questionsdo you try to fix it yourself, or call in an…

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Mostly it depends on how long the project will take if it is something I can tackle in a weekend I will do it. If it will take me longer I hire someone.

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I think it's hard to define "and you don't know anything about the subject".

Once you've done a few home repairs, gathered necessary tools, etc, they start to overlap. Even though I might have never fixed a dishwasher before, as long as I can find the service manual online, I have a multimeter, and basic plumbing, electrical, and mechanical skills that I can most likely do it myself.

Same goes with something like replacing siding. I've done it before, but the first time, I just googled it, or (if it was long enough ago) got a book. I know how to swing a hammer, run a saw, etc.

99% of the time I'll fix it myself. There are a few things, like concrete work, where I don't have the tools and skills so I'll hire it out.

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I enjoy fixing things, and learning how to fix things, so I usually tackle it myself. The only example that comes to mind of something I'd leave to the pros is HVAC. When the A/C goes out, I pick up the phone instead of the wrench.

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I am of the hire-someone-to-fix-it group. A lot of people I know think I know just about everything about everything. And sometimes I just do NOT want to know more about something. So unless I already have experience or am wanting to learn how to do something. I'll get someone else to fix it. Usually I like to watch and learn, but I also know enough to know I don't know enough to do it myself until after a bit of training.

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youtube is amazing. I usually just watch a couple of "how to" videos and jump in. It hasn't let me down yet.

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this girl likes to do it herself. the ex-coworkers use to try to get me to come to their homes to fix stuff. i don't even bother with googling most things. it's just get in there and try stuff until it works. when i was growing up mom and dad drew up a plan to build a house, then bought a bulldozer and went to work. they got supplies as they could afford them. they had no experience either. i guess that's where my knack for doing home repair comes from. i've done: electrical, plumbing, carpentry, structural, finishing, roofing, gutters, insulation carpet laying, tiles, gardening, painting, siding...i'm sure there is more, i just don't recall at this time. btw: i'm on first name basis with the hardware store manager that asks how this week's project is going.

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I almost do everything myself. I have installed water softener and water heater, home wiring, car repair, to name a few. I watch videos, plan and plan some more, I walk myself through the steps and then attempt. I luckily decided to not do this with my roof. The reason was I was going to add a ridge vent. It turned out that it was not possible for my house to have one. I would have really wrecked things if I tried as there was no way I could have known that.

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The project just depends. I've found you can always find some help (as in understanding what really needs to be done) at Home Depot or Lowes, seems local hardware stores are still the best (Ace for example).

However, since you are talking about a roof, I can do the work but HATE being on the roof. I just hate working up there.

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I do everything myself, to the extent that it is relativity safe and the risk of expensive further damage is low. I just tore the entire front end off my car to replace the supercharger and save me $1500 in labor costs. The risk of doing more damage was low since the car was already broken. If I couldn't get it back together I would have towed it to the shop just like I would have had to if I didn't try at all. Now, 15 hours of work later I know that I can replace any part under the hood by myself and save myself a ton of money if needs be. On the other hand, like @rprebel, I won't touch the HVAC besides changing filters.

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@caffeine_dude: What was the reason you couldn't have a ridge vent? Just curious.

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I will always try to fix it myself. I actually ended up being an auto mechanic for seven years because I learned a lot just taking apart my first car.
In my last apartment, the dishwasher failed on me and the landlord was terrible. I knew he'd never get around to it, so I pulled it out of the counter and poked around until I discovered that the check valve wasn't kicking open. No prior experience.
Other projects have been siding, electrical, HVAC, welding, pipe bending, plumbing, computer repair, the list goes on. I'll keep my money and gain some knowledge any chance I get.

And if I fail? I've still learned something.

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My dad has saved our family a lot of money by doing electrical and plumbing repairs himself, as well as pest control. He has also done construction work on the roof and patio with no hired help. He has no training, but figures it out on his own or with a little help from google. In addition to that, he's a computer whiz and always fixes our computers when we have issues, instead of having to bring them somewhere. It's really pretty incredible when I think about it. I should remind him how appreciated his handiwork is.

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@antipode: I was just trying to figure out how to say exactly what you just said.

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DIY, Friend/Family or friend of family contractor.

