Fix it Yourself!
I’ve never been considered a mechanical genius. In fact, I was afraid to try virtually any do-it-yourself project as a teenager because I had seen my dad electrocute himself countless times on the simplest projects and I had concluded that do-it-yourself work was a dangerous business.
I tried a few car repairs when I was younger, but I had limited success, mostly with changing oil, belts and other simpler things. My dad and I once tried to change the water pump, but after spending two full days working on it, we ran into a snag and it ended up costing twice as much to fix what we did to it! ;-) After a few years, I tried again. I bought a new radio for my car and tried to put it in myself. My brother and I successfully installed the radio, but it would not work when we tried it. Finally, I realized that I connected the power to the wire from the light on the old radio and the new radio would only turn on when the lights were on, too.
Many of you may not have considered fixing things yourself, but most home repairs are easier than most people realize and a lot cheaper than paying someone else to fix it.
My first real attempts at repairing things came after we moved to Idaho. We lived in a pretty remote part of Idaho and it was nearly impossible to get a plumber or an electrician out there. One night while watching the Red Green show, I got inspired!
One winter, the true test presented itself. We had a faucet out in the yard sticking up from a metal barrel partly buried in the ground. One day during the winter thaw, we heard the sound of water running in the house. The outside faucet had frozen and the metal elbow behind the faucet had cracked. When the thaw came along, the crack produced a narrow gusher of water that had already flooded the yard around it.
It was the first day of a three day holiday weekend. The chances of getting a plumber were slimmer than usual. I had no tools for this kind of work and the nearest hardware store was 70 miles away. Somehow, I was going to have to do this myself.
After a lot of praying and pondering, I came up with some ideas. It just happened that Jill, who lived across the street from us, had the elbow piece that we needed to replace the broken one. Once I knew we had the part, I gave it some thought and figured out a way to remove the faucet using a piece of pipe, some inferior tools and some skills I learned watching "MacGyver." After that, it was simple to turn off the water, put the new elbow on the pipe and replace the faucet. That project saved us at least $200 if we could have found someone to do it at all.
We recently tried blowing insulation into the attic of the older part of our home after discovering that there was only four inches of insulation up there (as opposed to the fifteen inches it should have been.) Had we had the work done by an insulation company, it would have cost around $2,000, but doing it ourselves, it cost us $250 and about 8 hours of work.
This type of project might at first seem too difficult to do yourself, but any time you consider the potential of doing it yourself, consider that there are lots of free resources on the Internet where you can learn what you’re about to get yourself into. In recent years, I have spend a small amount of time researching exactly what it will take to do a project before we try it. For the insulation project, I went to Lowe’s to check prices and to read the information on the insulation packages. Blown in insulation was much less expensive, so we decided to do that. We found that once you buy a certain number of bags of insulation that the store lets you have a 24 hour rental of the machine to blow it in for free.
The insulation that we planned to use was cellulose which is made from recycled newspaper. I was concerned about whether or not it was safe since paper burns more easily than fiberglass, so I went down to the local fire station and asked the firefighters. They said that cellulose insulation has a fire retardant to reduce the possibility of a fire and they weren’t worried about it. Also, between the firefighters and stories on the web, I learned that I shouldn’t blow the insulation on top of certain recessed lights.
Once we learned enough to feel comfortable with the project, we bought the supplies, including masks and goggles and did the work. It took us a total of 8 hours and cost just under $250 including all of the supplies, renting the Lowe’s truck to get it home and buying $7 worth of Chinese food at the grocery store since we were too tired to cook after doing it! It was messy work, but not especially difficult and we saved about $1750 over having an insulation company do it. Not only that, we estimate that we will save at least 200 gallons of propane a year, which works out to a savings of over $400 PER YEAR that we would have spent had we not done the work.
