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Home Improvement Tips


A home is the biggest purchase that most people will ever make. Doing regular maintenance is the best way to ensure you protect that asset and avoid costly repairs down the line, says Matt Blashaw, licensed contractor and host of the DIY Network show “Money Hunters.”You have to think of your home like a car, and you just have to give it the maintenance in order for it to treat you right. When people don’t take the time to do that maintenance, it’s at the worst times — during a heavy winter or now in the rainy season — when the house comes back to bite you.”

But proper do-it-yourself home maintenance can save you money.Look for used tools at yard sales and online, and if you need an expensive tool for just one project, don’t be afraid to rent.

For a tool you’re planning to use once or twice for a specific project it doesn’t make sense to pay full price for a brand-new tool. Instead,try going to yard sales and using online classifieds to track down a high-quality used tool that can cost hundreds less.

Another option to save money is tool rental. For hundreds or even thousands less than it would cost to buy them, Blashaw says you can rent professional-grade tools that can make projects go more quickly. Here are some tools that will be cheaper renting rather than buying:

  • Power paint sprayer.

  • Hammer drill.

  • Scaffolding and platforms.

  • A post-hole driller for outdoor projects.

Another advantage to renting: Rental professionals have a lot of knowledge to offer about how to properly use a tool and get your DIY project done safely.

After you finish a home improvement project, there are always leftover screws, bolts and other small bits of hardware. You can use store-bought organizers or even glass or plastic food containers to organize and store them. It will keep you from making a trip to the hardware store for a minor fix in the future, and you’ll save money.

For major repairs and home upgrades, you may be able to get a better deal if you shop for materials like tile, air conditioners or lumber separately at a discount store or warehouse rather than paying the markup many installers tack on to materials they provide.

A principle to save money for skilled home repairs you are planning to do on your own is doing the less-complicated, but labor-intensive steps of a home-improvement project and calling in a professional to finish it. For instance, if you’re doing a bathroom remodeling job, you can yank outdated mirrors, flooring and fixtures yourself, but call in professionals to do the plumbing and remodeling.



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