Making improvements to your home can increase the value so you can resell it for more money later or tap into your equity to back other investments. Some improvements are necessary to maintain the structural and aesthetic integrity of the house by repairing problems. However, many home improvements can be very expensive, such as replacing the roof or laying down beautiful hardwood flooring.
Home improvements don’t need to land you in the poor house. Here are a few ways that you can save money to make the repairs and improvements that you need:
Do the Work Yourself
Much of the expense involved with home repairs and improvements is the labor. Contractors and home professionals can cost $25 an hour or more, and some projects can take weeks or even months to complete. You can complete many home improvements yourself and save a lot of money. Stick to simple projects like painting, adding trim or putting down flooring and leave the more complicated projects like electrical work or roofing to the experts. Any mistakes you make can end up costing you a lot more money.
Buy Recycled or Reused Materials
Materials are the second big expense when making home repairs and improvements. You can save money by buying your own materials, and then you can save more by choosing recycled or reused materials. Look into resources in your area to find out what may be available. For example, Habit for Humanity operates a reuse warehouse in many locations with donated building materials leftover from building or remodeling projects.
Get Free Materials
Sometimes you can reduce the cost of materials to zero. Check resources like Freecycle or Craig’s list for listings. Many homeowners will give away materials that are leftover from their own building or remodeling projects. You may have to be vigilant to get all the materials you need, but you can definitely get some of the materials or tools to get your project started.
Sites like Craig’s list are also great resources for connecting with professionals. If you have a skill that would benefit others – such as sewing or building websites – you can trade it for the labor on your building or remodeling project. Post an ad with what you have in mind, or scroll the other ads to find someone who is looking for services you might have to offer.
Use Tax Credits
Some tax credits may be available for your home improvement projects that could offset the costs. For example, if you are building a home office, you may be able to deduct these costs from your taxable income. If you are making improvements that will make your home more energy-efficient, you may qualify for a tax credit. Talk to a tax professional to find out what’s possible for your particular project.
Home improvements don’t need to be out of reach. By planning ahead, making some different buying choices and being willing to put in a little elbow grease, you may be able to make your home improvement project fit with your budget.