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DIY Home Repairs: Do or Don’t?

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It’s no secret that the economy is in the crapper.

Millions of Americans are un-or-under-employed. Millions more are living paycheck to paycheck just trying to make ends meet. Chances are good that you or someone you know is part of those staggering statistics. Sure you may have money for day-to-day living expenses but what about the unexpected?

Growing up, my father was an aircraft mechanic by trade, but he developed into a full-fledged handy man over the years. My parents got married young, moved 1200 miles away from everyone they knew (following my father’s job) and had to learn how to do everything themselves. Whenever something broke, needed an upgrade or needed replacing, my father headed to the library, and picked up a book in the This Old House series by Bob Vila. He taught himself and fixed the problem. It was never a glamorous situation, sometimes he caused other problems, but by fixing the other issues that stemmed from the original, we were able to save tens of thousands of dollars over the years.

While my father was blessed by being naturally handy, some people are not so lucky.

If you’re stuck for money, DIY (do-it-yourself) repairs can be extremely helpful. Don’t be afraid to get your hands a little dirty–there is immense satisfaction in knowing that you fixed something yourself. It’s quite a rush! There’s some great resources out there to help as well:

DIY Home Repair Resources

DIY Network
Real Simple
Bob Vila
Family Handyman

I of course, recommend trying DIY home repairs, but do so with caution. Don’t be afraid to try them, but don’t go crazy tearing out walls or major projects on your first go-round. Start off small, and work your way up. I especially love it when a woman tries her hand at DIY repairs and finds out that she’s handier than she thought.

What happens when something breaks?

Do you call a repair service and charge it on your already tapped credit cards? Do you develop a work-around? Do you duct-tape it and hope for the best? Or do you take matters into your own hands?

Would you ever try to fix things around your house using DIY repairs?  I want to hear about your successes and failures!


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