Welcome to Money Saving Monday where we remind ourselves that community is the greatest money saving resource we have.
Each month, you’ll have a chance to win one of two $15 Amazon gift cards. Simply leave your tips and suggestions, and if it is a top pick of the month, you’ll get a $15.00 gift card.
- Have a Detailed Plan – Even if you plan to hire a general contractor, you need to have as much information as possible. You should know about permits, time, cost and quality of materials, and ratings/recommendations regarding contractors.
- Have an Emergency Fund – Hopefully, you will be able to plan and save for your repairs. However, for repairs that are truly emergencies, you will need to draw down on your emergency fund. Make sure you take home maintenance (estimate 1-2% of the value of your home per year) into account when building this fund!
- Take Your Time – Everything doesn’t have to be done at once. Tackle the safety concerns and the items that need to be fixed first! Then if your budget allows, take on the cosmetic changes. This way you can avoid going over your budget and being forced to finance your repairs.
- Do It Yourself – For many small to moderate home repairs, you can save money by doing them yourself. If you are not the “handy” type, then you can take classes at Home Depot or Lowes, and even find instructional videos online.
- Hire a Reliable Contractor – Easier said than done! Of course, you can’t guarantee the type of job that will be done ahead of time; but you can make sure that you only hire qualified and highly-recommended contractors. Ask your neighbors, check with the Better Business Bureau, and even look online to ensure that you hire the best person for the job.
- Bargain With Your Contractor – Once you find a few possible contractors, request bids. For smaller, less complex jobs, you can usually feel secure just accepting the lowest bid. However, if there are multiple jobs, or one large one, then negotiating is key. If you have a series of jobs that you need done, then you can ask for a discount for multiple projects.
- Have a Contract – Make sure that you highlight all of your expectations in this agreement. This includes the length of each project, payment plans (usually connected to milestones), penalty for going over the estimated time, etc.
- Buy Your Own Materials – You are much more likely to look for deals than a contractor would be. There are certain low-end items that can even be purchased at your local dollar store (such as painting supplies, light bulbs, peel and stick tile, measuring tape, and decorative supplies).
- Find Remnants – You can save tons of money by purchasing remnants of materials from special orders. This sometimes works for pre-cut lumber, carpets, stone, and other raw materials. You can also find materials that were salvaged from older homes, but are in good condition.
- Rent – By renting a home, you can avoid the direct costs of repairs. If all you are interested in is shelter, then this is probably your best option!
What are your tips for saving money on home repairs?
Remember, if you leave a comment you have a chance to win one of two $15 Amazon gift cards.