Do-it-yourself home improvement tips to save money

Ginger Dean

October 6, 2015

By: Ginger Dean, Home Finance Specialist

In: General RemodelingFinance and Legal

There are a wide variety of home improvement projects that DIYers can take on -- you just have to make sure you have the right information to finish the job.

Anything from patching small cracks in the roof (you can use aluminum tape to seal the cracks!) to using dimmer switches with energy saving halogen bulbs can be accomplished as solo projects. Even better, projects like these can save you money in the long-term, which means you're not only saving by taking the project on yourself instead of hiring it out.

Brand new to DIY? You're not the only one! DIY is all the rage right now -- who doesn't want to save a few bucks while getting some hands-on experience? But a word of caution: start small. As you gain confidence and experience, you can ramp up to larger projects to save even more money.

Here are some tips to mull over as you take on DIY jobs:

  1. Note that while you're saving money, you're now giving up time. Weigh the options and make a decision around what's worth more: your time or money. You might get into a project with good intentions to save money, but really, in the end, that time spent wasn't worth it.
  2. Taking on a bigger project that requires some contractor help? See if you can get a quote that includes materials, then see if you can buy your own for less. Contractors might otherwise charge you more than they paid for these items -- that's what's called a "mark up." This increases their profit margin while doing the same for your bottom line.
  3. Check out local deals in hardware store or Craigslist for everything from lumber to furniture you can refinish. Let one man's trash become another man's savings. Plus, saving something that might otherwise go in a landfill helps keep our planet green.

There are so many ways to save money (and time!) when upgrading, maintaining, or repairing your home. Make sure that you understand what each project will require from you and what you can sacrifice (time and/or money) before you get started. Once you're sure you're not in over your head, make a plan, and get cracking.

Happy DIY-ing!

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