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You may decide your New York City condo or co-op needs some sprucing up after you have completed your purchase. Alternatively, perhaps you have been living there for some time and would like to do some upkeep. You may find hiring a contractor for a job is a prudent course. But, to your surprise, there are basic jobs you may discover that you can easily handle.
These do-it-yourself projects should save you a considerable sum of money.
Common charges vs. maintenance feesCommon charges vs. maintenance fees
We have mentioned doing work in your condo unit and co-op. The critical difference is that you are a shareholder in a co-op, while in a condo, you own the airspace between your walls.
The two ownership structures make a difference in what your monthly charges cover. For example, condo owners pay a monthly fee to maintain and fix common areas, such as the lobby and specific amenities. In a co-op, shareholders’ maintenance includes a range of repairs, such as plumbing and electrical.
You may wish for specific work done in your co-op, but the process is typically more arduous. For specific jobs, you may need the board’s approval. While other work may not need the board’s blessing, checking with the management company before starting the project is wise. You should not merely assume you can go ahead without their permission.
Painting intimidates many people. But, if you have the time, this can genuinely save you a lot of money in labor. The key is the prep work. First, it would help if you moved things out of the way (you have to do this anyway, but a painter usually moves the big stuff), put down drop cloths, tape, scrape, and spackle. Next, you may apply primer, depending on the new and existing colors, and finally, paint the room.
The key is to take your time and not rush the process. For your protection, you should wear safety goggles.
This is an easy fix if you are merely patching a small hole in the drywall. First, clean the area, use a putty knife to fill the gap with spackle, and sandpaper it once it dries.
Basic PlumbingBasic Plumbing
These items likely apply more to condo owners since co-op shareholders’ maintenance fees probably cover these items.
Rather than calling a plumber, there are specific basic jobs you can do yourself. For example, your first step in tackling a clogged sink is to snake the drain. Next, you may have to clean out the trap (the curved piece of pipe below the sink).
Similarly, a plunger may do the trick for a clogged toilet. After that, you can snake the drain.
If these necessary steps do not work, you may have to call a plumber. But, you may solve the problem since these are typically a plumber’s first steps.
Basic electricalBasic electrical
Electricity is another area that makes people nervous. Understandable since not doing the work properly can result in severe injury and significant damage. However, some jobs are easy to accomplish, such as changing the light switch,
As a caution, ensure you turn off the electricity before doing the work. Next, you need to remove the faceplate and then the switch. Finally, there are two wires that you should test to ensure there is no electricity running through them. You are all done once you connect these wires to the new switch.
I am reaching out for help.I am reaching out for help.
You can use the Internet as a source during the job. There are sites such as YouTube that have instructional videos. If these are not helpful, you can go to your nearest hardware store, such as Home Depot or Lowe’s, and ask someone who works there for advice.
Lastly, if all else fails, you can call in a professional to finish the job with the knowledge that you have given it your best.