SAYEDUCATE (January 17, 2011) – No matter what the economy is doing or whether home prices are sky high or have dropped dramatically, it’s still a good idea to look for ways of trimming home improvement costs. There are enough homeowner related costs to pay without overspending on your home improvement costs, and if you’re looking to save a buck here or there, here are a few ways that might help you do so.
Probably the best way to reduce home improvement costs is by tackling jobs yourself. However, doing so without the proper tools, training, and knowledge could prove costly. Making sure you know what you’re getting into before you begin a project could reduce costly mistakes, mishaps, and taking on more than you can handle. Consider doing Internet research or checking out a handyman’s guidebook for the project you are interested in completing before you begin your work.
2. Know Your Limitations
Pertaining to do-it-yourself jobs, it’s important to know your limitations. This way you won’t get in over your head and end up doing more damage than good to your home. Trimming costs is good, but your mistakes could cost you more than your DIY work saves.
3. Comparison Shop
Taking a minute to jump on the Internet and explore the costs of the materials involved in your home improvement project, or reading explanations and reviews from those who have already taken on a project such as kitchen remodeling can help you determine just how much your job will cost and where you can save. Consider getting several bids from contractors or handymen for projects that you are unable to take on yourself in an effort to save some cash.
4. Find a Reliable Contractor or Repair Person
It can be difficult to find a reliable and affordable contractor or repair person. To help you find the best one for your buck, consider using recommendations from friends, family or co-workers, and again, utilize the Internet as a resource in this area to learn about the experiences others have had before you make a decision. Once you find a trustworthy repair person, building a good working relationship with him or her could save you even more money down the road.
5. Ask Questions
Asking questions can be key to keeping you from making costly home improvement mistakes. Whether deciding what materials to purchase, the best way in which to complete a job, or which repair people to choose and how much they charge, it’s often better to ask questions sooner than later when it comes to home improvement jobs.
6. Borrow Tools
You might find that you lack the proper tools and equipment to complete a particular home improvement project, but don’t have the money or inclination to go out and buy what you need. You might never have a reason to use these items again and it just may not be worth the outlay of money. Therefore, you might be able to save money by borrowing them from a neighbor, family member, or friend if they are willing to do so. Just make sure you don’t damage them during your work and that you return them in good working order.
7. Search Garage Sales
You may be surprised to find that garage sales can be a wonderfully cheap way to find various tools, materials, and equipment that might be necessary for your home improvement projects. While it could take a bit of searching, people who are moving or downsizing are often looking to get rid of tools and may be willing to let them go at a really low price.
8. Go Energy Efficient
When taking on repair or modification projects for your home, considering eco-friendly options could save you money. While up-front costs for energy efficient appliances, HVAC systems, and other energy saving products or repairs could cost just as much or more than regular items, over the long haul they could reduce your energy costs significantly.
9. Make Use of Tax Breaks
Consider looking for tax breaks for energy efficient purchases or repairs that you may be considering making or have already made to your home. Checking with a tax professional or the Energy Star website at http://www.energystar.gov can help you ensure that your projects qualify before making your purchases or starting your work.
10. The Gift of Giving
While it may not be fun, asking for home improvement related gifts during holidays and birthdays could help you cut costs. Asking for gift cards to home supply stores or for new tools can be useful in helping you to trim the amount of money you must spend yourself on such items as well as help guide those looking to buy you gifts when they head out to the stores.
— Steve Diamond