question in mind. If you choose to start a project on your own, does it involve any potential risks that would cause you to have to make a call to a professional? Some problems that can arise during home improvement, can turn a simple project into a lot of money. Consider the risk factor for each project.
Once you know what you want to do, and if money is looking too tight, it may be time to take a new look at your budget and see what can be moved around so you can get that roof repair done or your dream kitchen started. It is easy to not realize exactly where all of our money goes. A spreadsheet or a simple notebook where spending can be tracked for a while is a great way to figure that out.
You may find some room for DIY projects or even a contractor, if you see some areas you can eliminate or cut down. Planning your home project expense ahead of time, and knowing where your money goes, will allow you to only spend a certain amount on entertainment and leisure. You may see that simply giving up some entertainment might leave some wiggle room for home improvement.
You’ve Got Skills
Of course you do! Just make sure they are home improvement skills. We can all handle a little carpet cleaning, but it is best to leave that leaky roof to the roofing contractors. If the most you have ever done around the house on your own is hang a picture, you should probably start small with DIY.
There is plenty of instruction out there online to help you along in painting a room, or appliance repairs. However sometimes there is no choice but to hire someone, so the project gets done properly and safely. When it comes to simple ways to save money around the house, remember the word, simple.
The list has been made, and through some soul searching and inner struggles, you have come to the conclusion, and proudly admitted that although you are intelligent, creative, and something to be admired, you are not a knock down a wall and build a new one kind of person. First of all, congrats on the soul searching! Second, not many of us are! That is why you call a contractor, hand them your list, and watch your home transform.
Your best bet in choosing a contractor is to talk with friends who have had some work done or know someone. You want a contractor with a great reputation of course. If you can afford it, do not be ashamed to hire someone. DIY is not for everyone. Sometimes simple ways to save money around the house, means hiring someone so you don’t end up paying more to fix mistakes.
Painting is a Great Place to Start
Whether you are new to DIY or an old pro, painting is a favorite among DIYers. Paint is high on the list for simple ways to save money around the house, easy to figure out if you are new to the process, and can transform a room in a day. Not many reasons to not like paint. The best place to start is at your local hardware store that sells paint, or an actual paint store.
Paint swatches are usually free, and sometimes small samples can be mixed and purchased so you can actually paint a little on your wall to see what you think. With the paper swatches, it is helpful to put a little tape on them, and adhere to the wall, hopefully in a well-lit area, then stand back and look. Colors often look a little darker once they are painted on, so keep that in mind.
If you aren’t in a huge hurry (though you may be after seeing the beautiful colors!), try to leave the swatches up for a few days. Check out how the colors look at different times of the day. Does the color you are leaning toward compliment everything else in the room?
Unless you plan on changing light fixtures, furniture, and decor, choose a color that goes with what you already have going on. If you are ditching it all and starting over, then, by all means, step out of your comfort zone and choose a fun color!
A quick search on YouTube or Google and you can get some quick advice on the tools you will need, and how to actually get the paint on the wall. If you have never opened your own can of paint, be prepared. Seeing that gorgeous, perfectly fresh color in a new can of paint, turns adults into something like a child in a candy store.
You’ll be ready to get that color on the wall and freshen up your space. If you run into problems or need painting advice, ask at the store you bought the paint from. They are usually very knowledgable on the subject. Roll up your sleeves and get painting! You will be on your way to your first DIY project! Prepare to become addicted to painting.
Got a Screwdriver?
Seriously, if you have a screwdriver, you can do a few things on your own. If you have recently freshened up a room with paint, or even if you have not, adding some new outlet covers and light switch plates can make a big difference. They literally only require a screwdriver.
Just be careful not to put insert the screwdriver anywhere but where the screw goes. Always be safe and follow instructions. Consider some fun covers or even just some new bright white, to brighten up your room. You are not limited to only what you see in stores. Try searching online. Places like Etsy.com offer more unique ideas and products.
Another magical skill your screwdriver has, is the ability to screw in new bathroom and kitchen hardware! Yes, you and your trusty screwdriver can single-handedly revamp those boring cabinets with new knobs and handles. It really is easy, and can be done by simply measuring what you already have and replacing it with the same size. If you feel adventurous, you can even fill in the old holes and drill new ones if necessary. When looking for simple ways to save money around the house, this is another great starting point in DIY.
Some things you could consider doing yourself around the outside of your home are, cleaning up the siding with a pressure washer, improve landscaping by planting flowers and pulling weeds, or painting your front door. The outside of your house leaves a first impression. it deserves attention also, and a little goes a long way.
Thankfully when it comes to simple ways to save money around the house, the outside of your home is an area you can do quite a bit on your own. Take a walk around your house, and see what you could improve for the sake of curb appeal, but also for the sake of outdoor enjoyment.
When it’s Time to Call a Professional
Sometimes you reach your limit of DIY potential and it is time to call in some people who do this stuff for a living. Your home is your oasis and should be treated with the utmost respect and love. We all want simple ways to save money around the house, but that never means cutting corners.
There are some projects that are simply too dangerous as homeowners, or extremely inconvenient. And sometimes we just aren’t comfortable shelling out hundreds of dollars to do a project ourselves, knowing we may end up ruining it, and wasting the money. At times like that, it is best to pay a professional and it get it done safely and properly.
Inside the House
Pretty often when we hear home improvement, kitchen renovation comes to mind, and for good reason. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and we often desire to improve it. Oak cabinets become navy blue, and dark counters turn into a sparkling white. We have all seen the before and afters. But how did they get there?
Well, besides painting, which is one of the best simple ways to save money around the house, there is a good chance a kitchen remodel professional was called in. Think about what can go into a full kitchen renovation — electrical, plumbing, counter installation — a lot can go wrong. The kitchen is an area you may want to call for help.
Speaking of plumbing and electrical – unless you are a plumber or electrician, please hire someone for these home improvement jobs. Sure, sometimes for a small project, a YouTube channel can be watched. But for bigger projects, and for the sake of safety, and possible headaches from projects gone wrong, call a professional. I mean – do you actually own hose clamps for plumbing problems? Exactly.
Beyond a little here and a little there – if you are going all out and adding an addition, knocking down walls to create a new space, or putting in new floors, it may be time for a contractor, or a professional in the industry you are interested in. Large projects like this have to be done correctly and are not easily fixed once they are done wrong.
Outside the House
Just like the inside of your home, there are things you can DIY. And there are things you shouldn’t risk. Thankfully there are professionals available for those projects too. Whether it is a vision of a new deck, or a major repair, there is a handy person out there for everything. Sometimes on the outside of our house, we don’t realize something could be an issue until it is.
You keep your home spotless, priding yourself on a floor that one could eat off of because it is so clean. Yet somehow, a parade of ants continue to make their home in your home. Most people probably don’t have to think too long on this one – call pest control services. Trying to do pest control yourself may seem wise as you look for simple ways to save money around the house, but as the annoying critters keep coming back, you’ll wish you had hired a professional the first time. Also, the chemicals used can be harmful, and need to be used properly.
As you look for simple ways to save money around the house, a wise thing to do is to pay for regular maintenance for your HVAC system. Paying for yearly maintenance and HVAC cleaning, is better than a sudden need for air conditioner repair on a 100-degree day. It is a good idea to consider your A/C as you work on your outside list.
Many things such as the roof, siding repair, and windows, are projects that may be better suited for a professional. In the end, everything depends on your personal home situation. With a well-organized list, and a reality check of skills, you should be able to get a clear idea of what is DIY and what is best hired out. No matter what, enjoy your home. It’s the living in the house that makes it a home.