Tips on doing home repairs on a Budget

Know where you can ‘cut corners’ and where you can’t.

If it is an electrical item (not just a switch plate), do not buy the cheapest thing you can find. Items that involve physical safety or home security (door locks) should be purchased with ‘budget’ NOT being #1 on the list of importance.
Also, sometimes, more means less in other words, if you spend half again for the more expensive item, but it lasts more than twice as long, that is a bargain. Not only does it save you time, in replacing it again, but it saves you money. Aside from getting 25% more life than the cheaper version, you also save gas going to the store to purchase another cheapie. Then too, there’s the chance that when you go to buy the second one, it has gone up in price.
Know your project before you start. Read up on what all you can expect to run into. Watch someone do the job on youtube, if possible. You do not want to get into the middle of a project and find out you are in over your head. Nor do you want to make three trips to Lowes because there are hidden things that should be fixed/replaced while you are working.

Reconsider DIY

If you don’t have the expertise, you could end up paying between 10% and 40% more.Why? While your DIY labor is technically free, your lack of know-how can be costly.

And then there’s hiring and scheduling. A task like moving a wall could mean hiring an engineer and an architect, not to mention coordinating permits. A renovation contractor knows who’ll do the best work for the best price, and they’ll know when to schedule them to avoid wasting dollars on inefficient use of time.

Hire the Right Experts

If you decide to forgo the general contractor route and hire individual workers yourself, it’s best to get at least three quotes for each service performed. Talking to professionals isn’t just about finding the most competitive price. It’s also an opportunity to figure out what services each individual contractor includes within his fee.

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Know Where You’re Willing to Cut Corners — and Where You’re Going to Invest

Before setting a project budget, consider what features are most important to you. When it comes to allocating funds, ancillary desires should take second place to your overall project goals.

If, for example, your primary goal is to expand your cabinet space, how vital are custom cabinets or high-end finishes to that goal? If you’re comfortable using stock sizes, you can save about 20% to 30% on your budget.

Source: Quora/JayStark


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