One of the often under-appreciated expenses in the typical household budget is repair work. It’s not so much that repairs are actually that expensive, but that they become so when you have to pay someone else to do them for you. One of the very best ways to save money and cut your budget is to learn to do at least some repairs on your own.
This doesn’t mean that you should start doing all the repairs needed in your life, but that you can start taking on some of the simpler ones, then eventually get to some of the biggies when you feel ready to do so.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve never done repairs in your life – the Internet has made repair work easier than ever. And the best place to start is YouTube. That will not only get you the information you need, but you’ll get a visual demonstration of how it works. Next to doing it yourself, watching someone else do a repair job is the best way to learn.
Let’s look at some simple repairs that you can do to get started – and a short YouTube video that can help you in each case.
Simple Plumbing Job: Repairing a Leaky Faucet
This video wraps up the whole job neatly in under four minutes. What I like about it is that it starts by giving you a quick Plumbing 101 lesson: Turn off the water supply and plug the drain so you don’t lose any parts that might fall down it. From there it takes a repair job that is a mystery to so many and turns it into a walk in the park.
Electrical Work: Replacing an Electrical Socket
This is a short and very simple video on how to replace an electrical socket. The video appears to be from Ireland, which explains why some of the terminology is different (I suspect that when she says “earth,” she is probably referring to what we call the ground wire in the US). However she is extremely methodical, specifically listing the tools needed, and adding constant safety reminders. That’s especially important whenever you’re doing any kind of electrical work.
Basic Maintenance: Changing a Doorknob
I recently lived in a house where nearly every doorknob had to be replaced. The house turned 20 while we were living there, so I guess that’s about the time all the doorknobs decided to zap out – almost simultaneously. Changing out the first doorknob was a little bit complicated, but after that I was able to do them in five minutes each. It’s really not that complicated, but a lot of people will pay good money to have an “expert” do what is really a very simple task.
This video covers the job in two and a half minutes. In simple language, she lays out what you need, the steps you need to take, and options that you have. Once you watch this video – and change your first doorknob – you’ll never even think about paying someone else to do it ever again.
Drywall Repair: Fixing a Hole in the Wall
A real estate investor I knew many years ago took me on a tour of some of his properties. He would buy old, rundown houses that needed work, repair them, and then rent them out at a substantial monthly profit. If you can believe it, holes in the wall were his favorite repair job. Why? Because he knew that 50 people had looked at that house and decided not to buy because it needed “too much work.”
After that, he showed me how he could repair a hole in a wall in about 10 minutes. I got what he meant. You can do it too, and it’s incredibly easy.
This video tells you what supplies you’ll need then takes you through the repair process step by step, all the way to putting a professional looking finish on the wall. It also gives little tips on how to make the job go faster. By the time the video is done, you can’t even see where the hole was. Watch this video and tell me that you can’t fix a hole in the wall – it’s easier than you think!
You can find an instructional video on YouTube for just about any repair job you can imagine. All you need is a video and the right equipment and you can perform much of the repair work you need. Start out by doing the very simplest repair jobs, and watch two or three how-to videos before doing each job. There can be different ways to do the same job, but if you watch several videos it will help you get a better feel for what you can and can’t do.
Any repair job you can do yourself, is one less task you need to pay someone else to do. That will not only start saving you some real money, but it will also give you the confidence that you need to take greater control of more areas of your life. You won’t have to call a repairman every time something breaks – you’ll know what to do. Or, you’ll turn on YouTube and find out.
Have you ever used YouTube videos to help you with a repair project? Leave a comment!