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Old 06-08-2019, 04:12 PM
 
Location: NMB, SC
43,059 posts, read 18,223,725 times
Reputation: 34929

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ClaraC View Post
You must be exaggerating? ALL that was done to his car is a light bulb was changed, and this customer was charged $500? No way. Absolutely no way.

If this is an actual true story, and the dealership stood behind their charging a customer $500 for replacing a light bulb, this needs to be reported to consumer protection and the man needs to refuse to pay. I would suspect a local consumer watch dog in the media would be very interested to hear this story, OP.
Dealer wanted to charge me $100 to test my electronics before even considering what I went there for.
Got new tires (not at dealer) and my low tire light went bonkers..sometime on, sometimes off, etc. Check all my tires..correct pressure.

Went to dealer to ask them to please just reset that part. They asked for $100 to run a diagnostic tool on the car's computer first and then would discuss the price to do the reset.

I said screw it and just check my tires weekly.
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:25 PM
 
Location: east TN
264 posts, read 200,108 times
Reputation: 1063
Quote:
Originally Posted by blktoptrvl View Post
self?

How DIY are you?

My wife would say I'm about 104% DIY. I'd say 95%. I did have the driveway concrete poured by a crew couple years ago....250 yards was a little more than my old bones could handle....but I did do all the form work....and cut the form lumber on my sawmill....after logging it out of our woods.



But from clearing the forest originally to building the house and all the other buildings on the place, 95% has been done by wife and I. If something breaks (washing machine, mower, tractor, car) I fix it generally....certainly all routine maintenance like oil changes/etc. Lately YouTube has been a Godsend.....burned a low beam light out on our Subaru Outback while back, and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out HOW to get TO the fool thing (dealer charges $128, and now I see why )....finally watched online and got it done....still took couple hours....ridiculous....





DIY forest to pasture, and used the logs to make lumber to build the house.


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Old 06-08-2019, 04:36 PM
 
11,230 posts, read 9,308,278 times
Reputation: 32252
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
So there's no gradient between doing simple routine maintenance that costs you thousands a year, and doing major service or remodeling work? Your income-time is so precious that ten minutes to replace a bulb or fix a light switch is best done by someone else for an hour to several hours of your income?
In real life, yes, on the internet, no.


Witness the thread where someone attempted to claim that "if you know enough about house construction to see that the contractor's doing something wrong, why on earth didn't you just do it yourself?"
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:43 PM
 
5,479 posts, read 2,117,145 times
Reputation: 8109
I make judgements based on value.
Can I do it better, faster cheaper? OR, will I get better cheaper results by paying someone else who has better skills and experience?


My time has a value, can I do it cheaper than paying? Do I WANT to do it? Do I really want to spend my precious non-work time doing something that can be done by someone else?


When I was poor, I had to do everything myself...but one day I realized that sometimes the best financial decision is to just use your time to earn more rather than burning yourself out doing all the little things.


Once I started thinking like this, My work is more enjoyable, I make more money, I enjoy my off time more and have less stress.


There are still some things I still do myself, but I do them based on value and also if they are things I ENJOY doing.
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Old 06-08-2019, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Home is Where You Park It
23,856 posts, read 13,735,298 times
Reputation: 15482
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
What merchandise would be cheaper if we DIY'ed more? I can't make more than a tenuous connection.
Very little.

I still garden, even though I can buy lettuce cheaper at WalMart. It can even be cheaper to eat out, depending on where you go.

I still sew, even though I can buy clothes cheaper at thrift stores.

Etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
But services - from cooking to basic maintenance to the easier levels of remodeling etc. - absolutely. I recently got a quote of $400 to trim a bush back from a sidewalk - big, as such jobs go, but even with inferior tools (I left my heavy gardening tools behind on the last move) it took me about an hour, and getting rid of the cuttings is taking some time, but I'm still $390 better off, counting the reward six-pack.

Life is expensive for other reasons, most of which have to do with that "merchandise."
Absolutely.

In general, cheaper is often not better. Many things I really can do better myself, no matter how little (or much) it costs me to do it. At the same time, there are things that someone else can do better, but they are often not cheaper.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:16 PM
 
517 posts, read 1,091,728 times
Reputation: 1468
I just wanted to post to wholeheartedly thank the people (in case any are reading) who take the time to provide so much useful info, tutorials, and videos on the Internet, both about fixing things specifically and also just providing info that's helpful in navigating life in general.

It's clear that while some are doing it as their business or to market their business/services (which of course is fine, too), there are also many people who clearly have no motivation other than to share info they know that others may not know about but would find very useful. They provide the means to DIY if you choose to.

