Do You Need A Contractor For Your Home Repairs?

We all know that owning a home can require a lot of maintenance, upkeep, and repairs. This can take a lot out of us mentally, physically and financially depending on how much of the work you can do on your own and how much you need to hire a contractor to do.

Some people like to get their hands dirty and do all of the work themselves. I fall into that category since I have bought and sold many homes where I have not hired a single contractor. Luckily, if you are like me and want to save a lot of money, there is a little website called YouTube. You can usually find several videos, if not hundreds of videos that teach you how to complete the task. However, you have to be very careful with these videos since many of the people on YouTube don’t have a clue what they are doing. So, you need to take some time and figure out who you can trust and filter out the people that don’t seem to be an authority. Here are some tips on finding a good video to follow and learn from:

  • Watch at least 10 videos from different people to get a feel for the basic techniques of the job
  • Read the comments below to see if people liked the video and agreed with the content
  • Check the number of views and how many thumbs up they got versus thumbs down. Their views should be in at least the thousands and the majority of the ratings should be a thumbs up.
  • Make sure you watch videos that show you how to do work in Canada and preferably in Alberta, since they will adhere to local building and construction standards that were written for our cold climate.
  • Talk to the designated experts at Lowes or Home Depot to get their take on how to do the job. Some of them are retired contractors, so they might have some great advice for you. Of course some won’t be helpful at all, but eventually you talk to one that has a lot of knowledge. Go at different times of the day or different stores so that you can talk to different employees until you get your answers.
  • Take your time and fully understand what you are going to do and how you are going to do it, before starting.

Once you have a plan of action, give yourself plenty of time to get the work done, since you will probably make some mistakes and get frustrated with the project at some point.

Here is a list of jobs that most people can comfortably tackle and get good results:

  • Painting is really easy and can save you a lot of money.
  • Drywall repairs can get messy but you can get good at it with some practice
  • Laminate and hardwood floors are not that hard
  • Electrical outlets and light fixtures are easy to change if you are comfortable with the danger factor – turn off the breaker.
  • Plumbing is not rocket science but seems to scare a lot of people.
  • Concrete work (minor)
  • Counter tops and cabinets are a little bit more challenging
  • Baseboards
  • Landscaping
  • Vinyl siding
I would not recommend that you take on large exterior projects like pouring a new concrete driveway, replacing your roof, or repairing badly damaged stucco. Those could turn into very expensive messes to fix if you do something wrong. For jobs like that, I have used these guys with great results http://50stucco.com/
The bottom line is don’t be afraid to try something new if you really want to save money. If you can afford to hire someone or don’t have the time, hire a professional to do the job. Just make sure you read their reviews on Google and other websites. If they have more bad reviews than good, you should stay far away from them.