About · Press · Contact · Write For Us · Top Personal Finance Blogs
Featured In:

Are You Really Saving Money With Do-It-Yourself Repairs?

By Chris Bibey

save money do it yourself repairsSome homeowners do not believe in calling contractors when they need help with a project. Instead, they are a do-it-yourself homeowner until the day they die. While there is nothing wrong with taking on some jobs yourself, you have to know where to draw the line. One thing is true about the majority of do it yourselfers: they are trying to save as much money as possible. Saving is a definite possibility when you do the work yourself. That being said, you may end up spending more than you would have by hiring a professional. This happens more times than most people believe. Sometimes you need to seriously consider whether you should do a project yourself or bring in the pros.

Here are three reasons why you may not be saving that much money with do it yourself repairs:

1. If you make mistakes along the way you are going to pay for them now and quite possibly again in the future. For instance, laying a ceramic tile floor seems simple enough, right? Well, if you continually make the wrong cuts you are going to use much more material than you initially thought. In turn, the cost of the project will continue to increase.

Unfortunately, the long term effects can be just as bad. Sticking with the same example, if a tile floor is not properly installed it is going to crack in no time at all. The end result is simple: you will have to either do the job again, or call in a professional. Either way, you have to pay twice.

Long term, if a potential buyer of your home notices the DIY projects and considers them shoddy, you might lose out on all the money you saved due to a reduction in what the buyer is willing to pay for the house down the line.

2. Do you really know which supplies and tools you need? Some jobs are simple enough, so buying the right supplies is not a difficult task. But if you are taking on a DIY project that is new to you, there is a good chance that you may waste money on supplies that you just don’t need. Worse yet, you may use the wrong supplies. So, not only are you wasting money but the project is not going to be up to professional standards when all is said and done, and that will show when you go to resell the house.

Also, even if you do know the tools you need, is it really worth the investment if you might never use the tools again?

3. How much spare time do you have? Most homeowners don’t have day after day to work on a project. The more time you spend on these jobs, the less time you have for other important parts of your life, such as your family and career. You have to consider the time that you will spend on a DIY job versus paying the money upfront and having it professionally done right and stress-free.

Have You Saved In The Past?

Rather than continue to guess, make a list of past projects that you have completed on your own. Be honest when assessing the amount of time and money that you spent on the job. This alone should give you a better idea of what type of do-it-yourselfer you really are.

You may think you are saving money with do it yourself repairs, but this isn’t always the case unless you already have the skills and craft to do professional looking work. I used to be one of those guys who tried to do everything on his own. Fortunately, I learned my lesson. Where do you fit in?

(photo credit: smc243)

Chris Bibey
Chris Bibey is a freelance writer who over the years has honed his personal finance experience by writing more than 100 feature articles on the subject. In his spare time, Chris enjoys sports - West Virginia football in particular!

Related Articles

  • Olivia

    I’ve generally had good sucess with the repairs I’ve attempted. I start by asking lots of questions and reading as much as I can on it. My favorite way to learn is to watch a pro do it. Then again I haven’t attempted anything structural (like moving a supporting element in the house) or that needs a fine hand (like finish carpentry).

    These have come out well, replacing ceiling lights, rewiring lamps, replacing electrical sockets and switched, replacing the toilet’s inside mechanisms, tiling, repalcing the dryer drum’s belt (with help), building a tree fort, framing interior walls, drywalling, spackling and painting, building shelves.

    Everything takes time to learn and the skill is worth it.

The content on MoneyCrashers.com is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as professional financial advice. Should you need such advice, consult a licensed financial or tax advisor. References to products, offers, and rates from third party sites often change. While we do our best to keep these updated, numbers stated on this site may differ from actual numbers. We may have financial relationships with some of the companies mentioned on this website. Among other things, we may receive free products, services, and/or monetary compensation in exchange for featured placement of sponsored products or services. We strive to write accurate and genuine reviews and articles, and all views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors.

Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which MoneyCrashers.com receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. MoneyCrashers.com does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertiser partners include American Express, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others.