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How To Save Money On Home Repairs

Updated on September 3, 2012


Home repairs can be extremely costly and can come at you when you least expect it.

Knowing how you'll handle the situation is key to managing your budget and saving money in the long run.

Have a plan in place for what you'll do if you need home repairs in the future.

More importantly, if you need home repairs now and can't see how you're going to be able to pay for them, let's have a look at some of the options.


This is one situation where having an emergency fund is really, really helpful! It saves you from having to finance something and paying more in interest than you should.

If you can budget for your emergency fund on a regular basis, you will avoid spending way too much on bigger repairs.

If you have smaller home repairs that need doing or you have multiple home repairs, prioritize. Decide which home repairs are the most crucial and attack them first.


Are there things that you can repair yourself? Even if you do the "grunt work" like ripping up old carpet because of a water leak, or tearing down a wall because of water damage, you'll save money.

You can negotiate the cost of your labor being deducted from the overall cost of replacement. There are also a lot of ways that you can save money by being a do-it-yourselfer even if your talents are not sufficient to complete the whole job.

You can also ask to be an apprentice/helper and save money that way if the person doing major home repairs is open to this frugal way of home repair.

You can learn all kinds of neat tricks and get a discount on your home repairs if an apprentice or helper is needed and if you can do the job!

Always think it through - can you do the repairs or do you need a professional? It is all about the level of repair and your skill set.

If you know how to make repairs that's one thing but can you honestly say for instance you can replace a roof?

Divide and conquer. Do the things that you can do without creating a bigger problem and hire out the things that are simply too big to tackle or could result in more problems or even dangerous situations.

If you're not an electrician, don't try and save money and do it yourself.

Find a good/reputable contractor if you need help with major repairs or remodels. Check out people with the Better Business Bureau but ask around. Get recommendations from people you trust and then interview the person yourself.

Don't pay everything up front if you hire a contractor. If there's a pay up front clause, you need to find another contractor. Do you know anyone who gets paid before the job is completed? I don't.

They can take the money and run or they can do half the project and leave you stranded, struggling to find another contractor to fix or finish what was started.

Bad business practice to pay for anything until it's completed. Deposit on the work to be accomplished, yes - payment in full - no way, Jose!

Take the time to check out other projects that your contractor has completed. It's like a resume. Go and look at the finished product before hiring them.

Don't hire the cheapest bidder either. You may be sorry in the long run. On simple or quick jobs that may be okay but for complicated jobs, check out his work!


Buy materials yourself. Some contractors don't like this. If you need a contractor, ask up front if you can buy materials yourself and negotiate accordingly. Why?

They will mark up the materials that they use or they will just buy as they are accustomed to buying. If you do your research and especially if you buy online and from different sources, you can save major bucks.

Don't forget remnants for carpeting or discontinued items for flooring, etc. Make sure you buy up to code materials but if your contractor gives you the green light, save ahoy!

Energy saving appliances or conversion of furnaces, air conditioners, roofing, etc. may cost more but don't be surprised. Ask about rebates from a contractor or go on line and research it yourself.

Most replacements or choices that are energy efficient are strangely higher in price than their less energy efficient counterparts. However, the thing here is that you usually can get manufacturer's rebates, tax credits, and the savings over time will more than pay for the choice you make.

Check out or even and see what items you can use that will give you rebates or tax credits - but always ask!

Ask your contractor, ask whoever you buy products from and ask your accountant.

Save energy wherever you can and even if you pay more upfront costs, you'll save over time!

Instead of recycled materials, you can use repurposed materials. Look online for rebuilding centers. These are places that offer repurposed materials - from home furnishings to raw materials and you can save a bundle.


In short, you can save a bundle of bucks with these money-saving ideas for home repairs. 

If you can't afford home repairs or budget for them, it's probably best to be a renter so as not to get caught in the upkeep game. 

Owning a home of any age is all about keeping it up to date and doing periodic maintenance that will save you big bucks over time. 

For do-it-yourself folks, visit Lowe's or Home Depot for loads of classes on how to do things. 

You can also find numerous do-it-yourself videos on line and visit any of a number of DIY websites. 

For the people that like reading a book, you can buy or check out books on how to do home repairs yourself and learn any number of ways to save money and make your house better and retain its value more.

Just remember to repair things within your skill set and leave the things you're not so sure about to the contractors - but you can still save money by employing the above techniques with them!


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