Being a homeowner is a lifelong accomplishment for many, but it’s clear that keeping the house beautiful requires a proactive mindset after a while. After all, when you take care of home repairs before they become serious problems, the costs will be lower than waiting until something breaks down completely.
Fixing and maintaining your HVAC is a quick example because many of us don’t address minor issues until the unit starts sending warm air throughout the home, or doesn’t move air at all.
Staying on top of repairs is the easiest way to keep your house in tip-top shape for years to come. Besides, your home is your castle, and you want to maintain and invest in it regularly and on schedule. Not only that, but you also want to save money in the process.
So, how do you know when to do it yourself versus when to call a handyman repair service? In our experience, the answer varies from case to case, depending on how comfortable you are with the basics.
The good news is that you can perform minor tasks now and then to make it easier on yourself over the long haul. The catch is that there are a handful of problems that may toss a wrench into the plan, so here’s what to look out for when deciding whether or not it’s time to reach out to a handyman service.
Problem #1 – The Size and Scope of Ordinary Home Repairs
The initial problem always seems to rear its head when you realize that there’s quite a long list of things to track, monitor, and service your home throughout the year. Our homes are one of the most significant investments any of us will make in our lives, so keeping them at their best relies on catching minor issues before they become big problems.
That’s step one, and there are plenty of things you can overlook if you’re not thorough. You have to know what proper home maintenance takes to avoid finding out the hard way.
If you’re an experienced homeowner, you may already know the basic rundown of standard repairs, like checking the home’s roofing for wear and tear. You may not have the time to look at every exterior wall, interior surface, or appliance that can break down.
Overall, it’s not the most efficient idea to manage every task, nor do you want to because it’s an extensive checklist unless you already know what you’re doing. The size and scope of the job may catch you off guard when you try to do it all on your own.
We’ve already touched upon standard HVAC maintenance a bit, but let’s go into that a bit more. Most homeowners know to replace the filters in the home, although they may not understand why. But what happens when you change filters on schedule, and the HVAC system still isn’t working right? What’s the issue? Isn’t changing the filter the most important thing to do?
The honest answer is that it takes more care to keep air conditioning up and running at full speed. Many things could’ve gone wrong with the system over the years. You could have damaged attic ductwork you didn’t even know you had, or the builders may not have installed the ductwork right in the first place! This situation happens more often than you’d think, even in newer homes.
At this point, a handyman service starts to sound like a brilliant idea because you won’t miss anything vital. Why overpay to replace your entire HVAC system when you can call in a team of pros to look after it on your behalf?
When using a service, a home manager tracks everything and organizes a regular schedule for home maintenance, which leads us to the second problem: professional expertise – or lack thereof.
Problem #2 – In-Depth Knowledge and Experience are Required When you Least Expect It
The second problem comes when you run into more significant issues than your available knowledge or tools. No matter how you look at it, nothing consumes time and money like a project gone wrong because you were behind the eight ball from the very start. For instance, plumbing issues are notorious for seeming like an easy fix, but you may realize you’re in over your head once you get to work.
Even if you have all the right tools and a few online instructional videos, you can still cause more damage than good without in-depth knowledge and experience. You may be able to unclog sinks with a drain snake, but is it even necessary to go that far?
Or, more to the point, will it even fix the problem once and for all? If you recently purchased an older home, and you’re experiencing severe clogging in the kitchen sink, the previous homeowner may have been disposing of hot grease down the drain.
In that case, you’d need to know where exactly the clog exists to apply the correct fix. Is it in the garbage disposal, in the sink trap, or deeper in the plumbing? Without the proper knowledge, you might immediately run to the hardware store and buy caustic chemical cleaners to pour down the sink when it isn’t essential. You may be able to get it by replacing a simple PVC pipe, so what do you do if the problem keeps happening or gets worse?
Sure, you had the best intentions and tried hard, yet you essentially wasted time and money trying to fix it yourself. Unfortunately, this situation is commonplace since plumbing issues often require professional knowledge that the average homeowner usually doesn’t possess. So, hiring a handyman service to repair and maintain your home cuts out this risk and ensures you’re not spending your hard-earned money and precious time applying the wrong solutions.
