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Home Repair Weekly, February 9th, 2009 -- Saving money on home projects
February 11, 2009
This weeks topic is one that is an increasing concern with the downturn in our economy. Home repairs and maintenance don't go away just because our money is tight. In our featured article I've put together a list of tips and strategies for making the repairs you need without breaking the bank. For more money saving advice, how to projects, and Home Repair articles visit us online at
. You'll find lots of great how-to advice for making the home improvements you need, finding
bargains on materials
. Don't miss our FREE!
section. Post any repair or project you would like to do (small or large) and have local contractors in your area contact you about bidding it for you. Absolutely FREE!, no listing fees, no commissions after the sale, No Fees Ever. Also browse our contractor directory for companies in your area. For more info
Save Money on the Repairs You NeedNow, maybe more than ever, the first thing on the minds of many Americans is the economy and the effect it's having on their personal lives and budgets. People are eating out less, buying more fuel efficient vehicles, and taking lots of other steps to reduce their expenses. Home repairs and improvements can be costly and many people are canceling or delaying projects. However, in some cases, not doing the repairs may be more costly. Many maintenance issues will only worsen if neglected and if you're trying to sell a home in today's market, it's tough enough without prospective buyers and their home inspectors nitpicking minor defects. In an effort to help you make repairs, without breaking the bank, I've put together the following 10 tips for reducing repair costs.
1. Do It Yourself. This might seem like a pretty simple idea, but as a contractor, I've seen many people paying good money for services that they could have easily done themselves. I,m talking about things like changing a lock, sealing a stain on drywall, or fixing a leaking faucet. You may think: "I just can't do that. I'm not mechanically inclined." but today there is more Free advice and Education available via the internet than ever before. Don't get me wrong. There are some projects you may need to leave to a professional. But being adventurous and opening your mind just might save you some money.
2. Be more selective about hiring contractors. Times are tough for everyone right now. It should be a buyers market. Get prices from as many sources as possible. Two or three years ago it may have been difficult to find 3 or 4 different contractors to bid on a project. That shouldn't be a problem now. Don't misunderstand me. The cheapest price isn't always the best one. But, try to look at as many options as possible. For more on finding and hiring contractors, Click Here
3. Open contractor accounts at suppliers and home improvement stores. Many suppliers in the construction industry offer discounts to contractors. Some will only sell to businesses. Print some business cards on your computer with "Your Name Construction" or "Your Name Services" put your home address and home or cell #. It doesn't have to be a charge account, though that may be an option. Many businesses will simply open a cash account. You still pay as you go, but you'll get the contractors discount, which can be anywhere from 5% to 40%, on everything you buy. You may not need the business card to open the account, but it's easy and costs very little, so why not have it ready just in case. The types of businesses that offer these contractor discounts include: paint stores, flooring stores, and lumber yards. But you'll have to ask for it. If they don't offer it, maybe you need to look somewhere else. There is too much competition out there right now to overpay.
4. Look for used, discontinued, or scratch and dent materials. Lot's of people replace perfectly good appliances, fixtures, hardware, and other building materials everyday just because they want something different. There are tons of great deals waiting in the classifieds of your local paper and on the internet. Web sites like Ebay and Amazon are good sources and in the past few years Craigslist has become extremely popular. If your not familiar with Craigslist, it is basically on line classified adds. Most major cities have their own page and they are loaded with deals. A few years ago when I was remodeling my own kitchen I bought a glass cook top that retailed for over $500 for only $85. With a little cleaning it was as good as new. Also there are a lot of businesses that specialize in clearance or discontinued products. Just do your research and make sure it's really a deal. If you need new appliances, scratch and dent or floor models can offer big discounts and often carry the same warranty as new. For more sources of great deals on materials Click Here
5. Use multi-trade contractors or handy men. There are alot of talented people out there who can take care of several tasks for you. Many painters can also do drywall repairs and minor carpentry. Lots of jobs from changing locks, repairing fences, and hanging pictures or mirrors can be done by the same contractor and you can usually save money because the can do them for less, since they're already there, than a specialty contractor coming out just for that job. However, be careful and use the tips in our Hiring Contractors to check them out and make sure they're qualified. For resources, forms, contracts, and other important documents to help you in selecting the right contractor, check out our Do It Yourself Contractor Kit
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