Do-it-yourself projects can be intimidating and overwhelming. But if done right, they can provide a little boost of confidence and save you money.
If you had a leaky bathroom faucet and could fix it yourself, for example, you'd avoid having to pay for a plumber and the costs of wasted water. The big trade-off is your time. And, of course, there's also the possibility that you may have to hire a professional to fix the mess you made and pay even more.
Thinking of renovating?
With the help of DIY sites such as bejane.com, however, you can go confidently into a repair or renovation this summer. Whatever task you'd like to tackle, it's likely the site has detailed step-by-step instructions and how-to videos. It covers common concerns such as installing a dimmer switch or programmable thermostat (which could save you as much as 30 per cent on your cooling costs this summer), fixing a hole in your drywall and installing flooring. There are also more creative projects such as upholstering a headboard and making a window seat.
With each project you'll get a list of tools and supplies needed. If there's a tool you don't have, scour a site like Craigslist, or go through your social-media page and ask for someone to lend one. There's little point in investing in a tool for a one-time job, unless you plan to give Mike Holmes a run for his money.
Angela Self is one of the founders of the Smart Cookies money group. Read her weekly column on managing debt and saving money at the new globeinvestor.com.
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