Odds and ends, do it yourself, handyman or specialist?

9 Replies

Hi everyone, I wanted to get the general feel for what people do on here as it pertains to small fixes around their rental properties. I have 6 properties, most are with a mile or two from each other. What would you do if there are small jobs like a burner on the oven isn’t working, screen door blew open during storm and needs to be fixed, a couple skate tiles need to be fixed, etc, etc. if it’s not major like electrical or plumbing, do you guys have a handyman that you know and trust? Do you do it yourselves (even though you may have a full time job) or do you have a “specialist” come out at a premium to get the items resolved? Thoughts? Pros and cons? Thanks in advance for your time? Dave

If these small things pop up once or twice a month/couple months, I would handle myself. If it becomes more frequent (a few times a month/weekly) I would find a solid "handyman". I use quotes because I would need to make certain he was good enough at these tasks to trust. Once you have a larger portfolio I would move towards having in house help that would be responsible for it.

In your case I would lean towards DIY, unless it is a difficult job (maybe you don't have the proper tools, etc.) or a job that requires it be done immediately.

It depends. Are you interested in doing your own management/maintenance.

If not then you pay a PM to manage for you. It is not a complex decision...time and money. The pro's and con's are mainly prrsonal decisions regarding how you choose to operate your business.

I do the jobs myself... I enjoy fixing and repairing items, it saves money resources and it also allows me to look in on my units. I also then know the job has been done right and to code. 

Odds and ends we do mostly ourselves. A shorter list would be what we hire out. 

Boilers. If its not a stuck zone valve I call. 

Forced air furnace or ac. I have a guy that is fair so I mostly call.

Plumbing past the fixture or soldering in a tight spot I call. I will also call for minor plumbing if I am to busy. 

Water heaters probably 95% of the maintenanace or repairs on electric we do. Gas if it takes more than reseting or relighting pilot I call.

Roofs depends on how much time I have or how difficult.

Appliance repair, My neighbor is a retired sears repair guy so I mostly punt on that as well.

Carpet I hire out. All other flooring I do.

I think it depends on your skillset, time and inclinations. I am very hands on about plumbing and electric, but won't do roofing or major drywall like a room gut.  I hate painting but will do it if I'm not too busy. Each job you stretch and learn makes it easier the next time. I learned that most gas oven problems are the igniter, and it's a cheap part. Now I know, and even keep the most common one in stock.

Totally personal decision...... time is $$. If your time is worth more doing something else, then hire it out.

If you have someone you can trust to do a good job.....just as good or better than you....hire it out

If you like to be involved and be hands on, then do it ....up to a point.

I prefer to do everything I'm capable of myself....if I have the open time. I get really frustrated when I pay for work and it ends up not being to my quality standards or time frame, so sometimes even when I know it would be better $$ wise to hire someone out, I just do it myself

I do the jobs myself. Of course it's cheaper that way but the main reason is


I hate my real job "working for the man every night and day". It feels so meaningless and unrewarding. When something needs done at one of my houses I'm "let me see if there's a YouTube video!" and I fix it myself myself.

I only recommend this for people who have the time to do it, are handy, and are not afraid of the possibility that a defective light switch could result in adopting a kitten or checking a fence for evil paper wasps could obligate a sibling to adopting a evil Malaysian Tokay Gecko that was not evil enough to deserve death from an unusually cold Florida winter.

Being a landlord has had a few completely unexpected consequences lol.

For me, my free time is worth more than the $35/hr a handyman charges to fix odds and ends.  By the time I load my tools in my truck, diagnose the problem, run for parts, etc it often takes 2-3 times as long as someone who is equipped for this work.

I will try to handle turning units between renters because it's a good opportunity to engage my teenage kids and pay them $x/hr for painting, cleaning and maintenance and teach them something about hard work in the process.

I do it myself unless I don't have the tools or the knowledge to do so.

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