Diving into home ownership (and repairs)

Posted on July 21, 2016 at 6:00 am

By Carlie Hoffman

For a long time, I thought of myself as a “renter for life.” I was living in an apartment and watching the entire housing industry collapse, and I thought, “I’m never buying a house. Such a big purchase is scary, and you have to fix everything when something goes wrong.” But then I wanted a dog.

My husband and I decided to rent a house, so we could get the love of our lives, Peanut Butter, an amazing, rescue boxer mutt. And the rental house was great. When something broke, the landlord had to fix it. But after a while, I got tired of living in someone else’s house. I never knew if they were going to renew the lease. I couldn’t make any home improvements. I started to get the itch to live in a house I could call my own, where if I didn’t like something about the house, I could actually do something about it.

So we dove into home ownership. Soon after moving in, I realized that my dishwasher was not draining. I guess it was exactly what I had asked for. Google search results didn’t give me the solution I was looking for. And then I remembered the Home Improvement Reference Center in the Digital Library. I found tons of articles and learned way more about dishwashers than I ever wanted to know.

I started looking around for other projects to tackle and was really blown away by the amount of information. The first page of the Home Improvement Reference Center is categorized by topics, such as plumbing, decorating, and woodworking. Then each section is divided further by subtopics, making it easy to find what you’re looking for. The articles are from well-known books and magazines and often include instructional photos, detailed remodeling plans, or easy-to-follow videos.

While I still needed a new dishwasher, I did learn how to install a new one myself, saving me about $100. I also saved more money by doing my own dry walling to finish a doorframe in my basement. Plus, I’ve built raised-bed gardens in my yard. Home Improvement Reference Center is now one of my first go-to resources for doing projects around the house.

What project, craft, or repair is stuck on your to-do list? Our Digital Library may have the resource you need to check it off.


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