7 Home Maintenance Tips For The Frugal DIY’er

Somebody tried to fix the nail holes in this flashing by applying way too much caulk. This is all wrong.
Somebody tried to fix the nail holes in this flashing by applying way too much caulk. This is all wrong.

A home is the largest investment most people will ever make. As such it’s important to keep up with maintenance to protect that investment and minimize costly repairs as much as possible.  A good way to keep up with this without spending a ton of money is to do it yourself (DIY)!

Much like a car, a well maintained home can keep problems to a minimum while neglecting maintenance can allow smaller problems to become large expenses usually at the worst possible times. Regular maintenance can save your money, especially if you do it yourself!

Here are 7 tips to help you get the most out of your home maintenance tasks and keep your home in shape!

1) Buy Cheap Or Rent Tools That Are Used Only Once

If you need a specific tool to get the job done and you know you aren’t going to use it much afterwards, find it cheap at a yard sale or online, if you know you aren’t going to use more than once, rent it!

No sense in paying full price for a tool if it’s only going to be used a few times, especially if it’s just for one job. The internet and yard sales have many tools that people bought for single jobs and can be bought in great condition for cheap!

You can save big money renting professional-grade tools rather than buying them plus get the added benefit of profressional advice on how to properly use these tools from those you rent them from!

2) Save Leftover Materials

After finishing a project, many people have parts left over. Everything from screws, nuts, bolts and other pieces of hardware can come in handy for future projects. Pieces of wood or plywood that are somewhat large  can be kept for future use and even the smaller bits could be save to level out, brace, or prop up things!

3) Use Recycled or “Oops” Paint

If you are flexible with paint colors there are 2 great ways to save money on paint. “Oops” paint is paint that was incorrectly mixed or never purchased by a customers. Home Depot and other hardware stores usually keep these paints and sell them at a fraction of their original costs. You can also check with your local municipality and waste management department for recycled paint which can be obtained at low cost and sometimes free!

4) Buy Materials Yourself & Professional Labor Separately

In many cases, you can save money by buying the materials you need at a discount via the internet or discount stores rather than paying full price plus the markup a contractor charges. Just make sure you discuss this beforehand with the tradesman or contractor and find out any technical requirements they may have. Some require material purchase go through them for warranty and other considerations while others are fine installing third party materials.

5) Do Some Of It Yourself & Hire A Professional To Finish It

Another great way to save money for the more skilled DIY’er is to start a large project by doing the easier, but labor intensive stuff yourself then hiring a professional to finish it. For example, when remodeling, you can move all the furniture out, rip up carpet/flooring, mirrors, fixtures and anything else then call a professional to do the carpeting, hardwood floors, plumbing and actual remodeling.

6) Take Advantage Of “Free” Services

Many contractors offer free estimates when called out for a potential job. Usually this entails a thorough inspection of the work that needs to be done and a quote that gives you an idea of the costs. Not only does this help you budget accordingly but also find problems that a normal layperson could miss. It can also help you determine if a job is too big or complicated to do yourself and if you should hire the contractor rather than risk doing the job wrong.

7) Do What You Can But Hire A Professional For The Complicated Things

Many home improvement jobs can be done by skilled do it yourselfer’s but it is important to know your limits! Electrical, plumbing, and roofing for example are things that may seem to be somewhat easy to a DIY’er on the surface but should you make a mistake, the costs (and risk to yourself) can skyrocket quickly! Patching a hole in the roof for example may seem easy to the layperson but this may only be part of the problem. Thinking you fixed a problem when you haven’t can end up costing thousands in repairs as the problem continues unabated. Worse, if the problem is repaired incorrectly, you may actually cause more damage then if you let the problem lie.

Unless you are an expert or have extensive experience in these areas, hiring a professional to do the complicated work will be of more benefit in the long run than saving a few hundred bucks now.

Atlanta Roofing Specialists offer free roof estimates to Metro Atlanta homeowners, call today at 770-419-2222!


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