"The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land."
-Abraham Lincoln

Thrifty Thursday (err, on Friday)

I remember one summer when my grandmother had decided to have her house painted.  She ended up spending about $1000 (back in the mid 1990's) to have the outside and inside of her very small, 800sf. home painted by professionals.  
We had a neighborhood painting company come by our house last year and estimated our single story home at $3000.   

So here's my Thrifty Thursday tip for this week.  DIY (do it yourself) and save hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Here's my list of common things that you can do yourself with nothing but your own two hands, a few tools, and in some cases a trip to the local library.  

1.  Paint your own house.    Yes it does take some time, but probably not as much as you may think, especially if you get a little help from your friends.   We were able to paint our entire living room, foyer, hall and dining area for around $150.  We painted the outside of the house, the enclosed porch and the bedrooms for about the same.   Ending with a total bill of about $300.   Compare that to $3000 and that's a savings of $2700.   Easily worth the two weekends (in which we took our sweet time mind you) of painting. 
2. Install your own faucets.   This usually doesn't require anything but a few tools, some plumbers putty and the instructions that came with the faucet.  If your faucet didn't come with instruction you can easily find how to install a variety of different faucets online or in plumbing books at the library. 
3. Install your own ceramic tile backsplash.   Depending on the type of tile you choose you may need a wet tile saw.   Otherwise, all you'll need is some tile grout, the tiles themselves, a free evening, spacers, a notched trowel, and, depending on your tile choice, maybe a sealer (in most cases a sealer isn't necessary but check with the knowledgable folks at your local homestore. 
4. Fix your own toilet.   Here's a common one.   Your toilet is running (better catch it ...ah, nevermind, that jokes just tired) and it won't stop.   You reach for your phone book, better call the plumber....stop yourself there.   This is one of the easiest fixes in my opinion.   You simply need to replace a faulty flapper or ball assembly (those little do hickeys in the back of the toilet, one looks like a giant ball, the other looks like a plug attached to a chain).    Worst case scenario you'll need to clean some mineral deposits out of your toilet tank itself.  In which case you can use some vinegar, boiling water and baking soda and poof!  Done.  
5.  Fix your own banging pipes.  This one seems more ominous to home owners than it frequently is.   There SHOULD be anchor straps on your pipes every 8 feet or so, 6-8ft for horizontal pipes, and 8-10ft for vertical pipes.   If your pipes are banging, its usually because the are loose and all you then need to do is add a few more anchor straps.  Cushion the pipes from the anchor with a little bit of rubber blanket.

There you have it guys.  Your thrifty tips for this week.