Monday, May 24, 2010

Do what you do best and pay for the rest....WHAT?

I read in a remodeling magazine the quote, “Do what you do best and pay for the rest” What???  Because I’m not a professional chef  I shouldn’t make dinner for my family?  I guess I should stop cleaning my  house because I’m not a professional janitor and I’d better stop mowing my lawn because I’m not a professional landscaper.  What on earth were they talking about?

I’d like to believe the quote originated when true professionals discovered that people where taking on tasks that they weren’t qualified to do and were exposing themselves to potential personal injury or significant financial risk.  But this quote appeared in the context of trying to convince me that simple tasks are beyond my abilities.  If I were remodeling a 1904 Victorian and would like the electrical service upgraded of course I should hire a professional, but installing a dimmer switch?  That’s completely unnecessary. 

My home is the most expensive and important financial investment I will make in my lifetime and I assume you are the same way.  I have some questions for you: Are you  ignorant about how your home works? Are you unsure about what maintenance needs to be done or how to stop small problems from turning into catastrophes?  If so,  I’d like you to start thinking. “I should be able to do that”.

If you have enough money to pay someone to clean your house, mow your lawn, fix your dinner and fill up your gas tank…that’s wonderful, you should be grateful for the abundance in your life, but I suspect  most of you don’t want to spend the money to pay a plumber to fix the handle on your toilet.  There’s a difference between can't and don’t want to and I’d like to think that if you pay someone to fix minor problems it’s because you don’t want to rather than you can’t.

The essential ingredient here is learning and discovering your limits and comfort level.  But if you’ve never tried to do something how do you know it’s beyond your limits and capabilities?  It’s time to let go of the fear of  doing it wrong or making it worse and look at things from a practical point of view.

Here are few tips I recommend that you consider before hiring someone to do something you can do yourself.
  • Understand what needs to be done.  In this case, learn the ins and outs of your home.  Understand how it works and the critical components.

    • Subscribe to a magazine like www.familyhandyman.com
    • Search on line for information
    • Buy a book like Reader’s Digest New Complete Do It Yourself Manual (see below)
  • Pay for a home maintenance inspection. If you have lived in your house for a long time and have not done regular maintenance you might want to spend the money to have a home maintenance inspection done on your home.  The inspector should leave you with a detailed report describing the repairs that need to be made. If you are interested in having a home maintenance inspection email me at judy.browne@pillartopost.com
  • Tackle small projects first and take on more challenging projects as your confidence improves.
  • As friends and neighbors for help and ask them to teach you what they know.

Knowledge is Power

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