There’s a genuine risk of doing more harm than good, including accidental bodily injury. The last thing you want to do in a pinch is rely on the internet to provide answers when an expert is significantly more reliable. Even if you find instructional content you can trust, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to apply the knowledge in the video in a reasonable amount of time.
Problem #3 – Safety Concerns
If you believe that there’s any risk of harming yourself or someone else, it’s always better to call in an expert for home repairs. If you have to use harsh chemicals to unclog a bathtub drain, please read the handling instructions carefully because those substances can be toxic to humans and animals or emit fumes. Always remember to protect yourself when doing home repairs.
Along those lines, electrical work is another prime example because electricians have extensive knowledge and expertise in operating safely and minimizing the risk of accidental electric shock as much as possible.
Likewise, something as simple as an overheating, burned-out electrical outlet may catch the surrounding drywall on fire. You won’t even know anything is wrong until you smell the tell-tale stench of melting plastic with the wall warm to the touch. So, how do you remove the outlet safely to prevent a fire?
Do you cut power to half of the home first, or can you use a screwdriver to remove the switch with power still on? And that’s not even taking into account detecting the source of the problem because you may require thermal sensor equipment to see where else the wiring is overheating. An average homeowner just won’t have this gear at the ready unless they understand the risk of electrical fires when a socket short circuits.
Electricians generally recommend you check your wiring every three to five years if the home is older, but let’s be honest. How many of us even include that job on a home maintenance checklist? It’s yet another scenario where it’s more effective to bring in a handyman service instead of trying to simply hope for the best, which brings us to the last issue.
Problem #4 – Higher Costs with DIY Repairs
Most of us go the DIY route to save money, yet ironically, doing it all alone is one way to make maintenance more costly than it has to be. It’s crucial to apply the correct fix from the start to save money. Otherwise, you’re simply guessing and trying solutions one at a time. That’s a process of elimination for repairs, and the costs add up. You might buy the wrong tool when you have a viable alternative in your toolbox, or you can inadvertently purchase the bad replacement part.
Ultimately, it becomes a lot of driving back and forth between stores to find what you need and return what you didn’t use. Still, if you’re approaching house maintenance as a learning opportunity, it’s not such a flawed approach, yet you’re still learning the hard way.
At worst, you may cause more damage, but it’s more likely that you’ll under-repair something than over-repair something. When repair costs get too high for your home improvement budget, it’s too easy to cut corners and use inappropriate parts to get the job out of sight and out of mind.
Depending on the type of job and the home area, costs can skyrocket to the tune of hundreds of dollars in a worst-case scenario. Bathroom renovations and maintenance, for example, can run over budget if you run out of critical materials like ceramic floor tiles or accidentally cut PVC pipes to the wrong dimensions.
And that’s not even taking into account the time aspect. The cliche is “time is money,” but there’s plenty of truth to the phrase. Imagine how productive you would be if you didn’t need to look after the home alone constantly. Finding skilled handyman repair services saves time and money.
Best Solution – Find Handyman Services to Save Time and Money
Having touched upon all of those problems, the next question is: what’s the best solution for ongoing home maintenance? Never settle for substandard handyman work because our team of pros knows what to look for and how to keep your home in great shape one step at a time. We’ll assign you a dedicated home manager to keep everything on schedule and keep you in the loop when it’s time for house maintenance.
Likewise, if you’re having issues with everyday household items and appliances, we can provide on-call handyman repair services to fix:
- Washers and dryers
We take the time to check everything off our home repairs list, so you don’t have to stay ahead of maintenance problems. We do it all on your behalf because one of our goals is to give you peace of mind knowing your home will be at its best for years to come. You’ll also get a semi-annual, 30-point preventative maintenance service bundled with your membership.
As a start, we’ll make sure everything in the home works during the initial inspection and make recommendations from that point onward. Sometimes, a simple fix is all you need, and it’s our pleasure to show homeowners how to maximize their investments. We can provide materials at wholesale price without tacking on additional charges.
At PreFix, we work hard to take the hassle out of homeownership and home maintenance so that you can be proud of your home like never before. Contact us to learn more about our handyman repair services.