Homeownership. It is a goal for many. It brings with it a sense of personal pride and ownership -- making something your own and that will continue and endure without your presence. There is something exciting about being in charge of what paint colors you can put on the wall, what plants to plant and what light fixtures you can hang
Homeownership also brings with it looooong "to-do" lists. Tasks to fix, paint, clean, landscape. When something breaks, there isn't someone to call to come fix it. That means you have to figure it out. It doesn't mean that you have to be the one to do it. Here are seven home maintenance tasks you should consider outsourcing.
Anything Involving 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 do these kinds of tasks. They have the skills and experience to complete the task at hand. And they carry 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
Would you need to purchase a backhoe? A tile saw? A power auger? A tiller? If you don't have it on hand, do you want to spend the money on it? If you can't easily borrow it from a neighbor, it is probably cheaper to hire someone with those tools to do the project than it is to buy the piece of equipment itself. Besides, who needs something else to pack and ship with the next change of duty station?
Anything Involving Zoning and Safety Laws
Does the task or project require inspections or permits? Noncompliance with zoning and safety laws is an expensive mistake that you can avoid making by investing in a licensed professional. In the event you find yourself trying to sell your home in the future, missing permits and inspections for changes to the home, internally and externally, can impact the sale. Go through someone who knows the local and state regulations.
Anything Incredibly Time-Intensive
If you want to repaint your home one room at a time, that's one thing. If you're looking at a project that could leave you without the use of a working kitchen for weeks at a time, that's another. Do you have the time not just to start something, but also to finish it quickly and in a way that doesn't 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 minimum 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 picking up new skills, that's great. If you're not 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 will be paying twice -- once for the items you needed to fix it and then a second to have the professional come and fix it. If plumbing is not your jam, maybe have an expert come to install the new sink so you don't accidentally flood the kitchen which is below the bathroom.
Anything You Could Hire a Local Young Person to Do
Shoveling snow, raking leaves, mowing grass. There are many young people in high school or college who are looking to raise funds for education through these jobs. You're not being lazy outsourcing these tasks -- you're giving back to your local economy, one yard at a time.
Anything You Consider Drudgery
If weeding your garden brings you calmness 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 snaking drains, cleaning toilets or doing anything else that you find gross, tedious or otherwise unbearable. This frees up your time to do things you enjoy and love, which therefore helps you maintain sanity. It may 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. Bending to take care of new things often. Military families take on the roles of active duty service members when they are deployed or on training. Whether you balancing the roles of two adults or not, you have the option to outsource them. Yes, it costs money to bring on help. But when you consider the savings of time and sanity, it may very well be worth the investment.
-- This article originally appeared on the Millie Journal.
Keep Up with the Ins and Outs of Military Life
For the latest military news and tips on military family benefits and more, subscribe to Military.com and have the information you need delivered directly to your inbox.