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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Greetings Thrifty Friends,

One of the best ways to save money is to 'do it yourself'. But doing it yourself is sometimes easier said than done.

For example; you could pay a professional about a thousand dollars to come to your house and replace your water heater, or you could go to the home improvement store and buy one yourself for $300-$400, provided you know plumbing and already have all the tools and equipment in order to get the job done.

But there are a lot of projects within our abilities that we don't want to do just because they are too messy or too big or too labor intensive.

I was faced with just such a project recently. I have a two car detached garage covered in wood paneling that was badly in need of repainting. Whoever painted it last slapped a coat of paint on the raw wood without priming it and the last couple of summers it has been peeling all over the place. Plus, a lot of the trim was rotting and needed to be replaced.

So it was not a very technical job; mostly scraping, sanding, priming, and painting, along with replacing a few pieces of trim, but there was a lot of it. And it is hard, physical work.

I admit, I came close to hiring someone to do it. But after the estimate I got from a professional I decided it would be worth investing a few weekends to do the job myself.

And you know what? It was a lot of hard work, but I saved myself about $1,800.

Keep pinchin' those pennies,

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TODAY'S THRIFTY TIP: Professional vs. Do-It-Yourself

The estimate I got was about $2,000. While that is not a fortune, it is still a lot of cash to come up with out of pocket.

Here is what I had to buy in order to do the job myself:

2 quarts of oil-base primer: $20
1 can of paint thinner: $9
1 sleeve of sand paper: $5
3 gallons of exterior paint: $75
2 tubes of painter's caulk: $6
2 rolls of painter's tape: $8
2 roller covers: $6
1 rolling tray: $4
2 scraping tools: $10
4 pieces of wood trim: $25

Total: $168

The rest of the equipment like paint brushes, a caulk gun and drop cloths, I already had. So the real investment was time. It took me three weekends to finish the project.

1 weekend to tear off the rotten trim and replace it, scrape all of the peeling paint, prime all of the raw wood and spot sand all of the rough edges.

1 weekend to caulk in any obvious holes, cracks and gaps, and hand paint all of the inside corners, door frames, and soffit and fascia.

1 weekend to roll out all of the flat surfaces and do touch up.

Like I said, it was a lot of work. Was it worth sacrificing three whole weekends to save $1,800? For one thing, I know the job is done right with attention to detail no contractor would bother with. And for another, there is an undeniable satisfaction in investing my own labor, skill and personal touch in improving my property.

Plus, if I weren't at home painting I probably would have been out spending money those 3 weekends!