Once you purchase and own a home, the amount of work that goes into maintaining a home can be overwhelming. The list of potential problems that may arise with no notice at all is long; blown electrical circuits, leaking hot water heater, toilet running, septic/sewer back-up, dripping faucets and on and on. Being totally dependent on professionals to fix typical home repairs can be expensive and inconvenient. The handy homeowner who can try their skills at the repairs is valuable indeed. But, what about everyone else?
The process of home inspections prior to buying the house only goes so far. Plenty of issues can develop after the owners gets the keys to the house. The necessity of hiring a contractor in an emergency is stressful. Even though there are many reputable companies that charge fair and reasonable fees, not everyone has the budget that can withstand the financial hit. So, the homeowner who has the knowledge and do-it-yourself will to tackle home maintenance problems can be way ahead of the game.
The internet has made many of us weekend experts. Endless YouTube videos showing and discussing the how-to’s of plumbing, electricity, drywall, painting, flooring and even framing propel seemingly unskilled homeowners into dynamic fixer-uppers. The isles of Home Depot are filled on the weekends with eager home owners who are trying to figure it out and make it work. One may even find a retired contractor working for the store to help out with some free advice.
What did we all do before the internet? Step-by-step instructions with an accompanying video is at our finger tips. We can master anything! Change out that toilet. Replace those old electrical receptacles, tile that bathroom floor. The feeling when a job is well done is amazing. And, the hard work and effort of the home owner is rewarded as he or she reaps the benefit of that work. Working on the house can be fun, entertaining, challenging and satisfying!
But, a word to the wise, many projects are dangerous and should only be taken on by a professional. A 220 volt electrical circuit can kill. Water from burst pipes or fire sprinklers will ruin a home, resulting is dramatically expensive repairs. Roofing may look easy, but it isn’t.
Nobody wants to pay fees for permits, but there are some good reasons to get permits. First, it is the law. Homeowners can do repairs on their own homes without a license, but there are building codes and regulations that need to be followed in order to keep the house to code and work is completed correctly. Secondly, a well-meaning home owner may overlook some very important safety requirements that may cause problems down the road. Also, when selling the home it is good to have a record to prove that the work was done legally. The building department will make sure that the work is done correctly.
Learning how to do repairs on our homes is empowering. But, not everyone has the inclination to take on the difficult and dirty tasks, fulfilling or not. For the manger and supervisor types finding professionals to help home owners with their projects ca be frustrating. Waiting for contractors in the middle of the day, who may or may not keep the appointment, is inconvenient. Finding reputable professionals can be challenging. Referrals from other home owners and friends can fast-track the work of getting multiple estimates, but not every relationship is the same. Some contractors work well with one client, while not so great with another. Again, the internet can provide reviews for contractors and repair people.
Owning a home is part of the American dream! However, the dream comes with responsibilities and need for maintenance. We live in a wonderful time when there is so much information to help home owners keep their property in top shape.
Photo Source: https://www.trulia.com/blog/5-top-home-maintenance-items-to-tackle-during-spring/