How do you handle those annoying home repairs during divorce – and after?
Home repairs during divorce don’t need to be stressful, as annoying as it might be to now have to manage them on your own. My advice is this: leave it to the experts or trusted friends/family who know best!
I recently had someone come to my house to service my boiler. The first thing the guy said to me was: “you don’t have a boiler….you have a furnace.” Whoops! Who knew, and more importantly, who cares?! Not me. I was not aware of the difference, I just needed my heat to work. We cannot be experts at everything and I have a fairly good level of comfort at being ignorant about some things. Could I do research on all things home repair related and attempt to fix them myself? Of course! Is this a good idea? Heck no! At least for me it isn’t because 1) I’m not presently handy 2) I don’t have a desire to become handy 3) I have work and three kids to prioritize. If the above isn’t in sync with you, then by all means, go forth and become the best repair person there ever was! But if you’re more like me, stick to outsourcing this type of work.
Soon after my divorce, I had a home repair issue in my new house and I freaked out. There was water leaking from my heating system (again, I don’t remember what I even had that it was leaking from). With this came a complete sense of overwhelm not just about the issue but about my entire life. Basically I felt that if I couldn’t handle this, then I was doomed. How on earth could I possibly survive living on my own? I had no one to help me!!!! Or so I thought. I told my therapist this and she very simply reminded me that I do not have to be able to handle everything on my own, all I need is to be able to contact someone that can handle that particular issue. Oh. That makes sense. I don’t need to go to boiler school. Or furnace school. Or whatever it was.
Here is how to handle home repairs during divorce when your previous go-to is no longer available.
1) Identify the problem. (If I don’t know what the problem is, google it i.e. funny noise near washing machine etc. to provide some suggested problems. Or you can toss something out on Facebook with a photo of the issue. )
2) Call a family member that you think might be somewhat well versed on the potential issue, and ask them their opinion. This person could then tell you if you need to immediately contact a professional, or if it’s something they think they can take a look at and perhaps help you out with to save some money. If it’s out of their scope of competency, then
3) Ask family/friends for a professional that they trust. If they don’t have someone, you can toss it out on social media for loose network recommendations.
4) Call a couple professionals and ask if they will do a consult and provide a quote at no charge.
5) Have the job done by the person you trusted and felt was giving you a fair price.
6) Save this person’s number!!!!!!!!!!!
My cell phone is now filled with contacts so that when something breaks, I don’t freak out that I’m doomed, I simply send a text.
Get more tips on managing your divorce stress by reading How to Put On a Brave Face After Divorce.
Home repairs aren’t usually something people look forward to, especially surprise ones. And home repairs during divorce can feel like just Another Thing to stress you out. Just take breath, think of who you know, follow your gut and you will be able to face down another challenge in your new life!