Some problems appear bigger than they really are. Last summer, we had to spend a lot of money having a new septic system put in at our new house. No, we didn’t do that ourselves, but I did stay around while they installed it and paid a lot of attention to how the work was done. Though I was sure that there was nothing wrong with the new septic system, we started to notice the smell of sewer gas around the outside of our house, which seemed to be coming from the sewer vents on the roof. The company that installed the system assured us that there was nothing wrong with the installation, but they couldn’t offer any insight about what might be causing the problem.
One day, we started to notice the smell inside the house and we were very unhappy about it. We found that the smell was coming from a drain in one of our closets. We called out three plumbers and they gave estimates ranging from $1000-$2000 each. Our dilemma was that each plumber had a different opinion of what would solve the problem, so we were pretty certain that if we spend $1000 or more, the problem would still not get fixed.
I thought that most drains were supposed to have traps, where a bend in the pipe allows water to stand and prevents sewer gas from coming into the house. One of the plumbers said that the drain in question did not have a trap, so we were surprised we had never smelled it before. When I thought about it, I realized that the only thing that put water into that drain was the air conditioner, which we had not used the previous two months. I poured a couple glasses of water down the drain and the problem soon cleared, meaning that there really was a trap and the water had simply evaporated, allowing the smell to come through.
We had solved the problem of the smell in the house, but we still had the problem outside. After spending a number of hours looking on the Web, I found a document explaining how the chemistry works in a septic tank. Without explaining all the details, the writer recommended flushing baking soda down the toilet each week. We tried it and it solved our problem completely. Rather than spending thousands of dollars, our total cost is 78 cents per week for system maintenance.
We once had a problem where our garage door opener would not work. The door was stuck in the "up" position. After I tried a lot of things, our son, who was 8 years old at the time, noticed that the safety sensor that prevented the door from closing when something blocked it was not lit, but he was sure it had been in the past. The sensor sends an invisible beam of light to another sensor on the other side of the garage door. I checked it and realized someone had bumped the sensor and the light beam was pointed the wrong way. After a small adjustment, it was fixed.
Some of our other do it yourself projects have included:
- Re-roofing our house. It took some work, but saved us thousands. Like the insulation job, it was well worth it.
- Replacing toilets. We have personally installed toilets nine times since we’ve been married (not all at our house, thankfully!) and though it is mildly unpleasant, it is not a particularly difficult thing to do if you approach it with a plan.
- Changing electrical wall outlets (It’s easy, but if you try it, make sure you turn off the power at the correct breaker. Electricity is dangerous so be careful.)
- Replacing light fixtures (As above, be careful to turn off the breaker!)
- Minor plumbing repairs – Sinks, garbage disposers, etc.
- Painting the house, both indoor and outdoor painting. (See Tawra’s story about Painting a room at https://www.livingonadime.com/articles/10-tips-painting-a-room.html )
- Replacing outdoor sprinklers. We had an underground sprinkler system at our old house. Instead of paying a few hundred dollars to fix a bad sprinkler, I simply purchased one off of the Web for $19.95 and changed it myself. It required about 15 minutes, including digging a small hole and then doing same type of work as screwing a sprinkler onto a garden hose.
- Fixing door and window problems, including replacing doorknobs and doors that didn’t close properly. We’ve discovered that often when doors don’t close properly, the screws in the hinges are a little loose and the door simply sags. Tightening the screws sometimes solves the problem.
- Building and repairing outdoor steps and decks.
- Wiring lamps (OK, if starting a fire in the house is a problem, this wasn’t one of the more successful projects. Even though wiring a lamp is pretty easy, Tawra didn’t realize that the little cardboard piece in the fixture is important, so she forgot to put it back in and discarded it. ;-) Another lesson we learned here is that when the breaker trips, there is a problem, even when the neighbor thinks the breaker is just defective and holds it in the "on" position. By doing so, he allowed the short circuit in the lamp to start a fire. For the record, we got everyone out of the house and put out the fire. The lamp didn’t survive, but the house did. Circuit breakers are our friends!)
