Learn Top Repairman Skills – Part 2 – Learn from the Past and Build a Library of Repair Books
In a previous article I talked about learning repair skills by 1) trying to do the repairs as you find them and using your top investment repair home as a “practice” home; and, 2) taking community college classes in construction trades.
Two more ways to learn repair skills are: 1) reflect on past experiences and role models, and 2) build your own reference library of repair books.
1.) Reflecting on the past
After getting more involved in my investment house repairs, I remembered how my father had taught me a lot by example. I remember seeing him build screened porches in various houses we had lived in. I was too young to be of much help at the time or to appreciate what I was doing. Looking back, I realize that it took a strong desire to learn the basics and a sense of self-confidence to build it. He had no formal construction training and didn’t have reference books like I did, but he learned by looking at other porches that had been built in the neighborhood and talking to people.
I also have a friend who has made a career of living frugally. Does virtually all of your home and car repair work. If he gets stuck, he goes to the library and looks for books to help him. It helps who has experience in teaching vocational education. We’ve helped each other with home repair projects over the years, and he’s a trusted source for practical advice when I need help.
There may be people around you who can teach you a lot about home repair. This is the type of person who can be an invaluable resource to you. Make sure to take them out for lunch every now and then.
2.) Build a library of home repair books
I like to browse the repair book areas in used bookstores looking for good buys. I buy a book as soon as I see it if I know it has valuable information. If you wait to buy the book, you may come back later and find that the book you wanted is gone. The price you pay will literally be a drop in the bucket compared to the money you save. I have books on just about every possible repair topic, including electrical wiring, plumbing, flooring, you name it. Some books offer information on a wide variety of repairs. Summary reader Repair manual yourself and Better Home and Gardens Complete Guide to Home Repair, they are good books to start with. From there, you may need to go to a book more focused on electricity or plumbing. Home Depot books are generally good options to include in your library. I have several.
When one book isn’t enough, you can usually get good advice on specific jobs at hardware stores, like Ace Hardware. And you can often get good advice on tough repairs by doing a Google search.