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My retired friend is a fix-it-yourself kind of guy. He does most of the handy work at my house, or I work with him on bigger jobs. He says he likes working at my house because it has character (it's tiny and quaint, will be 100 this year)and I mostly give him free creative license. He and I both like going to garden shows and looking at stuff on TV and in movies and thinking about how to do that with one of our houses.

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I almost always fix-it myself. I have amassed enough tools over the years to make this much more economical. The only real exceptions so far have been the removal of a bald-face hornets nest. Up about 2 1/2 stories and it was the size of a basketball. Those suckers hurt when they sting you! So I only hesitated at hiring a pro for a second. The second pro we hired was to replace the electrical service at my house. You really don't have much of an option now-a-days.
Funny story, I did have a moment of weakness about 5 years ago when I purchased a dishwasher from a big box store. They were offering free install and old appliance carry away for around $30. To appease the wife I agreed. They arrived, unloaded, unpacked, brought into the kitchen, disconnected the old and then stopped because there was two layers of flooring (peel-and-stick vinyl tiles over the original sheet vinyl)and that was 1 layer too many. The 2nd layer added 1/4" of thickness and it might make install impossible???

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I almost always do it myself. I taught myself how to sweat copper pipe, lay tile, drywall, carpeting etc. We completely renovated our home and saved about $40K by doing the work myself.
I had never done any small motor repair though. I had a lawnmower that was dying on me after a few minutes. I took it to a repair shop and told them what the problem was. They did a "service" on it, changed the bade, oil etc...but when I got it back, it still kept dying after about 5 minutes of use.
I googled the problem, found a youtube video on how to clean a lawnmower carburetor. I did it myself in about 30 minutes, and now it runs like brand new.
At the same time I took in a gas line trimmer that was also having trouble running properly. It was worth about $120 new. I told them to take a look at it and call me to let me know what it would cost to repair. Well they went ahead and did the work without calling me, which ran $150. As far as I know it's still sitting there.

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@brutherford: I wholeheartedly agree....for everything except baking. Sometimes you just can't get it to come out the way expert bakers do, when dealing with dessert delicacies. I don't know what it is, baking is just so finicky!

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Really depends for me, too. Sometimes I screw it up, and end up needing a professional to fix what I screwed up, and then do the job I meant to in the first place.

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On a more serious note, you do not want to make novice mistakes on a shingled roof. Water damage can be a costly thing. You want to make sure you properly install a drip edge, tar paper, etc, etc. Also if you do do it yourself, be careful, roofs can be dangerous.

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I usually try a DIY method, but some things require more knowledge and equipment than is readily available. I guess that is why professionals are available...they have to pay for the equipment AND knowledge so I am not opposed to occasionally paying for a service.

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Most things I try to fix myself. I'm not afraid to take things apart. Never met a screw I was unwilling to unscrew...which has only gotten me into trouble a couple of times. Garbage disposals...not meant to come apart. Fortunately it was already rusted out so it didn't cost me anymore.

However, there are a few things that I call the pros for. Air conditioning is one. Major roofing repairs is another. And I'm a little hesitant to tackle more than the basics of car repair myself. No good public transportation in my area and I need a vehicle to get to work.

I've also helped fix a couple of people's clothes dryers (my specialty), refrigerators and regularly consult on various jobs when I visit friends around the country. I like being able to fix things and help people. It's actually pretty fun for me. And I love the satisfaction of getting something running again while spending no or almost no money.

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DIY until I break it enough that I am frustrated, then I pay someone to fix what I broke.

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There are a lot of pros who make their living fixing what do it yourselfers without the proper knowledge screwed up royally after watching a couple of youtube videos...I used to hire myself out as a handyman and fixed many of them.

If you have a mechanical mind and common sense, and are comfortable working with tools there are many things you can fix yourself...but it often costs more to have a pro fix it after someone has made it worse...

There are a lot of internet experts - just because they make a youtube video doesn't mean they actually know what they are talking about, or that it will work, work correctly, or work for long that way. Unfortunately, searching for answers on the web you encounter tons of bogus ones.

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Courtesy of TheOnion.com (best satire on the web, by far), "Dead Do-It-Yourselfer Saved $42 on Brake Job"....

http://www.theonion.com/audio/dead-doityourselfer-saved-42-on-brake-job,19340/

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Generally I always try to fix it myself. The problem is that I tend to leave it for as long as possible until that one weekend where I'm like "FINE I'LL DO IT ALL" and get like one thing done.