- Yard and garden projects – We almost always do all of our own yard and garden projects. We love getting out in the garden and building things to make the yard feel more park-like. Some projects are bigger than others. We have also had to cut down a number of dead trees and significantly trim large hedge rows.
Some projects are definitely worth hiring a professional to do. I don’t have much patience with cars, so we almost always pay a mechanic to fix them. You will no doubt find that there are some things that are too much trouble for the cost savings, but if you have something that needs to be fixed, consider whether you can do it yourself before hiring someone to do it.
If you’ve never tried to do basic home repairs before, start with something small. Once you have successfully done some small things, you’ll have the confidence to try something bigger. One thing we’ve discovered is that a lot of the projects that we expected to be difficult turned out to be easy and cost us nothing.
If you’re saying, "That sounds like a lot of work," consider this: We saved $1750 doing 8 hours of work on the insulation project. That works out to $219 per hour. If you divide that by the fact that two of us worked on it, that’s $109.50 per hour we didn’t have to earn to get the work done. Another way to look at it is that assuming that I get paid $20 per hour, that’s 87 1/2 extra hours I DIDN’T HAVE TO WORK to pay for someone else to do it.
By repairing and maintaining things ourselves, we have saved tens of thousands of dollars. If we had paid to have someone do all of the things we have done, we would have had to earn more than twice our income every year that we have been married to accomplish the same thing.
Not only did we save a lot of money, but there is a tremendous amound of personal satisfaction in successfully completing a project. I highly recommend trying it yourself!
Photo By: Richard Thomas
This is an excellent post! My husband and I have a love/hate relationship with DIY projects. On one hand, it saves us money. On the other, he has a back injury that prevents him from working for long periods of time, so a project like the insulation would end up taking us 2-3 days, and sometimes we don’t have that long. For the most part, we try to figure it out and do it ourselves, though.
Mike, did you realize that Steve Smith aka red green’s real life wife will not allow him to touch a tool or attempt DIY projects. She says he is totally clueless and she loves her century old house the way it is.
DIY projects are sort of our weather is bad so lets have some fun around this house.
We fix small things on the vehicles. I don’t have a clue what I am doing but I do have long skinny fingers and hands and can reach the tight spots that my husband can’t.
We installed a new bathroom replacing all the fixtures a few years ago. Parts and everything cost us $200. It was a fun one day project. Would have taken longer but we only have one bathroom so we worked for 6 hours and got it done.
We have redone our kitchen making it so I can use it, comfortably and adding storage. It is a work in progress but it is fun to do.
We have an advantage over some people since I know how to build a house. My father used to build and sell houses for years so I learned. But I don’t have the strength now to do it but I explain to my husband and he takes over from there with a bit of my help. I feel like I am contributing a bit to the work and it is fun to work with him.
But start off small if you are new to it. Sometimes husband wife teams work great and sometimes it is a case of oil and water and never mix well.
With Tawra and Mike it is like oil and water. We always laugh because Mike and I work better together on things then they do together. Poor Mike is stuck half of the time with his mother in law.
I personally hate doing DIY projects even though I have to do them all the time. After spending 25 years continually remodeling a huge Victorian house and then moving from there and spending another year and half finishing a log cabin I would love to move into a house which has plumbing and electricity already done. I don’t think I am asking to much from life. HA!HA!HA! You would think I would learn my lesson wouldn’t you and buy something for a change which has walls. : )
HA! That’s too funny! Red Green is going to be here this weekend. I would love to go see him but at $50 a ticket! He is going to be a hardware store too on Sat. We might have to stop by and say hi.
Jill, My mother always said that when my dad died and she thought about remarrying if two men asked her
one wealthy man says I have money to burn but I love to tinker with things will you marry me?
one very poor man said I don’t have anything much to offer you and I hate doing the handy man stuff will you marry me.
