If you’re a homeowner, chances are you’re always looking for ways to save money. Tackling home improvement projects yourself is a great way to cut out the middleman and continue to invest in your home even in a difficult economy. However, you still need to have a plan, regardless of how large or small your DIY project, or else you may end up wasting time, energy and money you’d hoped to have saved. But with the right forethought, and your goals firmly in mind, anyone can go the DIY approach to improve their home and save some money. Here is a look at a couple of quick tips to help you on the way.
Simplify your paint purchases. One great way to improve the look of your home is with a new paint job. Fresh paint is a great way to make a big impact with a fairly modest investment. But it’s easy to get swayed into trying out the unique paint combinations you see in the magazines. If you want your new paint job to last, stick with simpler, more traditional colors that are sure to stay in style. An added benefit is that you can pick a single, neutral color to use on the trim in every room. You’ll end up with much less paint wasted, and won’t have to worry about matching colors in the future.
Forgo the expensive, name brand cleaning supplies. A big part of any DIY project is the cleanup before and after the job. But while a range of large corporations make millions of dollars off customers buying cleaning products every year, you can save big by making your own. With cheap products you’ll find in any kitchen, such as baking soda and white vinegar, you can make your own cleaning supplies for jobs large and small. You’ll save each and every year, and also won’t be spraying a ton of harsh chemicals around your family and pets.
Consider energy savings when making installations. You may spend a bit more out of the box, but the savings over the life of your home will be significant. If you’re replacing the roof, consider pale shingles that don’t absorb heat, and a set of solar panels. When you replace your old water heater or washer/dryer, choose machines that are energy efficient.
Add needed tools to your kit, but go used. Although the racks of bright, shiny, perfect tools in Home Depot may certainly be enticing, you can save a bundle by buying what you need used. You can easily find gently used tools all over the internet. Check out Craigslist for a wide selection, but you may find what you need for barter on Freecycle. You’ll reduce waste by buying used, and lower the price of any project you tackle.
Buy things you need off season. Want to redo the backyard patio? Wait until the fall to make those new purchases. The selection may be a bit diminished, but everything will be on deep discount. Considering a landscaping job? Pick up one of those John Deere riding lawn mowers you always wanted in the dead of winter, when no one else is buying. You’ll have to stick with what you’ve got this year, but the savings will be worth it.