DIY

When to DIY or Hire out Home Maintenance?

November 15, 2016  —  Written by Julia 

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This post is sponsored by Esurance

While we definitely prefer the fixing-up-spaces side of home ownership, homes need constant care and maintenance. We’ve tried to insert a few of these realistic parts of owning a home sporadically in our content like when we shared how to trim back trees, replacing loose plugs, or the PSA on getting your heaters serviced and buying carbon monoxide detectors so you don’t find yourself in the scary situation we did earlier this year. I’ve heard it said that you should budget for about 1% of your home’s price for maintenance every year. (i.e.If your home cost $200,000, set aside $2000 a year for maintenance.) Some years, we’re able to roll that over to the next year by doing a lot of the maintenance ourselves and then other times, we have to dip deep into the maintenance fund to pay a professional to fix our DIY gone wrong (it happens…wait for it) or something we’re just not comfortable maintaining ourselves–like our HVAC system. This handy checklist Esurance sent over was a great visual of what we should all be checking up on monthly, seasonally and annually to prevent anything major from happening or just keeping our home running properly.

Home Maintenance Prevention Checklist

Looking at the list, a lot of the things we can do ourselves. We’re comfortable cleaning out the dryer filter and trimming trees. Recently Chris even patched some shingles that blew off our roof re-caulked some exterior window trim that was missing before the cold set in and found its way into our home. Now is a great time to caulk those windows, btw! It will save you so much on your heating bill this winter, too!

Home Maintenance Prevention Checklist

We really like using this clear weatherproof Silicone that has a lifetime guarantee against cracking, shrinking or yellowing. It’s an easy, inexpensive project that you can do yourselves in an afternoon.

In looking over this “How to Become a Home Maintenance Maven” infographic, I had to laugh at the fact that 52% of people have had to hire a pro to fix a DIY gone wrong. Although we show up here daily to share our diy projects, we’re not immune to calling in the pros to help us fix one that has gone wrong. Every year, in the fall, Chris shuts down our sprinkler system. We usually get a letter from the city reminding us to do it even. Two years ago, we must have forgot to crank a valve all the way or something because on Christmas eve, we pulled into our driveway after a night of festivities with Chris’s family. Our girls were anxious to get to bed and wake up on Christmas (well, Greta was–Faye was just a few months old). But all that was thwarted when we both saw a fountain of water coming from the ground. Our main sprinkler valve had broke and Chris had to dig deep into the snow to try to shut off the main water line to our house. It was not a great way to spend Christmas eve for sure, but even worse, it cost us a lot of money to get the lines repaired in the spring. We’ve paid a professional every year since to come and service and winterize our sprinkler system to make sure everything is shut off and we don’t lose all of our water on Christmas eve again!

But whether you do it yourself, or hire out a professional, we’ve learned it’s most important to have a plan. When are you going to clean out your gutters? Who is going to call to get the HVAC serviced? When’s the last time you were in the attic? (Did you know 80% or people have no maintenance plan for the attic?! Did you know you needed one?) Do you need to start saving up for new windows? Do you know how old your roof is?

How does your household handle home maintenance?

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What do you think?

  1. Staci says:

    Many of these make me happy we live in a condo complex. Our HOA’s are a bit expensive, and our maintenance staff isn’t perfect, but having a lawn service and a communal laundry area overseen by a laundry company is helpful with peace of mind. We definitely should check our smoke detector batteries and furnace/AC unit more, though. Gotta add those to the monthly maintenance calendar!

  2. Lindsey says:

    Clean septic tank monthly (according to graphic)? They might want to fix that. Depending on usage and size it’s more like annually or bi-annually.

  3. Mara Smith says:

    We are literally in the midst of a DIY disaster right now. We removed an (ugly) brown tile from our kitchen and found schluter ditra underneath it mortared into our subfloor. I’m having an extremely difficult time finding someone to remove it. Any tips on that? Finding the right contractor for the job? It’s a complete nightmare!

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