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Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Do it Yourself

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By Suzanne O'Connor

I don’t consider myself “cheap”, but I do have a good sense of what I can and cannot do to save myself money. Sometimes I learn how to do things because of financial constraints. But then hire a professional anyways because I/ we are afraid of our inability.

This last Spring, hubby & I had to re-roof our 1927 home due to a bad leak from the Winter storms. The water leak caused a badly damaged bathroom ceiling. It had to be repaired, re-plastered and then re-painted. We read up and did our research, learning how to do it and found out what a big job it was. We ended up hiring a guy to professionally re-plaster it because we wanted it done right. Now we are re-painting the entire bathroom on our own. Choosing new colors, (how many shades of white are there?) and painting the cabinets, walls, trim, nooks and crannies. It’s been real work, but we are easily capable. Our time and effort will save us $400.

But we do know our limits. We couldn’t possibly re-roof our home, though we have watched with awe, two of our neighbors doing just that. We can and do paint, but would rather not try to paint vaulted ceilings or second stories. We can deep clean a home, but recently we have brought people in for big jobs that are just too exhausting. We garden, weed, dig holes and plant, hem skirts and pants, refinish furniture, do small upholstery jobs and we are extremely good at researching just about anything. I have learned, at my husbands prodding to read “the manual” and try something I thought was out of my ability.

By continuing doing so much ourselves we have saved real money and continue to save. But we’ve also learned how capable we really are as well as learning to appreciate professionals who do the work. Seems like a win-win.

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