Home Maintenance: When To Call The Pros
Owning a house is one of the major life goals of almost every person. Most folks work hard all their lives to buy their own property, regardless of size. They hustle and grind so that they can save enough money to pay for their mortgage or buy a house in cash.
However, once you’ve acquired your own property, that doesn’t mean that you’re already off the hook. On top of your monthly mortgage payments, you also need to consider all the other utilities that make your house fully functional. Even if you paid for your house in full, you still have your upkeep to think about, no matter how small it is. Yes, even a tiny house that’s supposed to be a huge money-saver will still eat up some of your monthly income on maintenance and repairs.
Homeownership entails home maintenance. That’s a given. And although some tasks can be easily done, there are times that you should have the common sense to call in the pros.
Why should you call in the pros?
Understandably, minimizing costs is a major consideration when it comes to repairs, updates, and maintenance. This is why plenty of people prefer to DIY as much of the tasks themselves to save on professional fees. While YouTube and other online tutorials are a big help, you need to consider other things before going down the DIY route.
First, does your home update fall within the bounds of your local building code? Many states require professional services, especially contractor’s licenses, for jobs that cost more than $1,000 in labor and materials. Anything below that can be done by handymen as long as building permits aren’t needed.
Second, do you have enough know-how to pull it off? Merely relying on YouTube on your first attempt is no guarantee that you’ll do it right. Even those who have significant experience DIY-ing things might encounter certain scenarios that only pros know how to solve. Their services pretty much guarantee the quality of work done that gives you peace of mind.
Third, do you have enough time to get the job done right? Some minor tasks, such as fixing leaky faucets or cleaning your gutters, can be done in a couple of hours. However, some tasks, such as renovations and major repairs, take days of continuous work. Can you commit that much time to work on your home maintenance to-do list?
When should you call them in?
While some home maintenance jobs can be done by the average person, when it comes to the following, you’ll need the power of the big boys:
Major electrical work
Working with electricity is very dangerous. Especially when things go sideways. We highly recommend hiring a professional electrician for any electrical need. Safety first.
Major plumbing work
Just like electrical work, things can go wrong when not done right. Replacing toilets, installing water heaters or whirlpools, and working on sewer repairs can cause flooding when done by an amateur. It’s best to leave it in the hands of capable people.
Big home renovations
Any extensive home remodeling that involves changing your structural, electrical, and plumbing systems will require a licensed contractor to be on board the project.
HVAC installation and repair
Cleaning your AC or changing your filters monthly is not the same as installing an HVAC system and performing extensive repairs on it. It is best to call an AC company and ask them to send people over to work on your HVAC system.
What can you DIY?
Why, yes, of course! In fact, there’s a lot of things the everyday person can do to improve their home. When the pandemic started and most folks found themselves confined to their homes, many of them learned how to make certain updates to their houses, thanks to the virtually limitless resources online.
For starters, here are a few things you can do broken down into three skill levels:
- Clogged or running toilet – Running toilets are usually caused by damaged flappers, which can be easily replaced. Clogged toilets only need a handy plunger, closet auger, or toilet snake.
- Leaky faucet – This usually needs washer replacement so get to it as soon as you can because ignoring leaks will cost you more in the long run.
- Faulty showerhead – This can be fixed with a new showerhead, a pair of pliers, some plumbing tape, and a few minutes of your time.
- Recaulking – It doesn’t take much to recaulk your shower or tub. You only need about an hour to work on it and a day to let it dry.
- Painting – Painting is a task that doesn’t require much other than your time.
- Fixing dings on drywall – Dings and holes on walls can be easily repaired for under $20. You need the right tools. Repair kits can be bought from hardware stores.
- Replacing a faucet – It’s not as hard or as complicated as you think. It is fairly easy, to be honest.
There are several other things that you can do around the house. One good rule of thumb to keep in mind is this: stay away from any job that only licensed contractors are supposed to do. And whenever you’re in doubt, it’s best to call in a professional.