Do It Yourself projects can save a person a lot of money if they’re done right. Done incorrectly, you might just end spending as much or more money than hiring someone to do it in the first place. I found this out recently when my garbage disposal decided it was time to retire.
A chunk of metal broke off my garbage disposal during normal use. A quick look below the sink gave me confidence that I could replace it myself. I picked up a replacement from a local hardware store, installed it, and made sure it worked. I was proud of myself, as I had just accomplished something I had never done before. I had rolled up my sleeves, pulled out my tools, and installed a garbage disposal.
A few days later, my wife noticed the dishwasher wasn’t draining. I went on the internet and searched for troubleshooting ideas. After doing everything I was comfortable doing, and not finding anything, I called a plumber to come and diagnose the problem.
As the plumber looked around I thought about all the things that could be wrong, and how much they would cost. The drain could be clogged somewhere, the drain pump may be broken, or worst case scenario we may need a new dishwasher. Fortunately for us, it was none of those things. Within minutes the plumber found I had simply forgot to remove the dishwasher drain plug from the new garbage disposal.
I paid the plumber the minimum $85 fee, and quickly replaced the drain plug after the plumber left.
When doing a DIY project, it’s important to follow some very simply rules of thumb:
Be Comfortable With The Task
There is a line that I will not cross with my DIY projects. For example, I’m very uncomfortable doing anything with electrical wires, except for changing out an outlet. If I need to move, remove, or add electrical wiring, I’m calling a professional. It’s simply a matter of safety.
Know Your Limits
Some tasks a person can learn the skill as they go along. Sometimes in order to learn the skill you have to practice a lot. A good example of this is drywall taping and spraying. I don’t want to have a room finished with shotty workmanship because I decided to try to do it myself.
Know What You’re Doing
Research the project online, buy a book, consult someone that has done it before or read the instructions. Know what you’re doing before you begin. I thought I had read all the directions for installing my garbage disposal, but going back after the fact I had skimmed over the section that described the removal of the dishwasher drain plug. Had I been more careful in my reading of the directions, I would have saved the trip by the plumber.
DIY projects are a great way to save money, if they’re done correctly. I thought I had saved the cost of a plumber by installing a garbage disposal myself, but in the end I paid to have one come out anyway and tell me what I did wrong. By following the three steps above, we can successfully do DIY projects safely, and successfully.
How about you, EOD Nation, have you ever done a DIY project only ending up calling a professional to fix your mistake?