Home repairs are a necessary part of homeownership but can be costly. Ideally, you should save at least 1% of your home’s value each year in savings accounts for repair costs and renovations.
Fortunately, many common repairs can be accomplished as DIY projects. Oftentimes, it’s just a matter of watching videos online or reading tutorials to get the job done.
1. Do It Yourself
Whether you’re a novice homeowner or consider yourself an unofficial home improvement expert, you can save money on home repairs by doing it yourself. This can include small projects like painting, replacing faceplates on outlets or snaking out a clogged drain.
However, it’s important to know your limits. A botched repair job can end up costing you more in the long run than simply shelling out for a professional. Be sure to research your project and follow step-by-step guides or videos online. Having the right tools can also make all the difference.
2. Get a Warranty
A home warranty is a service contract that provides homeowners with discounted repair and replacement services for their major systems and appliances. Homeowners can purchase plans that cover various appliances and home services in your home. Check specifically each company to see what is covered.
The plans typically cost and vary differently per year, and some companies allow homeowners to pay monthly to make them more affordable if necessary. Before choosing a plan, however, homeowners should get a home warranty quote and pay attention to coverage caps and the service call fee to ensure they are getting the best deal possible.
3. Get Multiple Estimates
Keeping up with home repairs is essential to maintain a well-functioning house. It also helps avoid hefty borrowing expenses down the road. However, it’s not always easy to estimate the cost of a renovation or repair.
Thankfully, there are many ways to save money on home repairs and stay within budget. From DIY efforts to prioritization and comparison shopping, there are a variety of tricks that homeowners can use to minimize the cost of their home repairs.
4. Hire a Reputable Contractor
While some projects require the help of a professional contractor, certain home repairs can be performed by homeowners. However, if you do need to hire a contractor, be sure to research their background and experience.
Avoid contractors who make unsolicited offers at your door or use high-pressure sales tactics. Also, be wary of non-local “storm chasers” who may be difficult to track down if the work they perform is unsatisfactory.
Before hiring a contractor, ask friends and family for referrals and obtain bids from several different contractors. Also, request a copy of their state license and insurance coverage.
5. Don’t Overpay
Whether you’re doing an upgrade or tackling a minor repair, it pays to be aware of how much you should be paying for parts and labor. Homeowners can also avoid over improving their homes by understanding how much value each improvement will add to the property. Even popular improvements, like repainting, may not pay off when it comes time to sell the property. Ultimately, the value of your home is determined by location, square footage and nearby comparable sales, not high-end finishes or upgrades.
6. Don’t Overspending
Home improvements can be expensive, but they are necessary to keep your property in good condition. However, you can save money on some home renovation projects by shopping around for the best prices on materials and labor.
It is also important to know the value of your home before completing any renovations. This will help you avoid overspending on the project and ensure that it is in line with your budget.
For example, if your home is worth $100,000 and you want to spend $40,000 on a kitchen overhaul, it’s likely that the renovation will not add much value to your home.
7. Don’t Wait
Even if you do your best to preventatively maintain your home, stuff is going to break. Whether it’s a burst water heater or an AC that decides to shut down in the middle of summer, these repairs can be expensive and unpredictable.
However, it’s important to tackle these repairs right away, before the problem gets worse. A minor issue can turn into a big one, like a leaky pipe that could lead to a rotten subfloor or a mold infestation.
To save money on home repairs, try keeping a log of your work and DIY projects. You can also partner with a top real estate agent who knows what fixes will help sell
your home and which are unnecessary.