photo by Roselyn Tirado via Unsplash

How to Make Home Repairs On a Tight Budget?

March 18, 2021

by lidia staron, guest contributor

Home remodeling projects should, ideally, be well-planned. Ample research, preparation, and strategic timing are keys to keeping your dream home ideas strictly within the budget. However, we also acknowledge that there are emergencies that will require home repairs on the fly. Water damage or electrical problems, for instance, cannot be put off. 

Fortunately, whether your home repair needs are planned or not, there are ways to cut the cost down to a manageable amount. And today, we are going to share with you some of those tips. Let’s get started!

Prioritize Your Needs

The first thing that you want to do is to prioritize essential projects. For instance, while you might want to change your countertops as well, it would be wise to deal with your leaking kitchen plumbing first. In this way, if your budget fails to cover everything somehow, you’d have the critical repairs done already.

Place a Buffer in Your Budget

The rule of thumb is to compute all of the expected expenses to complete the project and add 20% of the total cost. It still might not be enough depending on the type of project you are doing. A lot of things can go wrong during a remodel, after all. However, this buffer will go a long way to cover most emergencies.

You can also apply for personal loans for home repairs. These are loan plans that are specifically formulated for homeowners due for a remodel. 

Don’t Hire the First Contractor You Contact

Shop around. Compare prices. Determine the most competitive rates. Doing so will also give you an idea of how much home repairs cost since most contractors will provide smart estimates of your home repair needs.

Don’t sacrifice quality over affordability, though. Be patient enough to look through the company’s reviews, or better yet seek personal recommendations from people you trust.

DIY Demolition

Do you need to knock down a wall or two? Are you confident enough that you won’t hit any load-bearing structure or drill straight into live wiring or pressurized plumbing? Home remodeling will always remain more costly than demolition but that doesn’t mean that it’s going to be dirt cheap, either.

If you’re confident that you can do it, then have at it, especially if you have previous experience already in doing so. 

A quick disclaimer, though: The keywords here are experience and confidence. If you’re not absolutely sure that you know what you’re doing, then please don’t attempt it. You might accidentally double all of your costs if you make a critical mistake.

Seek Help

Those who don’t have a lot of DIY knowledge can always ask for help, but they don’t always have to be from a paid professional. Do you have friends that still owe you a favor? How about someone who has the experience and tools?

Who knows? You might just be able to pay for your man cave labor with pizza and ice-cold beer.

Time Your Renovation

If you really need to hire a contractor, then do so during their off-peak season. For most contractors in the country, that would mean the beginning of the year. This will still depend on your location, of course, so make sure to ask around and do your research. 

Focus on Efficiency Over Size

We understand why size expansion is so popular in home renovation plans. It’s normal to seek a bigger (or higher) space. Increasing a space’s size can be quite an investment, though. That’s why we recommend you focus on efficiency instead. 

Come up with home features that serve more than a single purpose (like a window bench that doubles as storage), maximize wall space as much as your floor space, bring in natural light through a light tube instead of increasing the size and number of your windows. There are a lot of things that you can do to make even the smallest room as efficient as an indoor space that is twice its size.

Use Stock Sizes

Speaking of sizes, another step is to plan your project around the stock sizes that your building materials will come in. They are definitely more affordable compared to tailor-made pieces.

Don’t Rush Everything

Have a lot of projects in mind? Space them out. We recommend going through one project at a time. This will give you enough time to save money in between.

Start with a small project. Its success will help you gain momentum, as well as the confidence necessary to accomplish more of your projects in the future.

Finally, it will also make the expenses more manageable.

Now, the tips that we have shared with you above are definitely not the only things you can do to save money during a home remodeling. Those are simply the ones we have tried-and-tested ourselves. We hope we were able to help you out. Good luck!

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