Don’t Pay People For Tasks You Can Accomplish Yourself


Two days before Thanksgiving (the busiest cooking day of the year) my dishwasher died. I called in a Sears technician who charged me $60 to tell me that it will cost $350 to repair the dishwasher (LOL what? No). I had to tell him on the spot whether or not I was going to accept the repair or reject it. Otherwise, I’d be charged another $59 for him to come back again if I later chose to repair the appliance. While I’ve been fortunate enough to avoid costly home repairs, I always make it a point to know what all of my options are. Before he showed up at 2 pm, I went online to check dishwasher prices and they were on sale, so I was ready with an answer. Since the sale prices for the ones I was considering were between $250 and $400 (from $400-$550), I knew it would be worth ordering a new one and, as a result, declined the repair.

I got online and immediately ordered a new dishwasher. But here’s what the $300 price tag does not cover: the connecting cables ($20), the delivery ($70), hauling away the old one ($15), 5-year complete warranty ($150) and installation ($200). Doesn’t seem like such a good deal anymore, does it? Well, I’ve never been faced with a transaction I where I could not find a cost-cutting measure. So I ordered everything except the installation. I mean, how hard could it be to install a dishwasher? Last night, I found out.

When the delivery man came in and pulled out his box-cutter, my adrenaline was pumping! I could barely contain myself because of the various possibilities: I was either going to have wild success and save myself some good money or it was going to be a complete disaster that could range from causing damage that costs more than $200 to repair or end in the death of one of us through electrocution. No big deal.

We had dinner before starting the job, because what sense does it make to do any of this on an empty stomach? The fact that I wasn’t hungry throughout the process probably kept us from fighting. I got under the kitchen sink to turn off the water supply, while my husband went to the basement to turn off the power. This turned into it’s own adventure, because none of us knew which switch operated the dishwasher. The genius builders decided to label 4 of the switches “appliances”, causing us to trip everything from the fridge, to the oven and the microwave, before we finally cut power to the dishwasher (of course it was the last one).

I will spare you the details, but let’s just say that after 90 minutes, 3 Youtube videos, 2 leaks under the kitchen sink, and 1 unfortunate incident of my husband accidentally hitting himself in the face with the wrench, we have successfully installed a functioning dishwasher for $0! Sure, we invested the time into doing it, however we learned a lot, which is invaluable. If nothing else, we at least know which switch powers which appliance now.

I don’t encourage you go around hooking up your own appliances to high voltage electricity if you don’t know what you’re doing, however, I do recommend that you consider doing certain things on your own so you don’t have to spend money unnecessarily. We have the tendency to crack open the yellow pages the moment something breaks. Give it a shot first. You’ll be surprised what you can achieve when you’re not afraid to try.

  1. Well done on installing a dishwasher, and this is something that I would say just about anyone could do themselves if they’re trying.

    In Australia ours are just plugged into a wall socket behind the appliance, and you then just need to connect a couple of hoses (thankfully there is a tap for the inlet hose so that you can stop water leaking everywhere).

    While tradesmen would charge a hefty price for installation, anyone with an attitude of self-sufficiency can take care of it on their own for free!



    1. Thanks for your comment! Due to the water lines and the fact that it’s not plugged into an outlet, a dishwasher is probably one of the more complicated appliances to install, but it really wasn’t that bad. The book comes with instructions which are almost dummy proof. The key was having all the right tools, which fortunatel we did.

      Liked by 1 person


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