Like most homeowners I’d rather tackle a job myself if possible and save money rather than calling a professional. Especially for small jobs around the house. Well, I learned a tough lesson about doing that this weekend although thankfully it didn’t cost nearly as much as I expected. I was lucky though, and what happened as a result of my attempt to DIY a job could have ended up costing a lot more.
I noticed a small leak in my bathroom sink a few weeks ago. I watched some YouTube videos and read some home DIY articles and figured I knew enough about how to fix it. I spent a Saturday morning fixing it and checking the rest of the plumbing in the bathroom. The leak stopped and I figured I had fixed the problem and saved myself some money.
Well, I didn’t. Sunday a pipe burst in the wall and soaked through the wall and the floor down into the ceiling of the living room below. If I had called a professional plumbing company to fix the leak the first time they would have caught that there was a crack in the pipe in the wall and they would have been able to fix it before it burst.
Now the entire pipe needs replacing and I have to go through mold removal to make sure that no mold starts growing in the wall or in the floor and ceiling and I have to have part of the ceiling in the living room patched. It’s going to be a big job and it will cost a lot more than if I had just called the plumber to fix the leak.
Thankfully I found a great plumbing service that came out to the house on a Sunday and didn’t charge me a fortune. So I can tell you from experience that if you’re a homeowner and you want to try and fix small things around the house yourself to save money – don’t. The risk is too great. Call a professional and let them handle it. They have the skills and experience to see problems that you don’t even know to look for. And they have the professional equipment to do the job. Learn from my mistake and when it comes to plumbing problems always just call a plumber from the start.
Have you ever had your windows cleaned professionally? I did this year and I couldn’t believe the difference. It was really impressive. My wife wanted the outside of the house fixed up really nice because the annual family holiday party was at our this year. She has a big family and every year the family party is held at a different person’s house. This year was our turn. So, in order to impress all the relative we rarely ever see she wanted everything fixed up. My chore list was a mile long! I had to trim all the hedges, put up all the Christmas lights, make sure the paths were all clean and she wanted me to clean the outside windows too.
I have a full time job and I had no interest in spending my entire weekend, or more likely at least two weekends, doing all those chores and cleaning the windows too. I wanted the house to look nice too, but not enough to put myself through that. I don’t even think we have a ladder tall enough to reach the second story windows.
So this year I called a professional window cleaning service. I’ve never done that before but after getting the windows done by pros I’ll never clean them myself again. It cost a fair bit, but less than I expected. And definitely less than the value of the time I would have had to put into cleaning them.
The window cleaners came on time and they had all their equipment ready to go. They got right to work and they had all the windows done in a day. And I got to sit inside and watch the game the entire afternoon while they cleaned the windows. Now my wife’s happy with the way that the house looks and I’m happy I didn’t have to waste two weekends and risk my life climbing a ladder to clean those windows. Now the decorations are up, the windows are sparkling, and we’re read to survive an evening with my wife’s family. At least I won’t have to put up with a lot of digs about the way the house looks from her crazy uncle Joe who loves to find any flaw he can and make comments about them all night.
I am now a believer in getting your home’s windows cleaned professionally. If you want to get your house looking great for an event or if it’s just been a long time since the windows were cleaned and you don’t want to get stuck outside cleaning all those windows yourself do what I did and hire a professional window cleaning service. Just make sure that you do these things before hiring a window cleaning company:
Get An Estimate
The job will probably cost less than you think, but it’s always a good idea to get an estimate first so that you know what it’s going to cost. And make sure that you look for a company that gives you a flat rate estimate so that you don’t have to worry about extra charges being added on later.
Make Sure They’re Insured
The company I used was totally professional. But accidents can happen even if a company is great. So when you call to get an estimate ask if the company carries insurance for any damage to your home or property that might occur while the cleaning is taking place. It’s always better to ask and be sure than to assume. Because not all companies will carry their own insurance, although all of the them should.
Like most homeowners I never really thought much about buying paint. I went to the home improvement store, looked through the color samples, picked one I like, got a sample can and took it home. But the other day I learned that I’ve been making a huge mistake by not going to an actual paint store when I want to paint a room in my home.
I’ve been thinking about repainting my bedroom because I’m sick of the color that it’s on the walls now. It’s been the same drab gray since I bought the house. There’s a paint store on my way home from work, and the home improvement store is all the way across town. So on a whim I stopped at the paint store.
The clerk asked me if I needed help and at first I said no, because I just wanted to look at colors. But then he asked me some friendly questions like what room was I was painting and did I have any colors in mind. Just to be polite I answered his questions.
Well he turned out to be more than just making conversation. He pulled out some color sample books and design magazines to let me look through some color palettes. Then he asked me if I knew what finish I wanted. I didn’t even know there were different finish choices! He very patiently went over each type of finish with me. And then he showed me samples of different finishes in different colors so I could see the difference.
I never knew there was so much to talk about when it comes to paint. I learned so much. And in one of the color books I saw some very pretty green shades that I wanted to try. He was able to pull out samples for me in every shade of green close to the one in the book. He even made suggestions for accent colors and trim colors. Then we talked about faux finish effects. An hour later I left the store with three different sample cans in different shades of green.
I put a swatch of each color on the wall and photographed the samples in different lights so I could choose one that I liked. When I went back to the paint store he remembered me. And he helped me get exactly the right color and finish. And the paint was actually cheaper than it would have been at the home improvement store.
I’ll never go to a home improvement store for paint again. If you want to find the perfect paint and the perfect shade or color for a painting project at home take my advice and go directly to an actual paint store instead of a home improvement store. You won’t believe the difference in quality and service.