Home repair and maintenance is a category of expense that a lot of people forget to include in their budget. If you are lucky and smart, you will have homeowners or renters insurance to protect you against catastrophic events such as earthquake, fire or flood.
There is a lot more than that involved in taking care of a residence. If an appliance breaks down, you have plumbing or leak issues, or electrical issues, expenses can add up quickly. Yet, if you are willing to be prepared for basic do-it-yourself repairs, you can save many thousands of dollars.
Here are a few things that are important to have on hand.
These are the homeowner basics. You might also call this list, “Things a grown-up should own.” Thankfully, most home repair and maintenance projects don’t require hiring a professional. If you weren’t taught how to do something as a kid, or you don’t know the part you need, you can ask at your local hardware store or big box home improvement store.
A ladder is an essential home item, for reaching items off high shelves, changing lightbulbs, hanging art, painting a wall or a thousand other tasks. Be sure that the ladder that you buy is rated for your weight and that you follow the usage instructions. For safety sake, don’t stand on the top step of a step ladder.
A Tool Kit
A super tool kit can cost thousands of dollars. Good tools are worth their weight in gold to someone who works with them every day. If you just need tools for everyday repairs, an inexpensive tool kit will meet 99% of your needs. Essentials would include a hammer, socket set, pliers, vice grips, wire cutters, a straight edge ruler and tape measure and large and small screwdrivers in Phillips and standard varieties. A good time to buy a simple kit is around the winter holidays when they are deeply discounted in sales.
Duct Tape, Electrical Tape and Gaffers Tape
Tape has a thousand and one uses in a home. You are going to need more than the scotch tape out of your desk drawer. To fix an electrical cord, you should use proper electrical tape. A roll is only around $1. Everyone loves duct tape. Whole websites are dedicated to its many uses. But have you ever used Gaffers tape? It is like duct tape, but without the sticky residue. It is used by the TV and movie industry, for a thousand and one things, including temporarily taping down cables, so no one trips on them. Unlike duct tape that has a horrible habit of sticking to itself, it is easily removed or repositioned.
Keep these basics on hand and you will be able to handle almost anything that is thrown at you as a homeowner. Your DYI is money in your pocket.