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To think that I should try harder to save myself the money and improve my skill set??

(67 Posts)
stopthelights1 Sun 31-May-20 11:22:28

This may be outing...but anyway.

So I called round to a friend/neighbour yesterday and upon arrival I was invited into the know, big, clean,new extension with great interior (just to set the scene!) and on the table she has a toolbox and plugs and fuses etc and the kettle. I said "ooh is your dh doing some work here" and she said..."no I am" the kettle wouldn't work and so she was changing the fuse but then decided while she was at it she would shorten the wire and re plug it! My mind was blown...I have no idea how to do those kinds of things!!I didn't even know you could 🙈🙈 I have thrown out so many kettles and other appliances because they had stopped working!!😬

THEN...we went out to the garden for a sit in the sun and dh was out there painting a gorgeous wooden kids playhouse! I said "oh wow, it's fab where did you buy it? Answer- " Dh Made it!! It's nearly finished now!" Again...I am flabbergasted (I mean it was GORGEOUS and really professional looking) On questioning him he said he obviously knows basics and has a lot of tools himself from diy and that he watched some YouTube videos and looked on Pinterest for ideas? 😮

I went home and said to dh that we are so stupid for not trying to do things ourselves and just last year the amount of money we wasted by buying or hiring people to do things is sickening! I totted it up and between painters, electricians, buying new appliances, BUYING the DC's playhouse and mud kitchen etc etc we have spent up to 3k! Why could we not at least try or learn to do those things!! AIBU to think we can do those things too!!

My friend is a nurse and her dh works in Insurance so they are not exactly builders or tradespeople! 😫 I just feel like I have wasted a lot of money that I could have saved and improved my skill set!! AIBU to think I can do it?? Is it hard??

OP’s posts: |
Butchyrestingface Sun 31-May-20 11:26:20

Are you time rich?

I'm not, especially at the moment. Ain't go no time to be faffing around DIYing a wooden playhouses or trying to rewire kettles (would not trust myself in this regard).

If you've got sufficient time to invest in learning DIY skills and the motivation, go for it.

stopthelights1 Sun 31-May-20 11:28:40

@Butchyrestingface I would say I have more free time than my friend tbh...which is the scary thing!! 🙈how much time do you thing I would need??

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HauntedGoatFart Sun 31-May-20 11:32:53

Well, those things she mentioned e.g. changing a fuse and rewiring a plug are absolutely piss easy. I learned how to do them as an 11yo Girl Guide. Building a playhouse and painting it is a bit more tricky but really just takes a bit of practice.

If you want to do these things, watch a few YouTube vids yourself and give it a try. If you don't, you can continue to pay people. It's your life.

Aquamarine1029 Sun 31-May-20 11:33:25

My husband and I fix almost everything, especially my husband. There is hardly anything he can't do. Auto, electric, plumbing, woodwork, etc. I can't even imagine the money we've saved over the years by rarely ever hiring out.

Aquamarine1029 Sun 31-May-20 11:35:27

Well, those things she mentioned e.g. changing a fuse and rewiring a plug are absolutely piss easy.

Agreed. Anyone with a modicum of common sense can manage those.

Pacmanitee Sun 31-May-20 11:36:06

It depends though, if you already know how to rewire a kettle then of course it's worth trying it yourself. At the risk of sounding wasteful, if you don't and you don't happen to have the tools you need as well, then it's not really worth it and may as well buy a new one. As for building children's toys, the cost of materials actually add up fairly quickly unless you can get them for free, and depending what it is, it can be a lot of stress and hassle making sure it's safe. I would say paying for an electrician etc is wise rather than tinkering (unless you really want to learn) as well. Learning skills obviously isn't a bad thing, but you normally need some sort of experience or interest to be able to just watch a YouTube video and do it, and often takes a lot longer than planned. If there's something you genuinely would enjoy learning and would find useful than of course, but I wouldn't say that they were in the majority at being able to do stuff like that. Could you maybe start upcycling if building is too much?

stopthelights1 Sun 31-May-20 11:36:40

Well, those things she mentioned e.g. changing a fuse and rewiring a plug are absolutely piss easy.

Well now I feel stupid!! 🙈😭

OP’s posts: |
Finfintytint Sun 31-May-20 11:43:30

I was taught how to retire a plug 40 years ago in school so maybe those basic skills are not on the curriculum anymore. I enjoy learning new skills though and you are right about it saving so much money.
I tiled my kitchen and hallway floor using You Tube.

TrustTheGeneGenie Sun 31-May-20 11:45:33

Of course you can do them. We bought a house that needed renovating and we've learnt loads of DIY we wouldn't have previously attempted because it's too expensive to keep paying people. It's really satisfying when you've done something yourself!

lemmathelemmin Sun 31-May-20 11:46:12

Sure, learn it. But did you really assume that her DH was the one doing all that? It's no wonder you dont know this stuff yourself if you see handy work as a mans job.

