Friday, May 24, 2013

Spending More on Home Services

I've generally been a do-it-yourself person. From repair and maintenance of appliances to our house, I would take on most minor jobs. Being an engineer by training, I'm able to figure out how to fix many things,especially now with many good instructions being on the the Internet. Doing it myself also saved a lot of money.

Now that I'm retired and older, I'm moving more towards having professionals do the work.  First, it started about 10 years ago with cutting the grass.  We hired on landscaping company to cut and edge our lawn.  The cost was $35 a week and saved me 2-3 hours a week. It was worth the cost of about $600 a year.  For my most recent vehicle, I started having my car service regularly instead of doing the work myself, as I did with previous cars.

Over the past few years, we've moved the following maintenance and repair work to professionals:

  • Gutter cleanout.  I used to climb up on the roof, clean out the gutters and do minor roof repairs.   Now I pay professionals solve the issue.  We put in gutter guards and have the roofers periodically check our gutters.
  • Gas piping. I used to do my own gas piping with black iron pipe.  I am not certified to work with the flexible gas piping so I hire professional  to make repairs.
  • Gas lamp maintenance. When we moved in the outdoor gas lamps were not working. During periodic checking over several years,  I wasn't able to find any information on how to repair them.  After several years, we found a company that repairs and maintains gas lamp and paid for an annual service contract.
  • Although I could probably handle some of the repairs and maintenance, I'm finding that some of the tasks take too much time and effort to become competent.   In those cases, it makes sense to pay for the service.   For the tasks that are still easy, straightforward and safe to do, I continue to handle them.  However, I expect some of these will convert to the "too much time and effort" category as I get older.

    For more on Reaping the Rewards, check back every Friday for a new segment.

    This is not financial advice. Please consult a professional advisor.

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