What to Consider BEFORE you DIY

With 35 years of all kinds of construction, (here in the Shenandoah Valley area for about 19 years) I have seen and repaired just about every issue a homeowner could face.  Regardless of the size of the property or the financial standing there has been one issue that is present in most homes that we serve and that is deferred maintenance.   With all the home improvement shows, pinterest, google and youtube videos available there is a strong inclination to at least consider doing it yourself.

The Four Main Reasons Homes are not Well Maintained?  Time, Tools, Knowledge and Money!  aka, what to consider before you DIY


Here’s what I’ve noticed over the years…

It seems that MOST folks just don’t allot the necessary time to plan their projects  or allow adequate time for acquiring the necessary tools and materials — do items need to be ordered and delivered or picked up?  Do you have all the right  tools?   Do you have a reasonable knowledge of the stages necessary to complete the project?  Another issue I’ve seen is that DIY’ers often forget to allow adequate time for materials to set up before moving on to the next step. Some things can’t be rushed.

SOME folks recognize that they may not have sufficient knowledge to guessitimate the cost, plan the time, tools and materials and to complete the project within the municipality’s building codes.

MANY homeowners have, or have access to some ladders, hand tools, power tools and specialty and trade tools, but not necessarily the time.

A FEW (in particular the new home-owners) think they just don’t have the money to make the little repairs…  in reality; none of us can afford to ignore these warning signs and NOT to maintain our homes.


Time and time again I have witnessed door and window frames rot while customers opt to spend their money on less impactful items like ceiling fans or interior painting instead of the recommended $100 door frame repair.  In one instance, just 3 years later, when it was time to move, the homeowners were shocked to learn that the door could no longer be repaired and had to be replaced at a cost of $2500.  Another client bought and installed gym equipment rather than the suggested roof repair – a few shingles were missing at the time. Two years later they needed a new roof with new roof sheathing.  Their roof leaked damaging their insulation and drywall and now they had to re-paint also…  what might have been a repair for about $150, and could have extended the life of their roof for years.  Instead they had to get a new roof for about $12,000.

Most of us, at the time, don’t believe we have the money for these small repairs; but know this, these issues only get worse if not tended to, and they will cost more to repair in the future!  Don’t bank on the belief that your homeowner’s insurance will cover it either… chances are if the damage is caused by neglect, it won’t.

Adulting is hard, life choices are difficult…  but trust me – the way to save thousands is to fix things while they are small.


My Mom was right, she used to say  “If you can’t do it right, don’t do it at all.”  Here are a few more things which might blow a DIY’ers’ budget…  starting a job and then calling a professional to finish it.  Doing a job wrong, then calling a professional to fix and finish it.  Injuries…  ladders alone are the cause of an average 200.000 injuries and 300 deaths each year!!!


If you are curious about how to create a reasonable budget for home maintenance, please read our post last month.

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Curious about making a first aid or two for the summer?  Hop over to our other blog!

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Make it a great summer, and remember, if home maintenance is keeping you from doing the things you love with the people you love…  call A Plus Handyman for “Service a Grade Above the Rest!”


Thanks, Jim 540-550-2856

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