10 Ways to Save Money on Home Repairs During a Recession

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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.

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Comments

  1. Carl Ambers says:

    I agree. Seeking the help of qualified contractors to do home repairs would save a lot of money in time of recession. Here in Alberta, Canada we have qualified calgary roofing contractors with a healthy track record and certifications.

  2. Cliff Marlowe says:

    Another way to get money for your home repair is your homeowners insurance policy. Every year you pay into homeowners insurance just in case property damage occurs. When property damage happens your policy cover a number of items. The key word is “sudden and accidential” and is it covered. You are allowed to make no less than one claim a year and in some cases three.

    Hail damage must be reported in 6 months or you out of luck. Most claims must be made within one year or your out too.

    Hiring a Public Adjuster is better than calling your agent because your agent is working for the insurance company and seeks to save a buck (which gives him a bonus not you) for them. The Public Adjuster seeks to get you the most money because they don’t get paid unless you are paid.

    In many cases you gain the money you need to make the repairs because your insurance is suppose to bring you back to the condition it was before the damage. There are three types of policies. H01, H02 and H03. The H01 covers many things, the H02 covers more and the H03 covers everything. Most homeoweners insurance cost between 350-450 a year. In most poor neighborhoods you pay just as much as in a rich one. Why? They consider you a high risk. Make sure sump pumps are covered in the basement (most are NOT) and if it stops you foot the bill alone.

    What if a baseball hits your siding? Your entitled to a whole new residing usally. What is some drops something on your floor and cracks your tile floor? Your entitled to a whole new floor. Who can spot all this? A public adjuster can and a good one is worth his weight in gold.

    Hope this helps you folks repair your home. Winter damage is covered too.

  3. Utility Warehouse says:

    Use different contractors for each job rather than a builder that does the works, often saves you money, this is a more stressful option though. John

  4. “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.”

    You hit the nail on the head with this one. Most homeowners don’t know that some contractors like to exaggerate about their service or drop the price just to close the sale. This is a big mistake and a bit costly at times.

    Take the time to know your contractor better. Ask around and try to call some of their old clients to determine how reliable they are with their service.

    Thanks!

  5. Pete says:

    Thanks for the great post. Good advice! I always thinking fixing up your home is a love hate thing. It can be extremely rewarding, but it can be a second job too. This was a great post though.

    I stumbled upon this blog like I did yours. Thought it’s humor on home fixing might be enjoyable: http://burisonthecouch.wordpress.com/2009/12/31/our-house/

    Thanks for the post! I’d love to see more like it.

  6. Not exactly home repairs but saving money is saving money :) With electricity and gas prices climbing slowly but surely year on year finding ways to help reduce your bills is starting to be more and more critical. A great many people foget that one of the simplest ways to reduce your bills is to set up energy efficient home appliances and light bulbs. Only then consider changing utility suppliers being cautious not to be miss sold by sales individuals who are on comission.

  7. Andrew says:

    Sometimes contractors are necessary, but Doing-it-yourself is definitely the way to go in this economy. I saved over $350 last summer when my central a/c quit. A local contractor wanted $500 to replace a motor, but I found a website that helped me get the motor I needed and walked me through the whole replacement process. I’m not very handy, either! Check out http://www.brokenthermostat.com if you ever need help with your heating or air conditioning.

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