Owning a home can be an expensive business. Obviously, there is the cost of paying the mortgage and the utility bills, but what very few people realize is just how expensive repairing and maintaining a house can be. First there are all of the regular tasks, such as having the heating system checked on an annual basis, but then there are also all of the unexpected things – such as when a pipe starts to leak or when there is a problem with the roof. Fortunately, there are lots of different things that you can do to keep these expenses under control – provided that you think ahead.
One of the most popular ways of saving on home expenses is DIY. However, while this can be a great way of keeping costs down, you need to make sure that you tackle things that you are comfortable with. Be realistic about your DIY skills – there is no point in taking on a job and then failing at it. If a DIY project does go wrong, then you will have wasted the money that you spent on it, and will still have to pay a professional to do the job properly.
If you do take on DIY projects and are good at them, then there are still many ways that you can save money. To start with, shop around for the supplies that you need – don’t just assume that you will get the best deal at your local home supply store. If you look online for discount hardware and plumbing supplies, then you will be surprised how much lower the prices can be. Harbor Freight Tools is a great example of these online offers. Also, don’t throw away everything when you have finished a project – instead, hang on to things such as bolts and paint – or anything else you think you might be able to reuse later on. Make sure that you keep a note of where you have put everything so that you can retrieve it easily when that next project comes along.
It’s also important to avoid making unnecessary purchases. Power tools are a good example of this. Of course, if you are going to use a particular power tool again and again, then buying it is the most economical approach. However, if you are only going to use it once or twice, then it is better to look at alternatives. For instance, consider renting power tools that you will only use very infrequently, or see if you can pick up secondhand power tools cheaply at a local garage sale.
Finally, putting off needed maintenance is a false economy. For example, while you may think you are saving money by not having your gutters cleared out in the fall, you are risking serious damage to your roof if your gutters fill with water and then freeze, since this can make ice back up into the roof. The same principle applies to painting exterior woodwork. Once the paint starts to break down, the wood can start to rot – which will cost you serious money to replace.