In tough economic times like these, people look to save money any way they can. One increasingly popular strategy: Going the do-it-yourself route instead of paying a professional for home maintenance and repair projects.
An April 2012 Merrill Edge survey of "mass affluent" Americans (defined as people with $50,000 to $250,000 of investible assets) found that in the past year 70 percent of folks in their 50s and 60s had taken on a DIY project that they normally would've paid a professional to tackle. Of that number, 42 percent said they're handling little repairs around the house, like fixing leaky faucets; 36 percent are doing their own yard work; and 18 percent have started major remodeling projects.
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Many respondents reported that DIY fixes result in a real sense of accomplishment. After a stressful day at the office, weeding the yard or painting a room can inspire a Zen frame of mind.
But is going the DIY route actually a smart money-saving move?
Not necessarily, say Katie and Gene Hamilton, the Maryland-based owners of DIYorNot.com and authors of Fix It and Flip It.
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