I am fairly handy around the house. My dad and grandfather taught me to do quite a bit of home repair and I thank my mom for the courage to try myself. For most people it can be quite scary. What works for me it simple....doing it myself. My dryer broke, I diagnosed it and fixed it. I figured that it was already broken and worst case if I didn't fix it, I would need to buy a new one. Best case, I would fix it for a lot less. I ended up fixing it for $10, and a little time. Same thing with my washer...Best case happened again, this time it didn't cost anything, just a sock in the drain motor. I found a great website that gives detailed troubleshooting and fixing instructions it's called RepairClinic.com. Check it out http://www.repairclinic.com/ it really works for me!!
For more things that work, check out Shannon and her friends at http://rocksinmydryer.typepad.com/shannon/