Home improvement. Depending on how you look at it, it’s either a great way to spend a Saturday, or it’s a giant hole in your pocket.
For years we’ve associated home improvement costs with quality. Typically, you get what you pay for. But it doesn’t have to be! Here are a few tips to upgrading in smart and frugal ways:
1) Check for used materials first
It can be tempting to redo that bathroom with a whole bunch of new stuff. But before you head over to your local hardware store, hit up alternative sources like the recycling center, garage sales, auctions, and flea markets for any used materials that you can buy on the cheap.
2) Do it yourself
Hiring outside help is definitely easier, but where’s the fun in that! You can learn how to do pretty much anything on YouTube these days so long as it isn’t overly complicated, so why not paint that hallway yourself?
3) Don’t move the sink or toilet if you can help it
Rearranging plumbing is where your plumbing budget can go from modest to down the drain. If you’re going to move them anyways, take the opportunity to have your pipes looked at. It may be a good idea to have those upgraded as well to prevent future bursts.
4) Use the calendar to your advantage
Heating units are going to be most expensive to purchase in the middle of winter, and vice versa with air conditioning. If you’re going to buy new, wait until the off season to get the lowest price. The same goes with outdoor supplies like gardening tools or a new grill.
5) Install dimmer switches on lights
Dimmer switches give you more control over the amount of light in your room, and you may very well find yourself preferring a slightly dimmer atmosphere, which will undoubtedly save you money on your electric bill in the long run.
6) Be efficient with space
Have you ever played Tetris? If you can maximize your storage space, you may not need to move to a bigger place or rent a storage unit. For example, store stuff under your bed or couch, or put hooks on the inside of cabinets/doors, or invest in seating that can sneakily store stuff.
7) Rent tools you don’t have a frequent need for
Home improvement projects may call for specific tools that you don’t own. Rather than buying something that you’ll only use once, find out if you can rent for a fraction of the cost. Your local hardware store usually rents chainsaws, tractors, power washers, and more at a daily or weekend rate.
8) Give your appliances a check up
Old appliances that have stood the test of time may have bred some sense of loyalty, but they’re often very energy inefficient. True, new appliances come with a large price tag, but they can often save you money for years to come just by being more efficient. Zebit Market has a ton of energy efficient appliances, check them out before you buy it with any expensive financing method.
9) Check for drafts
Drafts are one of the biggest wastes of energy you’ll face. If a window isn’t sealed properly on a cold, windy night, I guarantee the heating will be increased and so will your energy bill. Fix these before extreme weather months to prevent sealing costs at their highest.
You can save a lot when you plan ahead. Good luck building, fixing, and improving your home.