The Homebuyer’s Toolkit: Do It Yourself!

The Homebuyer’s Toolkit: Do it Yourself!

From time to time, you may have to make some interior improvements to your home, such as add a new fixture, paint, or patch up a hole. It’s an inescapable part of homeownership. But how much of it can you do on your own? Roll up your sleeves and take notes.

William Farrell, regional operation manager for BEHR Paint, and Winston Hercules, a store manager at Home Depot, shared information on how to cut costs on home repair projects at our last homebuyer’s seminar class sponsored by the Bedford Central Community Development Co.

How to patch a hole in your drywall. Trust me, it’s not as hard or as expensive as you may think. Hercules says Home Depot provides free consultants that will come to your home to access your repair and give you a list of materials you’ll need to make the improvement. Since I already knew what materials I needed, I took a virtual tour at Home Depot to see how much the materials would cost if I did it myself.

Let’s say you have a hole in your wall the size of a baseball. Here’s what you’ll need:

Spackle ($3.98 for a ½ pint)
A Flexible Scraper ($7.97)
Measuring Tape ($8.00)
Self-Adhesive Repair Patches ($ 4.98 price varies with size)
Sandpaper Sheets ($3.97 for a 3 pack)

That’s about $30 in total. After speaking with Anthony Ortega, a handyman, I learned that a job like this would have cost approximately $85 if I’d hired him. In addition to the supplies, a handyman will charge you for transportation and labor. “Although small, this job takes about half a day because the spackle has to dry and then be sanded. Then you have to re-coat the area and sand the patch smooth again,” says Ortega.

So here’s how to do it yourself:

STEP 1 – Measure the hole so you can purchase the correct patch size.

STEP 2 – Adhere the self-stick patch over the hole.

STEP 3 – Apply the first coat of spackle. Let it dry.

STEP 4 – Apply the second coat of spackle. Let it dry.

STEP 5 – Sand it smooth. Touch up if necessary.

Other posts in The Homebuyer’s Toolkit series:

Title Insurance

Condo or Co-Op?

Getting Started

Qualifying For A Mortgage

Key Players

Let’s Talk Money

Money Attitudes and Budgeting

Building Financial Security

How Your Credit Score Adds Up

Renting vs. Buying