Part of the pride of being a homeowner is being able to customize it just the way that you want it. Many homeowners also get additional pride from knowing that they’ve done it themselves. Clearly many jobs require the skilled hands of a professional contractor; it gives the peace of mind that the job is completed the best way possible, warrantied and finished in a timely manner. However, there are many jobs around the house that, while you certainly can call a contractor, you could also do it yourself –in essence, becoming your own contractor.
Painting is a good example. This is probably one of the most common do-it-yourself home improvement projects in which homeowners partake. Painting can be tricky though. Like many things, it is relatively easy to learn but difficult to master. If done well, there’s no doubt that it can increase the value of your home and enhance your living space. But if it’s not done well, for example paint runs, splatter, roller marks and other imperfections; they can have quite the opposite effect. The key is prep. A little extra time preparing the area for painting can make the whole process go smoother and yield much more professional results.
Next, we’ll talk about plumbing. Sure, a leaky faucet can be nerve-racking, especially when you’re trying to sleep. As far as home repairs go, it’s probably the most common one. The good news is, this type of repair can be relatively easy to accomplish by the average DIYer. Household plumbing has been around for a long, long time so the type of faucet you will be working with could vary. Most likely, it is a compression type faucet, as they are the most common. If you’re still unsure, a good place to start is to look closely at your faucet and try to get the manufacturer’s name. Then, you can either go to the hardware store (snap a few photos with your cell phone and take them along with you), and explain what is wrong so that the store associate can assist you in finding the proper parts, or you can go to the manufacturer’s website to look up comparable models and order parts that way. Be sure to shut off the water supply beneath the faucet before you begin your repair. If there is not one available at the faucet’s location, you can always shut off the main water supply which is normally located in the basement.
Another common plumbing related issue is the plugged toilet. This job may not always be for the faint at heart, but a DIY approach can certainly save money. Firstly, is it likely that a foreign object fell into the toilet? Often, small children are fascinated with toilets, having fun watching things “go bye-bye”. If you are fairly certain that is the case, then by donning a pair of disposable gloves and taking a deep breath, you may be able to reach down and retrieve the foreign object. If that is not the case, then allow the water to drop to ask an acceptable level and pour a bucket into the bowl, allowing the pressure to dislodge the blockage. If that doesn’t work, then try plunging. It plunging doesn’t work, all is still not lost. Consider purchasing a plumber snake that can be fished down to dislodge what is plugging your toilet. The cost of the plumber snake will most likely be less than the cost of calling a plumber. As a bonus, you will have added another home repair tool to your contractor’s repertoire.