home ownership. It is a goal for many. It brings with it a sense of personal pride and ownership—making something your own that will continue and endure without your presence. There is something exciting about deciding which paint colors to put on the wall, which plants to plant and which light fittings to hang
Home ownership also brings a lot of “to-do” lists. Tasks to fix, paint, clean, landscape. When something breaks, there is no one to call to come and fix it. That means you have to figure it out. That doesn’t mean you have to be the one to do it. Here are seven home maintenance tasks you should consider outsourcing.
Anything that involves danger
Does the task involve you being suspended in the air with a chainsaw? Balanced precariously on a rickety ladder? Exposed to the potential of electrocuting yourself? Hire professionals to perform these kinds of tasks. They have the skills and experience to solve the task. And they have their own liability insurance. Tree trimming, electrical changes and stump grinding can and should be done by the experts.
Anything that requires tools or equipment you don’t own
Should you buy a backhoe? A tile saw? A motor auger? A tiller? If you don’t have it on hand, will you spend the money on it? If you can’t easily borrow it from a neighbor, it’s probably cheaper to hire someone with the tools to do the project than it is to buy the equipment itself. Besides, who needs something else to pack and ship with the next shift?
Anything involving zoning and safety laws
Does the task or project require inspections or permits? Failure to comply with zoning and safety laws is a costly mistake that you can avoid making by investing in a licensed professional. In the event that you try to sell your home in the future, lack of permits and inspections for changes to the home, internally and externally, may affect the sale. Go through someone who knows the local and state regulations.
All incredibly time consuming
If you want to paint your home one room at a time, that’s one thing. If you’re looking at a project that can leave you without the use of a functioning kitchen for weeks at a time, that’s another one. Do you have time not only to start something, but also to finish it quickly and in a way that does not interfere with everything else that needs to be done? If the answer is no, then outsource the project to someone who can complete the task quickly and efficiently with minimal impact on your family’s quality of life.
Anything that requires skills or expertise you don’t have
If you’re handy and resourceful and you like learning new skills, that’s great. If you aren’t or can’t figure it out by watching a YouTube video or two, then you better leave it to the professionals. Why? Because if you don’t fix it, then you’re paying twice – once for the things you’d need to fix it, and then a second time to have the professional come and fix it. If plumbing isn’t your jam, you might want to get an expert to come install the new sink so you don’t accidentally flood the kitchen that’s under the bathroom.
Anything you can hire a local young person to do
Shovel snow, rake leaves, mow grass. There are many young people in high school or college looking to raise funds for education through these jobs. You’re not lazy about outsourcing these tasks—you’re giving back to your local economy, one farm at a time.
Anything you consider wear and tear
If weeding in your garden gives you peace and serenity, knock yourself out. If not, and you can afford to outsource the task, pay someone else for the gift of not having to do something you hate. This principle also applies to twisting drains, cleaning toilets, or doing anything else that you find gross, boring, or otherwise unbearable. This frees up your time to do things you enjoy and love, therefore helping you stay sane. It might not be something you can afford to do every month, but some free time when you can afford it is worth it.
Military families excel at juggling all the things that need to be done. Semper Gumby is a phrase we hear often – always flexible. Often bends to take care of new things. Military families take on the roles of active duty service members when deployed or in training. Whether or not you balance the roles of two adults, you have the option to outsource them. Yes, it costs money to get help. But when you consider the savings in time and sanity, it may well be worth the investment.
— This article originally appeared in the Millie Journal.
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