Episode 14 – Captain DIY Tells You Why You Should Put Your Stock In Becoming a Tradesperson

Household Repair Woes

House of Fi Captain DIY Tinian Crawford Holding a Mallet
Source : Captain DIY Tinian Crawford

Two years ago, our dryer started to make a strange sound.  The repetitive squeak that began as a soft, distant sound, suddenly became a constant nuisance.  We knew something was amiss, and began to research just how much a modern washer/dryer set cost these days.  We were astounded by the number of choices, and the accompanying price tags.

I began to think a little deeper.  I googled it.

The completed google search described the sound and included the dryer model number.  After sorting through the responses and forums, we realized what the problem might be.  It turns out that the drum that spins within the dryer component has a belt that was likely loose or broken.

The part cost around $30 with shipping, the cost of a repairman was $90/hr and the cost of a new dryer ranged from $349 – $1129.  

We ordered the part.  We figured we would order the part and attempt the repair ourselves, using the YouTube videos we found.  If the repair proved itself to be too difficult, we planned to call the repairman. The last and final option was a new or used dryer for the family!

It took two people, but in the end, we were able to fix our dryer for $30.  We are still using Old Odin (dryer’s name) to this day.


welder near a building
source : russ ward

In this episode we talked to Tinian Crawford of the blog DIY To FI.  This DIYer and electrician spends his time installing and repair electrical wires, but he began flexing his DIY muscles while learning carpentry with his dad starting at a very young age.  

Tinian found the FIRE community a couple of years ago, but he has also recognized the huge cost savings that can be had when you are able to use even basic tools to DIY your projects.  Captain DIY, as he calls himself, is on a hero sized mission to teach others within the FI community the powers one can garner from learning to do for themselves.  

DIY knowledge, according to Captain DIY, is a Pillar of FI.  Visit his website to learn tools, tips and tricks that can help you learn the skills and growth mindset needed to build DIY confidence!

Health’s Financial Impact

jack hammer
source : square films

Good health is a blessing.  From the common cold, to major life altering surgery, the impact of sickness and health on our day to day lives is well known to many.  For most, we can recover our health after normal healing and rest. But learn how a dangerous slip on the ice threatened to unravel Tinian’s financial world.  Did he find opportunity within the adversity?

Financial Makeover

hair stylist doing hair
source : brenda church

Living in a home with a frugal wife meant that Tinian was on a good path prior to finding FI, but when his wife took a nasty fall he realized how much more he could do to protect his family.  

When the time came to expand their family, Tinian’s wife set a huge savings goal for the baby’s nest egg.  This was to mitigate the expensive costs of daycare, diapers, food, and to start the growing family out on the right footing.  

How much do you think is enough to save before having a baby?  Listen in to find out what Mrs. Captain DIY chose as an amount.

The Truth About Trade School

We were able to talk about all the trade school topics you could think of.  Here are some of the topics:

  • Do you have to be young to attend trade school?  
  • What ages were the people in Tinian’s graduating class of Electrician School?
  • What’s the highest paid trade?
  • What affects how much you can make when you open your own trade based service business or side hustle?
  • What are some of the trades that a person could pursue if they are looking to make a career change?
  • Why is there a shortage of Tradespeople right now?

A Starting Point for DIY

The more time you spend with a tool in your hand, the more comfortable you will become at using them. Then you can begin to stack your skills! After years of talent stacking, Tinian was able to work on a truly complex and memorable DIY project with his dad.  It is an experience he will never forget. But starting with the basic skills outlined in his blog posts is the best way to start building up to these types of memorable projects.  Projects that can pass through generations, creating a legacy item for a family.


Good Projects to Start With:

  • Light fixture
  • Painting Rooms
  • Simple and small flooring projects
  • Hanging pictures

YouTube is your best friend for tackling new projects.

Home Depot also has workshops that can teach basic skills.

Taking Care of Your Body as a Tradesperson

older gentleman with long gray beard in his DIY toolshop
source : nicolas hoizey

With the repetitive use of the body in each of The Trades, it’s important to plan for and combat potential health challenges.  For instance, with electricians, some complain of hip problems because of the impact of the heavy tool belts. For nurses back sprains can be an issue.  For hair stylists wrist and foot issues can happen.

A good health and exercise routine is important in combating these issues.  


Captain DIY on the Final Questions:

  • Captain DIY has opened a bank of mom and dad in order to teach his kids more about money at a younger age.
  • Money as an intermediary – money represents choice.  You can buy cool stuff with it or you can buy freedom.  Appreciate the level of privilege from whence you came.  We are much better off than we might realize – we have no needs that go unmet.
  • Daycare is a HUGE expense for those working 9-5 jobs, especially when you have two kids. Utilize dependent care assistance program – tax free bucket for daycare.
  • What is the best way for people to find you?  If you have any questions about entering the trades, contact Captain DIY at his blog DIY2FI.  If you are looking for some extra reading, check out his old blog lifeoutsidethebox.me

Stay Tuned For Our Next Episode…

Headshot of chris browning of popcorn finance podcast
Chris Browning of Popcorn Finance

Join us in the next episode when we talk to Chris Browning of the Popcorn Finance Podcast.  Chris Browning has a background in Finance, but recognizes the difference between his Finance training and the field of Personal Finance.  

Listen in with us as we talk to him about his debt payoff story, and the actions he must continue to take to stay on track with his budget.



What DIY project will you tackle after hearing from Captain DIY today? Let us know in the comment section below or continue the discussion in Our Facebook Group!

Please take a moment to subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or Stitcher so you don’t miss the next episode! While you’re at it, give us a 5-star rating and share the podcast to your friends.

If you’d like to be a guest on the show, please contact us on HouseOfFi.com

1 thought on “Episode 14 – Captain DIY Tells You Why You Should Put Your Stock In Becoming a Tradesperson”

  1. Pingback: | House of FI Podcast

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top