I was able to fix my broken computer when it was still fairly new thanks to info I found online (using a different, nonbroken computer, of course). I wouldn't have attempted to repair it myself without the online instructions (including video), but it was a very quick, easy, and lasting fix once I searched on the problem and found the exact info I needed.

I really appreciate that there are people who will go to the trouble to help other people in this way when they could be doing something more fun for themselves with that time.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:33 PM
 
24,479 posts, read 10,804,014 times
Reputation: 46766
Quote:
Originally Posted by blktoptrvl View Post
I have a feeling that the cost of many services and merchandise in America would be much lower if people here were a little more DIY minded. But it seems that most don't want to be bothered - until they see the bill.

As an example, I was in the car dealership waiting for a part when I overheard a customer complaining about a $500 service charge for having a bulb changed. "I didn't expect it would cost this much!"

The more people are willing to have services "done" for them, the more service providers will increase prices. IMO, the cure for many price increases is to force service people to complete with "almost free" labor.

What is the last project or task around your house that you normally would have called a service company for, or an item that you could have purchased for a high price - that you actually ended up doing or making yourself?


How DIY are you?
Ok - you overheard something and it was a 500 service charge and the customer complained. Did you see the work sheet?
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:49 PM
 
4,717 posts, read 3,265,237 times
Reputation: 12122
I have two basic questions in determining whether or not I should DIY: How badly could I injure myself? and How badly could I screw it up?

I'm 66 and in very good shape but don't want to do ultra-high ladders anymore, especially since I live alone. I'm not comfortable with most plumbing and electrical work because of the risks, but I've removed wallpaper and popcorn ceiling, tiled floors and painted walls and ceilings. I also do all my own yard work (except for applying chemicals), garden maintenance and housecleaning.

Last month the HVAC company came by to test my A/C before the cooling season. They informed me that the outside unite needed to be cleaned and the flue pipe for the hot water heater was corroded. They'd fix both for $672. I am not making this up. I found a 5-minute YouTube video on how to clean an A/C unit. Unplug the fuse. Spray it all down. Plug the fuse back in. And it took me about 5 minutes to do it, too. I think there were all of 4 leaves in the bottom of the unit. The local plumber who replaced my water heater wrapped the flue pipe for $100. (It had only a few discolored spots on the outside.) I probably could have done that, too.

I'll be using YouTube a lot more.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Riverside Ca
22,146 posts, read 33,503,954 times
Reputation: 35437
I have a landscape guy. But that’s because it’s cheap and easy . I just took out a big bush but I was free to do it and really wanted to. No reason to pay a hundred bucks for less than a hour worth of work.

I don’t mind doing my own car maintenance because it saves me a ton of money. But sometimes I go to a mechanic if I don’t have the time. Small home projects I don’t mind. It’s are to get anyone to do them and when you do they want a lot of money because even if it’s a small job it takes time.

I’m having a kitchen remodeled and i hired contractors for this. I’m doing a few things myself but for the sake of completeness it’s easier to hire some things out.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:56 PM
 
1,914 posts, read 2,241,772 times
Reputation: 14573
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
So there's no gradient between doing simple routine maintenance that costs you thousands a year, and doing major service or remodeling work? Your income-time is so precious that ten minutes to replace a bulb or fix a light switch is best done by someone else for an hour to several hours of your income?


This was apparently directed at me.


Simple, routine maintenance does not cost me thousands a year, so that is a non-issue. And it's not really a matter of income-time since I am retired. It is simply a choice I make. There are things I don't want to do just because I don't want to do them and things I cannot do because of physical limitations. So I pay someone else to do them.


I have a high income and very bad knees. I would much rather pay someone to climb up on ladders and change the light bulbs (and seriously, modern light bulbs last for years, so it's not something that has to be done very often) than literally risk my life to do something I can pay someone else a very small fraction of my income to do for me. If a task involves electricity, I hire a qualified electrician to deal with it. I understand how electricity works, but I have no desire to be an electrician. I have a healthy respect for the skills of the professionals who can do electrical tasks correctly. I understand how plumbing works, but I have no desire to do plumbing jobs. I can afford to pay someone else to do what I don't want to do, so that is how I choose to get things done. You are free to get your household tasks accomplished in the way that works best for you; so am I.


We all make choices about how we spend our money. What I have to pay to have tasks done that I cannot do, should not do, or just don't want to do is a very small part of my yearly expenditures. And it is worth every penny to me.
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