The No Frills DIY Way
For The Fruagl Homemaker
No frills diy is the frugal way to repairing your home on a tight budget. Of course the best way to get cheap repairs done on your home is to go on courses and learn how to become a plumber or builder.
But not many of us have either the inclination or the time to study these subjects. Unfortunately that does mean that for all the major repairs to our home we are still reliant on tradesmen and we all know just how expensive that can be.
But there are a few things you can do when hiring someone to work for you to ensure that you are not paying too much:
- Always get at least three separate quotes for any large home repair job.
- Never disclose to any of the contractors what other quotes you have received. But do let them know that you are getting other quotes, but don’t say who from as it has been known for some contractors to make deals between themselves.
- Ask for a breakdown of their quotes. You may find that you can negotiate better with individual item costs.
If you can. Do it yourself
Not every DIY job requires a qualified contractor to carry it out. Most of the small jobs can be carried out by yourself with no frills DIY either with a little help from a DIY manual or a little common sense.
In fact many of the home diy stores provide handy free little leaflets on carrying out many of the most common repairs and maintenance jobs. These little guides have been a real help to the frugal living converted.
When something needs doing in our house we always do these four things before we decide how to tackle it.
- We always ask friends and relatives if they have come across this work before and do they have any advice or tips. Example: Our boiler started to behave strangely and we thought we would have to call out a special boiler expert at £100 an hour.
- But we asked our neighbour about it and he had seen this problem before and showed us a trick with removing some air from the system. Everything worked fine after that and it sure saved us some big money.
- Visit the Local DIY store and ask staff there for any information on how to carry out the work.
It’s amazing how people like to feel important and knowledgeable and not only do we get the stores official leaflets, but they also like to pass on their own little tips on doing things easier or cheaper.
- Visit the library and take out DIY books that can be quite expensive to buy. These books are great for a no frills diy appraoch as they often have great illustrations to help make the work easier to complete.
- We always check out our local thrift or pound shops and even garage sales. We have discovered that they often sell a lot of DIY merchandise at a fraction of the cost from a large retailer. We’ve bought paint, floor tiles, tools, ceramic tiles and sealants, all for a few pounds.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
By keeping your house in good repair through out the year you are preventing anything major going wrong and needing expensive repair. This is a must fro every frugal concious person.
So by doing a few no frills diy projects at least once a year, you won’t be in for many nasty surprises, especially during the winter where the cost of hiring contractors for exterior work is higher.
Once a year maintenance, best carried out before winter:
- Clear drains and guttering of debris.
- Check for any damp stains or leaks, especially on flat roofs.
- Keep windowsills in good repair and painted.
- Have the boiler checked every year. It is far cheaper to have a check than to have to pay out in mid winter for an expensive boiler repair or replacement.
- Repair cracks to outside brickwork to prevent water leakage and mould forming.
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