1. Knowledge and Planning When planning any sort of home repair, your greatest asset is knowledge. Spend the time to plan ahead; gather every bit of information possible, do your homework, research your contractors, building materials and prices. Planning ahead and seeing the whole picture will cut down on unnecessary oversights and save you valuable money in the end.
2. Use Qualified Contractors
With any home repair you should always pick the best person for the job – your research will reveal your options of qualified and specialized individuals. Though it may save you money up front, opting for the less qualified bargain bid will cost you extra in the end if it’s not done right the first time. Why pay twice? Always choose well-established and legally licensed contractors that will provide you with a fixed-price bid up front and guarantee their services.
3. Shop for Yourself
When it comes to buying your building materials, it is sometimes in your best interest to do the shopping yourself. By leaving the responsibility up to your contractor you’re at the mercy of their shopping habits and the value of their time. If they feel their funds are taken care of, they may be less likely to search for bargains and simply settle for retail. Take the initiative and search for the sales – it will benefit your final bill.
4. Order Online
As in most things, shopping for building materials online can yield large discounts and lower your total expenses. Many online retailers can beat the price of your local stores because they deal in volume – not to mention the additional savings from the plethora of digital coupons and promo codes that are circulating the web.
5. Leverage Manufacturer Rebates
In these hard economic times and the global push toward going green, the government and many manufacturers are adding incentives for the use of more efficient products by way of rebates. When buying new appliances or materials for your home improvement, your research will reveal which companies are competing for your business and in-turn cutting your costs.
6. Avoid the Costly
In any home repair there are certain renovations that will inherently cost more than others. For example, adjusting hard structures such as foundations, bearing walls, rooflines and plumbing will require many more man-hours and specialized equipment and therefore, much more money. Consider working with the more malleable elements of your home and avoid the big-ticket projects.
7. Use Re-purposed Materials
Continuing with the green theme, a great way to save money on home repairs is by paying a visit to your local rebuilding center. These facilities are brimming with home furnishings and raw materials that have been salvaged from older homes – quality goods with character at a lesser price than brand new items. Using repurposed goods is a way to use moderately priced materials to achieve abundantly creative results.
8. Use Caution with Contracts
Once you’ve found a qualified contractor, it’s in your best interest to avoid signing any sort of contract that requires a full payment upfront. Be sure to keep the power in your hands and negotiate a deal that only pays full wages for fully satisfactory work. By only paying for satisfactory final results, you’ll avoid paying another person to come fix what the previous contractor should have done.
9. Pay More for Energy Savers
Though it may seem a bit backward, sometimes paying more on the front-end will save you money in the long run. If you’re considering updating your appliances or home systems, consider the more energy efficient options. They may cost slightly more than the standard competition but you’re sure to realize the savings for years to come.
10. Do It Yourself
Of course, for the more moderate home repairs, your best bet for saving money is to do it yourself. Though you should always have a professional do the specialized tasks, many of the more mundane updates can be done with a little help from your local Home Depot or Lowe’s. By doing it yourself you’ll learn something new, gain a sense of pride and save on the bottom dollar.