Home ownership brings with it personal pride, the opportunity to build equity in something that will endure, and the freedom to do what you want with your home. If you’ve spent enough time in base housing, you know there’s something magical about being able to splash bright colors on walls and not worry (as much) about children and pets running amok and causing damage.
Home ownership also brings with it longer “to-do” lists, filled with home and yard maintenance tasks. But just because it has to be done doesn’t mean 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 skills, experience, and liability insurance.
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? Anything you would likely need and use only for one particular project? You could use the money you would spend on specialized tools to outsource the project instead. And 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. You may not care about compliance now (although you should), but in the event you find yourself trying to sell your home in the future, those missing permits and inspections can impact the sale.
Anything That’s 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 to leave it to the professionals. Otherwise, you may find yourself hiring a professional to fix the job you botched when trying to avoid hiring a professional. Like when you flood your downstairs kitchen trying to do a DIY upstairs bathroom plumbing job.
Anything You Could Hire a Local Young Person to Do. Shoveling snow, raking leaves, mowing grass…There are enterprising young people in your community whose future college plans rely on people just like you hiring them. 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. There may be a price for your happiness, but if you can, it’s worth paying it.
Military families excel at juggling all the things that need to be done. They’re great at assuming each other’s roles and responsibilities when a family member is deployed or away at training. But you don’t have to be responsible for all the things, particularly if 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.