Home Improvement and Repairs | 10 Ways to Save Money

Print Friendly

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.

By the way, with just a handful of comments each day, you’ve got a great opportunity to win this prize.

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).
  9. 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.
  10. 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.


  1. says

    I believe spending a little more for good quality paint will save you both time and money in the long run. Off brands can be of inconsistent quality. In a recent decorating job, days of work were added in my entry way (smallest room of the job) because of the poor quality paint the builder used (or because they didn’t prime properly). We had papered over the paint.Everywhere there was crack filler in the drywall the paint came off with the paper, right down to leaving bare plaster. Everywhere else the paper had fused with the paint making it difficult to remove, and impossible to do so without damaging the walls (paint had been on a year or two before we papered).

    • says

      Knowing where not to skimp is an excellent suggestion. The fact that we can save money in most areas should make it easy for us to pay for quality where needed!

  2. Jesse Young says

    Two words: You Tube! It’s amazing how many step by step home improvement videos are available online. Even if you are not particularly handy with a hammer and saw, it’s difficult to go wrong if you can follow step by step video instructions.

  3. Scott F says

    Before you run to the store to buy your appliances, fixtures, or other home improvement supplies, check and see if there is a Habitat ReStore near you. The store is donated leftover home improvement materials donated to the store for resale and benefits Habitat for Humanity. Some of it is gently used but most is leftover. It is a win-win — you spend less money and it goes to support a good charity, helping another family get a home. And when you are finished with your own project, you now no where to take your leftover supplies! :) http://www.habitat.org/restores/default.aspx

  4. Scott F says

    Well that’s embarrassing. I meant to say “you now KNOW where to take your leftover supplies!” I should drink more coffee in the mornings before posting!

  5. Peter Palek says

    Thanks for the advise. I am planning to buy a home. And the tips given for home improvement is very good. It has given me insight into how to save cost, when it comes to home improvement. I will definitely take these tips into consideration, when my time comes.

    • says

      Great tip! You can make a large impact with small changes. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint, new hardware, and rearranging furniture can do for a home!

  6. says

    The tips are very useful and practical, like the idea of emergency fund in-case something happen in an emergency situation that we need to repair something there will be always be an amount that will be alloted for it, Hiring a contractor also can be a great idea and bargaining his service.

  7. says

    one of the above comments is right on: when it comes to home improvement products buying the cheapest is in fact frequently not the most cost effective approach over time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *