Anyone familiar with our blog is also familiar with our house, which we lovingly refer to as The Monster. It’s a work in progress of epic proportions and when we purchased the property six years ago, it was always going to be a home that we would chip away at over the years…….many years. Chip away we have and although we have a long way to go, it has come a long way from the state it was in when we first moved in, which wasn’t pretty to say the least. You can read more about it here.
We lead incredibly busy lives and we have only come as far with the house as we have due to my nagging persistence and the fact that I schedule parties at our house and write a list of what has to be achieved by the party deadline to get Michael and I both motivated and focused on the house.
Michael will naturally whine and moan about his delegated tasks and my crazy tight deadlines, mostly because the things that will annoy me for months and sometimes years, he genuinely doesn’t even notice (which blows my mind, you hear me ladies). He does though, admit to feeling satisfaction at the end of a weekend when he has ticked them all off.
Last month, Yellow Pages reached out about their latest campaign that encourages everyday Aussies to tick off items on their own home project to do lists. I could completely relate. We have a history of trying to tackle every project ourselves and of course that makes our projects incredibly long winded and our to-do lists infinite. And interestingly, before this blog, it never occurred to me to go to Yellow Pages to source a tradie – but they are, in fact, Australia’s longest running and most comprehensive resource for finding qualified local service providers and currently list over 100,000 tradespeople.
Now, Michael and I are DIYers but we’ve learned the hard way that you need to know when to call in the experts. Michael has tried his hand at absolutely everything and even some things that you just simply shouldn’t. We both come from baby-boomer, working class parents who would never pay someone else to mow their lawn, fix a leaky tap, change a door handle etc. Our parents tackled all home maintenance on their own so we are really products of our upbringing but the fact is, we lead busier lives now than our parents did in the 80’s and we’ve recently learned sometimes you just have to let it go and pay a qualified pro to do the job properly and more efficiently.
How to get started:
1.Write a budget
Simple but effective. It will put your mind at ease when you’re approaching a daunting task but it also needs to be realistic. Don’t cut out all fun just to get a big home improvement project done in under 3 months. Minimise but don’t completely eliminate. Write up a timeline, stick to it and share it with your suppliers – you don’t want to end up up with a half finished bathroom for 12 months!
2. Do your research
Depending on what you’re planning to do, it’s worth getting an understanding of home styles and trends not because you must subscribe to them but more as a guide to what is current is what to avoid at all costs.
3. Start small
Begin with jobs that will add the most value to your home whilst also giving you that quick-fix rush of achievement that will get you motivated to tackle the bigger projects. Clean the exterior bricks, add lick of paint to the letterbox, sand and re-varnish your timber floors, or simply get rid of the mould in your bathrooms.
4. Get quotes
Finding the right tradie can be a bit daunting. Ask around and make sure you have a checklist ready that includes examples of previous work, referees, qualifications and relevant experience for what you are planning to do. Hot tip: at yellowpages.com.au you can actually read reviews on tradies and receive quotes on jobs instantly.
As for us, we recently bit the bullet and engaged monthly pool servicing; a fortnightly house clean, and I even engaged a painter to paint some internal walls downstairs (I was hating on the colour). THE BEST MONEY I’VE EVER SPENT!! What would have taken me weeks and a lot of stress, took the painter 4 days and the bill wasn’t as ghastly high as I’d expected, which is right in line with Yellow Pages Online’s (YPO’s) findings that the average Aussie homeowner miscalculates the rates of skilled tradesman by nearly doubling the estimate. which I think many of us assume is more expensive than it is.
So to the time poor of Australia, currently looking at your overgrown lawn, water damaged walls, and rotting deck, we feel your pain, we stand with you in your frustration. It might be time to call in the pros.
(This post is brought to you in partnership with Yellow Pages Online).