My mother said she would jump at the one who was poor.
My father was a love to start but can’t figure out how to finish type and my mother ended up with a lot of unfinished things in the house.
I know exactly what you are talking about grandma. You mother was a wise woman although I think I would prefer a rich man who knew how to do handy man things but didn’t like to so he made enough to pay someone else. Of course if he was tall dark and handsome too that wouldn’t be to bad either. HA! A girl can dream can’t she?
I have learned a lot of DIY things over the years out of necessity. Both for my car and house. I want my sons to learn, as I think it will help them be good providers (for their future families – or just themselves!) My dad is someone who really has a gift to fix anything. Sometimes I wonder if there is anything he can’t figure out. He says when he was a kid he would take apart old aplliances (toasters and whatnot) and then put them back together. he got a good sense of how things work that way. Kids nowadays would turn their nose up at that. When I was a kid he’d have me work alongside him putting together cars or building stuff, like shelves. So I have some skill, but not nearly as much as him. You can save so much money if you learn even a few things. Many people pay for things that are really just routine maintanance, that they could do themselves in less time then to call for help.
My husband was the same way. He was so good at fixing things and figuring things out. I now have one grandson (B.J.) who I think is going to be like him. As a matter of fact by the time BJ was 10 we had things us adults couldn’t figure out what to do with them and BJ would take one look and have it fix. That kind of mind always amazes me.
The problem with trying to fix the new cars yourself is that it is all computerized. You need the computer mechanics have to figure out the problem. Not easy to just get in there with a wrench or two and take it apart.
grandma . .. hehehehe .. funny how you posted this .. about the rich and poor man..
i tell my kids and hubby if i was ever to remarry (which i dont plan to at this time .. ) .. the first thing i would ask him is : are u handy man? .. can u fix things? and how well? and do you have references to back up what u r claiming (pics would be a good thing too) .. ? .. of course i get the strangest looks and lots of laughs BUT .. even tho i love my hubby .. i think it would have been best to marry a man like my brothers .. they do all of their own things and have taught my nephews well ..
we live farther away from them and well my hubby (not being the type to be a handyman, even tho he could certainly do it) never taught our son alot of things .. i tell my son “go across the street and have the neighbor teach you things” and yes he has heeded my advice but not enuff . he will tho, when he is older ..
even our one neighbor has taught us things . his grandpa has taught him well..
so.. whenever i need things done .. i get those 2 fella’s to come to the house and help me and of course my son is there to help them ..
well my fiasco is not over with my kitchen sink . i actually found the true holes .. its the part of the right under the sink that leads to the pipes … so i went back to the store (that poor man that works in that dept!) .. he said “lady, try this .. if it doesnt work, you will need to either figure out how to change those pipes or hire someone to do it for you” .. i asked him “can i call u and have u tell me what to do?” .. he looked at me like i had 2 heads and said “no we dont offer that service here at walmart” .. jill . hehehehehe :D .. that poor man .. he is the same man i had to have help me last week when i needed to get the spackling and the goop (for the kitchen sink) .. he helped me and that little friend that i mentioned on another post (for the goop) and then walked away .. we went to the spackling part of the dept and well we couldnt find him .. so i told my friend to go and look for him .. after a few mins i started yelling “help help help” .. thinking there would be some or maybe at least one man that would come to my help .. well lo and behold one man did come and he asked me “are u ok?” and of course i said i was but i needed help figuring out which spackling to buy and he said he had no clue bc he normally hired someone else to do that for him .. so again i am screaming “help help help” (that man left) .. and finally my friend came back with the sales person and said “are u sure you need this lady?” .. and i said “yes i think so.. we have a few little holes here and htere from hangng pics and door knobs being pushed too hard etc etc .. we are moving etc etc .. i have a mouse problem etc etc .. ” .. basically telling him my whole life in under 5 mins .. and of course mentioning the sink, the pipes and the toilet (another story in itself) ..
he rolled his eyes and gave me this tub of stuff and said “good luck” .. hehehehehhehee ..
jill .. i wish you were there .. it was like being part of a comedy show ..
i asked julie what took so long and she said “well .. i could have had someone come and help us but they heard you yelling help and didnt know what to think” .. and then she found the sales person and he was telling this other customer “i have to go and rescue this poor woman and her pipes!”.. hehehehhehe ..
it was (and still is very funny) .. but i wish you could have been there with me ..
