With many people on enforced vacation these days, it may be a good time to handle some of the jobs around the house. Most guys are somewhat handy around the house, at least that is how we see ourselves - replacing broken light switches clearing clogged drains and that sort of thing, but we can always use a little help. Unfortunately now that there is time to do some of the jobs, money for hiring a handyman or contractor may not be so available for some.
No matter how handy a guy... or girl is unless they are a know-it-all TV contractor that makes fun of home repairs, a little help is good to have. If you are a new homeowner, a little help is essential. I am somewhat in the middle as I've rehabbed and remodeled houses... and the more I learn, the more I see that I don't know. To be honest, I'm sure TV hotshots need some help sometimes too.
I have a book or two that I like but it's not the only one – there a many that will fill the bill and some that go into much more detail. The point is that it's better to be prepared when the lights go out or the garbage disposal stops working and springs a leak. Most run in the ten to twenty dollar range, which is a mere pittance should you have to bring in a professional. Most will also tell you when it is time to bring in a pro to avoid doing more damage and having to shell out even more money. Sure you can look things up on the internet but you may not always want to drag your laptop into the crawl space under the house... plus it's harder to make notes to help you out next time.
What can you save? For example, you can buy a toilet at Sam's Club for under a hundred dollars. Lowes has one almost as low and I'm sure Home Depot has something in that price range. If you know what you are doing, that's about all you need as many come with the wax ring and hardware? What's a wax ring? The instructions will show you, but you will approach the job with more confidence if you know what all is going on and why. Either way, what will you save? I've had one plumber in the Tampa Bay area quote a minimum of $500 if they remove the toilet, and that is just labor. So for about half that, you can get the super powerful flusher rather than the base model if you want.
If you are ready to tackle some of these jobs for the first time, here are a couple tomes that can make you look like a pro.
Yes... and if you are just starting out... you may need some tools too. I'm a little partial to Craftsman tools since I got at set shortly after high school and they served me well Sunday afternoons at the drag strip and ever since. Mechanical pieces like the ratchets still work nicely. The only time I took advantage of their lifetime warranty was to replace a screwdriver that broke when I was using it for something a screwdriver was not designed to do. You can get cheaper and more expensive tools, but I don't think you can get much better.