Do-It-Yourself Clubs Save Money on Home Improvements
Helping Each Other with Home Repairs or Home Improvement Projects
Hiring carpenters, plumbers and other specialists for home projects get expensive. It's hard to be an expert and fix everything yourself.
Some homeowners are pooling their talents and expertise in do-it-yourself clubs. You can save money this way if you're willing to put in some effort.
Do-It-Yourself Clubs combine elements of bartering and good old-fashioned neighbors helping neighbors to get the job done.
Finding a DIY Club
Ask around to see if such a club might already exist in your area. If you have a community association, talk to them about getting one started.
If there is no group, then figure out who you know with some skills that would be interested in working with you on home projects. Review your list of friends, family, co-workers and neighbors to come up with likely participants.
Forming or Finding the Club
To recruit other members, put flyers at building supply stores, your church or club, and other places that have bulletin boards.
Once you get some people who are interested, then meet and work out the guidelines. Find out what skills people already have. Decide what kinds of projects the group can work on together and how often. Make some rules about participation, so that if someone is always absent it won't cause dissention in the group.
Make a list of the tools everyone has to use on the project and if they are willing to loan them to others in the group.
* I found this great website called meetup.com that is all about finding people in your area that have the same goal or interest! You can also create and organize a meetup of your own on this site.
Books to Help with Plumbing Projects
It's helpful to have at least one person that has some knowledge of the project at hand, but if that's not the case, that's okay! There is pretty much a book about everything you could need to know. Just find the right book, read, and get to work.
In this case, plumbing is a topic that is covered by many different authors and is quite easy with the correct instructions. These books cover various stages of plumbing, and may be just what you're looking for.
Plumbing can be a very frustrating issue for homeowners. Luckily, some common plumbing problems can actually be fix rather easily if you have some general knowledge about the subject. This book provides excellent and photos about residential plumbing and is a great addition to any bookshelf.
You can pattern your group after an old-fashioned barn raising. Get all the supplies needed, set a date and the do-it-yourself club does the project. Someone in the group can watch the children. Someone else brings the food, or get everyone to bring something for a potluck meal. Another way would be for the homeowner whose project it is to provide the breakfast and lunch for the workers.
Everyone brings their tools and sets to work. The person with the most experience at that particular project would oversee the work and do quality checks.
Books Covering a Variety of Home Repairs
As I mentioned before, there are books that cover just about anything you could want to know. These particular books cover a general range of home improvement topics and are great additions to the DIYers bookshelf.
This book is like the holy grail of home repair books. It has tons of different projects and features fantastic photos along with them. If you're going to get just one book on the subject, this is the one to have.
Rotate the projects so that everyone in the group benefits from the work days. A group with four or five couples in it makes a manageable one. Plan out a project that each family wants and as a group decide what it's capable of doing.
Books Especially for Women - on Home Repair
You can do it!
Gone are the days when home improvement and DIY projects were for the man of the house. Heck, many houses are lacking in the man department these days, and that's just fine! A woman that has her own home is just as capable of doing the work on it as a man would be.
If you're the lady DIY-er, here are some books that you might enjoy.
Appliances are fickle creatures, and tend to stop working right when you really need them. Some of them have very simple fixes that you could perform yourself, or with a friend, instead of shelling out the cash for a repairman to come to your home.
Keep in mind, some appliances like microwaves are also dangerous to work on, so you may just need to get a professional.
Doing any task can be daunting, or just plain boring. Having a friend or two to give you a few helping hand always makes the task a little better. And quite possible more entertaining, depending on the friend.
DIY Clubs in the News
- Do-it-yourself clubs offer help with home projects By Melissa Kossler Dutton - Associated Press
Lewis and Rebecca Taylor were confident when they recently bought a fixer-upper, even though they're not particularly handy. They knew they'd have plenty of help updating the kitchen, tearing out carpeting and (click on the title to see the whole art
- MODERN LIVING: Don't Do It Yourself
For many a helpless housewife and hapless weekend handyman, life's most nagging little crisis is an encounter with a leaky roof, a broken window or a clogged drain. Professional repairmen are hard to find, harder to pay...
- A blog post about Do It Yourself Clubs
The author says: "I have been experimenting with making and saving money in the real world and online. This blog serves as a list of ideas I have discovered and/or tried. I invite you to dig in and see what you can find."
Tackle Group Projects Like Building a Deck
Decks are an awesome place to hang out with friends and enjoy their company. Building one together will make the project take much less time, and also give you the added benefit of spending more quality time with those friends!
Check Online for How-To Articles and Videos
If no one in the club knows a particular skill, sometimes working together on a project gives everyone courage to take on something new.
There's an amazing amount of information online and also at the public library. Get all the info and tools together and several people, then give it a try.
My sister once fixed her washing machine. She found the instructions in a library book. Saved herself an expensive repair call.