Do it Yourself Home Care and Maintenance; How Hard can it be?

English: Home Depot Storefront

Our homes are one of the biggest purchases that we make and household maintenance adds to the cost.  It makes sense to keep your home in good order, but the cost of repairs and maintenance can be high.  The traditional pastime of dad’s and enthusiasts DIY has, for generations, been the best approach to saving money.  However, some surveys suggest that many younger householders are distinctly lacking in general maintenance tasks, but how hard can it be! 

Essential Kit

You’ll need some tools if you plan to become a domestic goddess/god of the repair and maintenance kind.  When stocking up, buy tools that you are likely to need from discount stores and use voucher codes or offers wherever possible.  A set of spanners, a hammer or two and some screwdrivers have multiple uses that make the investment worth it.  Step-ladders can also come in handy along with the odd saw or two.  Power drills are also essential for many household maintenance tasks.  Quality should be considered over cut-price in this department, as a good drill can last a lifetime.  Investing in a tool that checks for pipes and wires will also save an absolute fortune in the long run!  When it comes to one-off jobs you’ll find you may need some additional tools for a specific job; don’t rush out to the nearest hardware store, but check out to see if there’s a rental option.  Sanders for large floors can be hired very cheaply by the day, and they can make restoring an old wooden floor big kid’s play. 


As long as you have sufficient space never throw bits and pieces left over from a job out.  Obviously screws, nails, bolts, hinges and the like will not take up much space and can easily popped into a container for next time.  Odd bits of wood left over paint or varnish may be candidates for the scrap heap, but they can be used in the future to patch up or freshen up areas of damage.  Stored correctly they will last for a surprisingly long time. 

Colour Scheming

Not all DIY-ers get it right first time.  If you’re not tied to particular colour scheme, or you are willing to be flexible, have a chat with your local paint store.  Some customers have an annoying habit of changing their mind when paint has been mixed for them, or over-ordering, or simply disappearing.  Hardware stores may have a supply of unwanted paint that has been mixed for one of these types of clients that they’ll be only too happy to get it off their hands.  It should, in most cases come with a reasonable discount.  A little research can also help when it comes to paint and buying a brand that doesn’t require numerous coats will save cash.  If you’re painting onto fresh plaster, remember that it will ‘eat’ paint.  Try to live with the bare plaster walls for around six weeks, to ensure it has dried thoroughly and doesn’t need as many coats.

General Care

Check your gutters and drains, particularly before and after winter.  Clear debris out of guttering and blockages out of drains; blocked gutters will not only have the potential to cause damp patches, but will also do loads of damage to paintwork.  By clearing them out regularly you can reduce the wear and tear on the exterior of your home and reduce the need to repaint. 

Material Considerations

If you are forced to hire a professional to complete any tasks, buy the materials for the job separately and complete any prep work that you can manage yourself.  You don’t need to be an expert to remove old kitchen units or cabinets and labour costs far more than materials.  Builders are generally an honest, hardworking bunch, but they’re not above buying the more expensive materials from their favourite suppliers and/or family members; material costs are not a huge part of any build, but you won’t hear that from most builders!  Try to shop around to get the best discount you can. 

When it comes to household maintenance there is a lot to be said for DIY. Check out promo codes for materials and tackle as many jobs as you can yourself, when it comes to bigger jobs, don’t forget to buy materials yourself and avoid the ‘cousin tax’ that builders may try to apply.

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