Family Finance: How to Save Money on Home Repairs

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There are a lot of surprises when it comes to homeownership, but one prevailing constant is the fact that your house will have to undergo repairs at some point. Whether it’s mold in the attic, corroding pipes in your bathroom, or pest infestation in the kitchen, home repairs can cost a pretty penny. Luckily, you don’t have to break the bank to keep your humble abode running smoothly. Here are five tips on how to save money on your next home repair:

Figure Out Your Budget

Whenever you spend money, whether it’s home repairs or a pint of ice cream, you should always know how much of a percentage you’re allocating for that transaction. Before you buy any materials or hire any contractors for your home repair project, start a spreadsheet that itemizes all materials needed to do the repair or renovation. This could include lighting, countertops, drawers and cabinets, furniture, wall plate covers, appliances, and so on. Next, go online to see how much these materials will cost. If you need to hire a contractor for installation, such as a new A/C installation Salt Lake county, or for whatever area you live in, contact them for a quote. Keep note of the lowest and highest quotes you get from service providers, and list that as a price range on your spreadsheet.

Use Cash For All Your Transactions

At least for home repair transactions, you should use cash. It seems like a very simple and obvious tip. However, in today’s debt-driven consumeristic society, people are used to paying in debit or credit cards. Paying for transactions with money that you actually have will help you avoid loan or credit card interests. The average interest rate on credit cards is close to 20 percent. If you put that into a dollar amount and track it over X number of years, that seemingly infinitesimal number quickly becomes massive. If you are using cash for a very expensive and extensive repair, see if contractors give you a discount.

Gauge the Urgency of Your Home Repair

Waiting for the cash to remodel your home is a smart decision as it allows you to make better, more cohesive decisions as the new layout unfolds before you. If you choose to gut your house all in one go, you may not be able to factor in all the variables at play and end up regretting some of the choices you make. That being said, if you are looking at an urgent home repair, such as water leakage in your bathroom plumbing, it’s best to do it as soon as you identify the problem. Ignoring the problem will only result in more structural damages that may lead to costlier repairs.

Do the Repair Yourself

Many common household repairs, such as unclogging your waste disposal, replacing a faucet, or installing a new light fixture, can be done with minimal training and skill. Doing the repair yourself can save you a lot of money since you have the freedom to choose what brand of materials you use and you can take as much time as you need, which means you don’t have to pay contractor hours of his/her time to do the work. Part of what you’re paying for when you hire a contractor is the expedition. If you’ve identified the problem to be non-urgent, do it yourself.

Wait For Big Sales Events

Sales events, such as Cyber Monday, Black Friday, and Amazon Prime Day, are great times to buy materials and equipment, such as power tools, wiring, paint, and wood panels, for your home renovation or repair. These sales events can see prices on items drop by as much as half. Moreover, electronics, furniture, and appliances are often the biggest categories to get their price tags slashed.

As a final tip, you should ask for help from your circle of people before you explore the option of hiring a professional. Family, friends, and coworkers may have tools and materials to lend you or the skills to help you repair any structural damages in your household. That being said, for more complex repairs or installations, such as installing a new HVAC system, it’s best to leave it to professionals. You want to make sure the installation or repair is accurate and won’t present any issues later on.