October 22, 2016 by phicks2012
When you’re a homeowner it’s really frightening how many things need fixing — and on your own dime, one way or another. Drains get clogged, toilets stop up or won’t flush, leaks develop around windows or doors (or, God Forbid, in roofs or in plumbing), walls or trim need painting, tile breaks, Light switches or electrical outlets go bad, thresholds break or start rotting, faucets drip, hot water heaters start leaking — the list goes on, and on, and on.
While sometimes you have no choice, hiring professionals to do the repairs can be pricey, especially if you pick the wrong “professionals” and wind up getting gouged for substandard work, so many of us have become Do-It-Yourselfers out of sheer self-preservation. I subscribe to Family Handyman magazine, and always check out the Projects, and Jason reads and archives every issue. Those issues have some really useful information, so the subscription cost for that particular magazine is WELL worth it. Trust me.
We’ve taught ourselves to do all sorts of repairs. I’ve become the Shortcut Queen, and I come up with all sorts creative ideas for quick-fixes and improvements at Rental units. I can also repair toilets, replace faucets, paint, lay flooring, stain and replace trim, install some appliances, and do simple cabinet repairs. Jason has learned to repair and hang sheetrock, lay and repair masonry, repair and refinish woodwork, do electrical and plumbing repairs, patch roofs, do carpentry, install ceiling fans, lay tile, paint and work on A/C units. We can’t do EVERYTHING ourselves, but as time passes we seem to be capable of doing more and more.
In September Jason repaired the door frame and threshhold on the antique front doors here at The Castle, and completely refinished the outside doors themselves. While doing this we also dealt with replacing some leaking pipes in the basement, and removing a hot water heater that was suddenly flooding the laundry room. We’ll probably have to replace it soon, because the heating system is a heat-exchange system that draws heat from circulating hot water, so we really need TWO hot water heaters in tandem if we want to have both heat and hot water in the winter time, but initially one was sufficient –oh, and with one less HWH the power bills dropped by about $40 a month. YES!
With a brief reprieve from doing Rental Unit refurbishing and repairs, we’ve also cleaned, and are restaining and sealing all of the porches and balconies, we have plans to create an awning over the side porch as soon as the canvas I’ve ordered arrives, and Jason has already built shelves along the outside of the porch railing to hold large potted plants. (See pictures)
We plan to do some exterior sealing and repainting on the rental units, but once we do that — if we can get another break during the winter — we want to do some interior repainting here at home, and install chair rails in the dining room. I have AMBITIONS!!!
So I’m a real advocate of Do-It-Yourselfing, and highly recommend it to anyone with the DIY Gene. If you don’t have the gene, I honestly recommend using a referral service like Angie’s List to help you select professionals to do the work for you. It’s WAY too easy to get shafted simply surfing the net or letting your fingers do the walking without getting honest recommendations from other consumers. Been there, done that, have NO desire to repeat those experiences!!!