Even though we’ve only owned our current house for a few months, this is our second time as homeowners, and in our 20 years of marriage, we’ve lived in a variety of houses. As a result, we’ve dealt with home repairs such as replacing the roof, flooring, water heaters, light fixtures, and faucets.
We’ve had garage doors break, basements leak, sewer system issues, and major electrical issues. Falling tree limbs have caused significant damage to one house during bad weather, running toilets have caused major utility bills, and we’ve dealt with lawn care and cleaning out gutters.
There have been many things we’ve encountered through the years we’ve gratefully informed landlords about and stepped out of the way while repairs were delegated to professionals. Of course, now that we have more time, experience, and YouTube on our side, we’ve expanded the list of do-it-yourself projects we’re willing to tackle rather than delegate. But there are some things that we’ve decided are worth having professional skills complete.
Here’s My Homeowners Guide to Hiring a Handyman
The most important thing about delegating is figuring out what to do yourself and what to delegate. In my experience, house projects fall into three categories:
- Projects you can accomplish yourself
- Projects that must be completed by a licensed professional
- Projects you can accomplish but would be best completed by a professional
Once you’ve categorized your projects, the next thing to consider is your return on investment of time. Your time is valuable. Whether you’re working so you can pay someone else to complete a house project, or you’re taking time off from work so that you can complete a project, it’s important to factor in how many hours you will need to invest in a project.
If it will take you forty hours to complete a landscaping project, but you can pay professionals to complete the same amount of work in half the time, isn’t it worth considering having the pros handle the task?
Get Organized with Airtable
Using an organization system like Airtable will allow you to track every home improvement project in one location. This template has a tab for vendors, which is where you can keep all the numbers for the people you hire, like your handyman, plumber, landscaper, or painters. By itemizing tasks for each room, you’ll be able to track multiple workers at once.
When to Hire a Handyman
This time we broke down the tasks by the things that we could accomplish before moving into our house and the things that needed to wait.
Before we moved in, we knew we wanted to paint, lay bathroom flooring, and complete a few repairs that would be a headache once we had furniture in the house. After moving in, we replaced door locks and light fixtures, laid kitchen flooring, and hung curtains and photos.
When it came to delegating, we hired handymen for:
- Front door installation
- Plumbing repairs (major kitchen sink and toilet replacement)
Even though we hired landscapers to do a significant amount of our yard work, such as removing three trees, bushes, and garden beds, there is still a huge garden space to clean up and maintain. This is work we will do ourselves.
However, if you choose to divide the manual labor, remember that your house is an ongoing project. You don’t need to complete everything immediately. It’s better to pace yourself, pay cash for things, and shop around until you’re confident you’ve found exactly what you’re looking for before moving forward. Remember, time is money, and your time is valuable. It’s worth it to invest in the help of a professional to save yourself the mental frustration, and physical pain of not having tasks completed the way you prefer.
One note on hiring professional help. We purchased our front door from Lowe’s, and installation was supposed to be a seamless part of the process. It was not. I ended up having to call them a few times to check on the progress of scheduling the installation, and I had to go back into the store to finalize things. The installation went smoothly, and we love the door. When I was on the phone with Lowe’s Installation customer service, they acknowledged store to store the installation services vary. So, you may want to check that before deciding how to proceed. For example, we also purchased a toilet from Lowe’s, and we called a plumber and had them install it rather than going through Lowe’s. We paid the same amount for the installation, but it was taken care of the next day.