Rose would you feel bad if I said I’m not sure I would want to go shopping with you especially to a hardware store. HA!HA!
Ha! I’m not as bad as I thought. I would always go into the hardware store in this really small town I lived in Colorado. There would be 5 or 6 old guys shooting the breeze. I would walk up to the counter with my 2 nails I needed and said “I would like to buy these please”.
They looked at me like I had two heads on. I didn’t know it but nails were sold by the pound. They said “just take them”. hehehe
grandma .. funny you should mention this about the cars .. in fact, this month alone we had some much work done on our car its mind boggling ..
well, i have told hubby and my kids and our/their friends ..
i am going to the junk yard and buy a car for $20 (yes they sell them that cheap bc i know someone who has bought them and so did my brother , b4 he died).. it will be an old car .. put an engine in it .. and work on it .. and make it street ready .. it will be a car i can work on (change spark plugs, etc .. ) .. hubby said “lets just get you a golf cart, ok? .. hehehehehe :D .. and then he says “if its a car u will be putting together it will have duct tape, cardboard adn bubble gum and glue holding it up (referring to my old car, the ford taurus, and yes it did have all of that holding the car up and the engine too but that is another story) …
and then he says “and if you fix it up like u r fixing hte kitchen sink dont expect me to ride in it” … and then my son said “mom needs a car like the flintstones” .. and i told them “well! .. then u can all walk! .. ” .. of course we had a huge laugh over it ..
but u r so right .. cars were much easier to fix and take care of yrs ago .. now you need a computer chip for this and that and the prices are ridiculous for them too ..
Rose do you remember the Johnny Cash song about taking his car home in his lunch pail. He worked there for years and brought all the parts home and put them together.
Well that is what your car reminded me of.
And I am with Jill. no shopping with you. I like to be inconspicuous but I have been known to pick up the in-store phone and call out the dept. I am in saying would a staff member please return to aisle what ever.
i am not usually this bad but this day i was a bit of in a rush and well frantic bc of all that i was dealing with ..
sooo if we go to a hardware store .. i promise to be good and quiet .. :D :D
An old-style hardware store may charge a bit more for things than WalMart, but generally they have a lot of advice for free. I can walk into our local hardware store with a problem and no idea what I need to fix it and leave with everything needed, instructions, and an offer of more help over the phone if I get stuck. Well worth a little extra money.
Tawra count yourself lucky that they do sell them by the pound.
now a days you have these little packages that have 10 of what you need 11 of. so you buy 2 packages. Lots more expensive than going in and buying the 11 and paying for 1/8 of a lb.
But like you I didn’t know that when you buy metal washers they are all different prices. I had to get some of 2 different sizes grabbed the paper bag and dumped in what I needed. Got to the cash and told them what was in the bag. I think it would have cost me $5. but the check out called back to lumber explained and they said just give it to her and let her husband sort the whole mess out at home.
Well my husband told me I was sort of dumb and made me sort them but he wasn’t angry at all especially when I told him they were free because I mixed them. Then I was the smartest lady in the world.
Sometimes it makes sense to go in like a poor silly little lady. Men feel magnanimous while being patronizing and you get a good deal a lot of the time. Little do they know my mind. I like to get deals and what ever it takes when men are involved makes it fun.
Lucy I so agree with you. We have a big chain store in town and we have a smaller chain store that is run more along the lines of the customer counts.