I used to fix electrical stuff all the time as a teenage girl. We were poor so couldn't afford to just check and buy new.

stopthelights1 Sun 31-May-20 11:46:17

Yeah I wasn't taught how to re wire a plug...sad

OP’s posts: |
BirdieFriendReturns Sun 31-May-20 11:47:09

Why were you in the kitchen OP? We’ve been told that is FORBIDDEN!


Muppetry76 Sun 31-May-20 11:47:13

I am absolutely a DIY-er. All my home is self-decorated, I even built my new kitchen. (I won't do plumbing or wiring, bit too dangerous and you need professional certificates) Car maintenance also. All started from paying a mate's mate to come and do some wallpapering and it was shit, ended up ripping the whole thing down and doing a much better job!

My thought process is - how much will it cost me to get someone in to do it. If I think I can do it for less, then I'll have a go. Start out on small projects - like wiring a plug! - then go from there. Bit of filling, sanding and painting a dent in a wall soon leads to painting a whole room - for the cost of some paint and a few hours of your time. Researching how to change eg the heater element of your oven for £25 for the part vs an engineer coming £££ or a new oven. YouTube has saved me so much time - and there are hundreds of forums for asking stupid questions.

I agree that the initial investment in proper tools can be cost-negative, but ikea do a simple kit with a good selection to get you going.

Aquamarine1029 Sun 31-May-20 11:47:35

Teach yourself. It's very easy.

LaaLaaLanded Sun 31-May-20 11:47:39

Yes, we learnt it at school too. In the 'electricity' topic.

There is a difference between things like wiring plugs, bleeding radiators and things like building a playhouse which would be really hard.

In the middle there is stuff like putting up a curtain pole.

There are a million videos on YouTube about everything. I fixed my seatbelt clicky thing the other week by googling the car and the problem and there were countless videos on that alone.

stopthelights1 Sun 31-May-20 11:49:37

@BirdieFriendReturns well to get to the back garden I had to go through the kitchen!! confused

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TerrapinStation Sun 31-May-20 11:50:31

Are you saying you'd pay someone to change a fuse for you or that you'd buy a new appliance if a fuse went shock

That can't be right surely, it's 2020 who assumes that changing a fuse requires a penis or paid help? You have access to the internet and shops.

TerrapinStation Sun 31-May-20 11:52:13


*@BirdieFriendReturns* well to get to the back garden I had to go through the kitchen!! confused

That's still not allowed though, that's what the poster is pointing out.

My grandad taught me to rewire a plug. A housemate at university taught me to use a drill. I also learned a lot of skills doing backstage theatre work.

I do a lot of DIY, sewing, upholstery and whatnot. It does save a lot of money but it’s time consuming.

I’m mostly self taught - internet, books. My work isn’t professional standard by any means, but it’s good enough for us!

Over the next few months I’ll be tiling my bedroom floor (it’s termite-riddled laminate at the moment) and en-suite, building a chicken coop and reupholstering a set of dining chairs.

WobblyAllOver Sun 31-May-20 11:55:55

I am late 40s and I can't remember if we were taught things like changing plugs etc at school but I certainly learnt to do that from my parents. We also had school lessons in woodwork, metalwork and sewing so again I am more than happy with having a go at repairing things and as soon as I left home I bought lots of power tools for diy.

Now I am time poor and have more money I prefer to pay someone else to do those things instead.

Honeyroar Sun 31-May-20 11:56:20

Some really condescending people replying on here. I learned to change a plug years ago, but can’t say I’ve ever needed to in decades (things went through a stage of coming without plugs), so not even sure if I could nowadays.

OP pick something small and have a go.

ChimpsInClothes Sun 31-May-20 11:58:46

We try and do most things ourselves, my DH is someone who likes to take things to bits to see how they work. If we don't know how to do it then we google/ YouTube.
I fixed my mum's tumble dryer recently from a YouTube tutorial, DH fixed our shower, but we do know our limitations and would definitely hire an expert if necessary.

One of our friends was made redundant from her job and her husband was complaining that they now couldn't afford a painter and decorator to paint their spare room. We'd never hired a painter in our lives so we couldn't understand the issue.

I think it depends on if you're cash rich but time poor. For some people it's cheaper to pay someone else to do it by the time you've compared their hourly rate to your own.

stopthelights1 Sun 31-May-20 12:01:31

Why are you assuming I'm in the U.K.?? wink

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WobblyAllOver Sun 31-May-20 12:06:33

The key thing I find is to know when you are out of your depth and will need a professional to do the job. Maybe have a go at things that don't matter if you get them wrong which rules out a lot of electrics or plumbing.

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