3 Things I Learnt About DIY from a Flooded Basement

by Miranda Marquit · 0 comments

One of the cornerstones of a frugal lifestyle is learning to do some things yourself so that you are more self-sufficient — and so that you don’t always have to pay someone else to do it for you. Of course, there are some things that you might not have the equipment or knowledge to handle on your own, but you might be surprised at the things you can do yourself. And the things you should do yourself. Here are some of the things I learned about do it yourself when my basement flooded:

You Can Make Your Own Appointments

We called a cleaning and restoration company to help us suck the water out of our downstairs and begin cleaning things up. We knew we would need to have a pump installed downstairs (plumbing is something that the uninitiated shouldn’t mess with, in my opinion), as well as having the carpet pad replaced and re-laid. We also needed industrial fans and a de-humidifier to dry everything out, and a carpet cleaner would need to come.

In the moment, we just asked the cleaning and restoration company to arrange it all. But we began thinking about it later. Having someone else make all these arrangements meant that a premium would be added to the price. While there was nothing we could about the plumber — it was too late — we could take care of making appointments for the other items. The result was that we actually got people here faster (without going through a middle man) and we are paying less for some services. (This also worked when I called around to rental places to get a better deal on fan and de-humidifier rentals.)

Some Things Can Be Done Yourself

The cleaning and restoration company said that it would pull of baseboards to help dry out the walls, and to test the insulation for wetness (apparently wet insulation means Mold). We thought about it, and realized that it really wouldn’t be hard to carefully remove the baseboards and test ourselves, since my husband’s cousin has construction experience. He showed us how to do it, and explained how we can replace the baseboards. He will have to come back and help us replace some of the drywall that was damaged, but it will cost less than paying a “professional” to do it, and we can help while learning a worthwhile do it yourself skill.

Time vs. Money

Of course, do it yourself really only works if you have the time. When our basement flooded, it happened just before Christmas, so my husband didn’t have school, and we had time to clean out the mess and haul the ruined items to the dump — rather than having someone else do it. We also have the time to replace the baseboards and repair the cosmetic damage to the downstairs bathroom. It may take us a few weeks to get it all done, but we have all the essential items completed, so we can leave with an ugly bathroom for some time.

If you don’t have the time, though, do it yourself is not a viable option. Additionally, if you can’t get the equipment or know-how to do something properly, you could end up making matters worse. In those cases, it could be better to pay someone else to do it.

Bonus Tip:

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