I was really in bad shape but had walked to the hospital for blood work and was passing the grocery store so I stopped and picked up eggs and milk. Then went the rest of the way home.
My key would not work. I was locked out of the house and it was getting pretty cold and I tired sick and in tears. I walked the block back to the small hardware store and asked if you can change a lock while the door is locked. They said no then they saw how upset I was and one of the staff offered to drive me home to see if they could solve the problem. 10 min. later I was in the door.
I was so thankful that they were willing to help me out that day. They have my loyalty forever.
The owner said it was no big deal just being friendly but to this woman who was totally out of it that day they were god sent.
Big stores in big cities don’t seem to understand that they can be human and still make money. If they are humane they might make even more.
Busy Beekeeper mom.
I love our small town hardware store too, and will pay more to shop there and keep them open if I can. If they close, no free advice, and 30 miles to the nearest big box Lowes/Home depot etc to find out they no longer stock what I needed just a few more of, or that they are made in China, and will break when I try to use them, or that the staff knows less than I do (scary but true).
Inferior quality supplies probably turn off most newbie DIY’ers. I KNOW how to hammer & there is no excuse for nails to be cheap steel that bends after 2 hits. So it’s worth buying the “highest quality” now, because that is what used to be lowest quality a decade or 2 ago, but actually still do the job.
My dad was an electrician and also grew up building houses with his dad & they small farmed, like everyone in their generations. He taught me what he could when the opportunity arose. I am grateful for the experience that you CAN build what you need and make do, or do without, and generally not die.
I think part of why I build stuff around our place, is as much to pass that on, and whatever 2nd hand skills I can to the kids.
I am the one who designs (or researches and copies) and builds the stuff we need on our acreage/small farm. I could not do it without the brawn and help of my husband though. It’s pretty tough to raise framed walls alone, and not terribly smart/safe to try :) I once reworked & changed plans for 1 square building into 2 A-frames because I could raise them alone, and they used less materials in the end. They actually work better for the purpose too LOL.
My dad would not let me drive my 20 year old beater Armstrong (she cost $15) until I could change the oil, tires, check levels on everything, inspect/replace belts and do all minor repairs like flushing radiator, replacing hoses, headlights, brakes etc. If something broke, I had to save & buy the parts (learned about used parts fast –
EverDrive is an AWESOME online resource for anything automotive that is nonconsumable that you can’t get at your local salvage, or if as many places, you no longer have a junkyard that keeps anything within driving or catching a ride distance.) EverDrive delivers, with reasonable or no extra charges. And their stuff has 100% warranties, that they actually honor. Good company.
All through JR High & High school, before I bought Armstrong, everything except transmissions that wore out our “newer” cars (two of them were actually older than my 20 year old beater) dad had me fix, with him talking me through it, so I would know how when I got a car.
If you know how to do something, pass it on to your kids by making them do it. Otherwise, the skill and more is lost.
It was a great way to spend time with him, and every time I have to/am able to save money by changing brakes etc, I remember those times with him fondly.
It’s a good thing he had me practice on the newer old cars – Not much ever wore out on Armstrong, except once a steering arm had to be replaced. Just about everything major on her was stock too. We had a shop redo her shocks & struts, because we lacked the equipment to do that safely. She was old enough to be built to last forever. I personally put 100.000 + on her, and we KNEW she had 300,000 just from the prior owner, and she only drove her a few years.
25 years later I am told she is STILL driving, and she was an official antique when I had her. Built like an OLD tractor :)
I really HATE plumbing, but we have saved thousands doing our own plumbing, replacing toilets, building small structures, putting in/replacing ceiling fans etc.
I am terrified of black widows/recluse spiders, and copperheads, but I am the only one small enough to get under our current house to fix it’s old plumbing. I’ve about replaced everything, so it should finally be good.
For all my fear though, I rarely see anything alive down there. I consider that divine mercy.
