Learning how to do some of your own home repairs can undoubtedly save you considerable time and money. It helps to know when to tackle the work yourself, and when it’s best to use a handyman. If you can stay on top of your routine maintenance and judge the best time to call in professional services, you could potentially save a fortune.
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of handyman services and only pay out for them when you really need to.
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Regular maintenance of your home can help stop small problems from turning into bigger ones. Here are a few tasks, most of which you can do yourself, to prevent home repair problems or to identify small problems while they’re cheap and easy to repair.
- Clean your gutters – This ensures rainwater flows away from your property instead of being trapped under your roof potentially causing large-scale damage in the future.
- Inspect your cladding and paintwork – Check for any cracks, damage or peeling paint that could be signs of bigger problems.
- Maintain heating and cooling systems – Clean your central heating system and check your air conditioning filters frequently.
- Check for roof problems – Look out for slipped tiles and issues such as moss growth and bird or insect nests.
- Look at your plumbing – Check the pipework connected to your sinks regularly to ensure it is working well. Check taps and toilets for any leaks. Look for exposed pipes in your attic and for any damp spots in the house that might indicate water leakage.
Resist the gulp response when something goes wrong
As a homeowner, it’s easy to jump to conclusions when something in your home stops performing the way you expect. You might find yourself assuming the worst – that a complex or expensive repair is needed immediately – even when this might not be the case.
This response can result in professionals doing unnecessary and very costly work in your home. Before reaching for the phone, take the time to explore the problem yourself. You may find you can resolve it easily with a bit of elbow grease or a cheap replacement part from a DIY store.
Pile up home repair jobs
Handyman service providers usually charge by the hour. Most also have a minimum charge, meaning that even for a job that takes less than an hour to complete, you might end up paying for the full hour.
To save money, it might be wise to wait until you have a number of minor home repair jobs to take care of before you bring someone in.
There are significant variations in what different handyman services charge, and shopping around can translate to significant savings. It can help to take the time to look at different providers and compare their quotes.
When negotiating with providers, it can help to casually mention that they’re just one of several options you’re considering. Some might offer you a discount to secure the work.
To start the process of shopping around, you can ask for recommendations from trusted friends and family members. You could also search online for handyman services in your area, using sites such as MyBuilder.com. Our article on finding reliable home repair services has several useful tips to save you time and money.
Be specific when describing a problem
Being as accurate as possible when describing your problem to a handyman can help you save money. For example, if you say ‘my washing machine is broken,’ any number of problems could be causing it. If you can be more specific and say ‘my washing machine won’t drain after the rinse cycle,’ the handyman will arrive with a basic understanding of the problem. They will then spend less time trying to figure it out, saving you time and money.
Having a basic understanding of the repair can help you when negotiating with a handyman. Before you hire, it could help to research the components and materials needed, as well as the approximate costs.
Owning a home comes with the responsibility to cover the costs of common repair problems. However, hiring a handyman to fix these problems does not have to be expensive. With a little legwork, research, and planning, you can get your repairs taken care of without breaking the bank.