Our yard has a lot of trees. Fourteen to be exact. We had twenty, but six of them met their demise after I received a chainsaw for Christmas last year. Four of the remaining trees are fruit bearing trees. Three of them birth apples and one sprouts peaches. This sounds like a beautiful backyard forest, doesn’t it?

When we bought this house, I used to think that I loved trees. That March, as we remodeled the interior and moved all of our stuff in, I thought we had just purchased a piece of paradise. I felt that way until about October of that first year. What I noticed first were the whirlygigs from our maple tree spinning to the ground. Next, the fruit started to fall…and rot on my lawn. Finally, our overgrown black locust spit out its pinnately compound foliage, clogging my gutters and blanketing my grass. It was then that I realized my disdain for our leafy friends.

In reality, I don’t have anything against the trees themselves. What I really hate is doing yard work – specifically raking. During the four hours that I spent raking my lawn the other day, I just couldn’t shake the thoughts of, “God, this sucks.” Add that to the fact that my out-of-shape body doesn’t recover like it did when I was 17, and you get a grumpy Gregory. I wish I would have paid somebody $20 to rake my lawn for me instead. I think it would probably be worth my time and pain effort. It did get me thinking about other things that I’d rather hire somebody else to do. Here are some of those things.


1) Cutting Down Trees

Remember I said that I got a chainsaw as a Christmas present? I thought that I was a regular Paul Bunyan when I set out to hack down some of my nemeses. Unfortunately, the biggest brute of them all was the black locust. Luckily, I was smart enough to hire somebody to chop that bad boy down. By hiring a pro instead of doing it myself, I saved tens of thousands of dollars in potential repairs to my house and personage. Unfortunately, I was too cheap to have them remove the stumps. You see, I thought that I could either chop or grind all of these stumps out myself. After months of trying to get these things to decay, I went at them with an axe. My hands hurt for a week, and it wasn’t just from the blisters. The worst part is that all but 2 of the stumps are still in tact.

2) Mowing

Did I mention I hate yard work? I did. Well, I still hate it. Mowing would fall under that category as well. I’d rather do just about anything than work in my yard. I think part of the reason is because my yard has been overrun with weeds since we bought the property. Before we bought it, the house sat vacant for 2 years. As hard as I’ve tried, I’ve never been able to properly heal its dandelion and crabgrass infected wounds. Furthermore, I work long days, odd hours, and don’t always get to spend a lot of time with my family. So, when I’m not working, I’d rather pay somebody $15 every two weeks and save the 1 1/2 hours to spend it with my family. My time is certainly worth that. Now, all I have to do is convince Holly of that as well.

3) Plumbing

When we first bought our house, I learned how to do some light plumbing work. I can now install a faucet and/or a sink. I can snake out a drain. I can even install a toilet. As much as I like playing in my family’s poop, if the repairs require anything beyond these skills, I need to call the pros. It is better to hire somebody to do it right than for me to spend hours trying to do it myself. Worse yet, I’m sure to mess it up – which would then cost me oodles of time and money. Some people might automatically assume that the phone book is the only way to contact a professional to fix their pipes, but online plumbing services are becoming increasingly prevalent. Some website even offer printable coupons, like $30 off any service, or $50 off a full house inspection. These specialists can help you out with installing your garbage disposal, water heater, or tankless water heater. You should also have access to emergency visits as well, as long as you make sure to check if the service offers professional, licensed plumbers in your area.

4) Electrical Work

Have you ever experienced that tingly feeling you get when installing a new light switch? You know, that jolt of fun juice that runs through your body when you touch something that isn’t quite grounded but has electricity flowing through it? You don’t? Well, that is because you haven’t mildly electrocuted yourself like I have. Seriously, you haven’t lived until you’ve felt that sensation. You can also get the same sensation – only stronger – by sticking a tweezers into an outlet. I know it works because I’ve done that too. Sometimes, I wonder if I’m really still alive and this is all just a dream.

I am pretty much afraid of electricity. As I said, I can change a light switch and that is about it. From there, I’d much rather hire somebody who knows what they are doing and save myself the unfortunate effects of electrocution.

So, these are some of the things on which I’m willing to stop being such a cheapskate and hire somebody else to do. Now, I just have to convince Holly to install the field turf in our lawn, and my master plan will be complete!

What are some things that you would rather not do yourself? Have you ever stuck a tweezers in an outlet? Why or why not?