Every year now, I get under there and inspect everything when it is bitterly cold, so any snakes, spiders etc are not as much a threat.
I’d rather work on it in the cold, than worry about getting bitten or stung, so facing that fear at a sensible time of year helps prevent an emergency when I might be frightened into hiring a professional who would charge.
Or actually get bit by something.
We have retrofitted 2 metal buildings with different insulation systems – frankly, on that one, if you want it insulated, have them do it while they are building it!!!
It was cheaper, at least on one, but a real pain to do it well ourselves. We really did not know how to do these projects when we started, but it could not afford to have it done, and we learned together new skills.
Our first project we did as a newlywed couple. We learned a lot – about each other too & how to work together, and how NOT to work together.
We bought a 95 year old duplex (2 houses moved together), lived in the front, and renovated the rental unit in back down to the studs. Tore out plaster & replastered, lights, floors,kitchen & bathrooms, everything & flipped the property to buy a 240 acre farm worth more than 2x what we paid for house and renovations. We had a really good realtor too :)
I had to learn to braise copper pipe for that job. Once I finished the first side, I went back and redid the first things I had done, because I had gained skill & was embarrassed at my newbie work. It was solid work – my teacher would not let me move on if it was a bad joint – but it was ugly at the start.
10 years later I learned to Arc-weld to build the Oil pipe frame for a steel building. Big farmer neighbors were impressed at the joints. That felt nice, and helped us fit in, that they could see we were willing to learn, able to learn, and work for what we wanted.
Don’t remember enough to do either today, but knowing that I learned, I could read/practice up again if needed.
We have also had some projects that ended up costing way more than to have hired someone, but man, what we learned from them we will be glad to NOT repeat again :)
I used to be able to fix most small appliances too (learned from dad – very simple mostly what goes wrong on them), but now it is getting impossible to find parts, even at appliance repair centers. They just don’t make them. Very frustrating.
I suppose the manufacturers have decided that the sole purpose of the article really is to suck money out of your wallet, as often as possible, rather than take pride in producing a product that is built to last.
Okay, here comes a rant I suppose – undoubtedly shared by many :)
I am sick of build in obsolescence. I am tired of things manufactured to wear out prematurely. There is no excuse for example, of the bearings consistently going out on AC units, just months after the warranties are up. Or can openers that don’t work.
We KNOW how to build good stuff that works * lasts decades. That they CHOOSE not to build them to last now though, to ensure continued sales for next year is to me is unethical and morally deficient.
I consider it theft by deception and bad stewardship of the earth, squander-ously wasteful for companies to cheapen down products to force wallets (I don’t think we are viewed as people by such companies) to continually buy replacements.
I suppose it’s just another good reason to shop only garage sales & estate sales instead of new. – all those products with the retro 70’s paint jobs still work, and your kids will probably sell them at YOUR estate sale :)
I find it funny that Made in Japan, used to be viewed like Made in China for quality, but now, if it is old, and says Made in Japan, it is probably a pretty good gadget :) And fixable if it does break. )
One of the smartest things my parents taught me was that the same depreciation that applies to cars, applies to just about all appliances, furniture etc. Let someone else take the hit, and when they tire of the new toy, pick it up for pennies on their dollars.
Even with that, Do I really need this? Will I use this object? How often?
But only if you really think it is worth spending the life hours of your time that you used up working and can never get back, to add it to your own collection of clutter :)
Off topic, & way out of time. Buzzing off back to work!
We are DIY’ers all the way. My best advice id to keep every as clean as you can. Do the routine oil & lube or maintenance stuff. I cannot tell you how may times something wouldn’t work due to dust/dirt or neglect. For us it is not just about the money you save, but about time.
Yep, time spent calling around to get someone out, the time you spend sitting around waiting for them to get there, time spent on the initial estimate/prognosis, time you spend clearing your schedule to be home to let them in, & the time you need to work to pay for it all. By the time you do all that you could have fixed it yourself.