Home Improvement on a Budget

As many people continue to worry about the economy, home renovation and home improvement have surged just as quickly as home sales have declined. Folks seem to be hunkering down, making repairs and putting a new face on their existing property, rather than upgrading. Luckily, many small home improvement projects can be undertaken for a minimum of cost. Look below for some tips to get the most bang out of your renovation buck.

Handle Smaller Jobs on Your Own: Before you call in a general contractor (or a specialist) to take care of your home improvement project, take a moment to consider whether you can handle it yourself. Many smaller tasks can be tackled relatively easily now that the Internet serves up detailed blueprints, instructions, and tips at the click of a button. These smaller jobs are also a great way to get your hands dirty before trying them on larger, more complex projects like window replacement.

Call an Experienced Friend: We all know “that guy”: whether he’s a buddy from college, a neighbor from down the street, or a teammate from your bowling league, there’s always the guy (or gal) who drives a pickup truck full of tools. Even if they rely on construction and renovation for their livelihood, they’ll likely be willing to give you some tips to get you started. If they embrace these kinds of tasks as a hobby, you may just have found a willing partner who can be bought for a six-pack of cold beer.

Cost vs. Benefit: If you’re really trying to find the most economical home repair, concentrate on high-yield projects. Here’s a hint: putting in new cabinets isn’t going to save you a ton of cash. Instead, think about installing insulated windows to save on heating costs. Or perhaps a new, more efficient HVAC (High Velocity Air Conditioning) system could dramatically lower your electricity costs. Look to the home improvements that will save you cash over the long run.

Look for Bargains: Last year’s styles are this year’s great bargains. When you go into a home repair store or interior design boutique, ask the salesperson what they’re trying to get rid of. You may be able to score a steal if you’re persistent and have a bit of luck. And consider that most rooms in your home will only be renovated about once a decade; does it really matter if you’re a year behind?

Don’t Buy Tools, Rent Them: What’s the point of spending a couple of hundred dollars on a brand new band saw that’s going to rust away in your garage after you use it once? Instead of buying new equipment, head to a local rental shop. Better yet, talk to neighbors and friends; it’s entirely possible that they’ll have most of what you’ll need.

Renovating your home can be a great way to improve its value and your quality of life efficiently and economically. Keep these goals in mind while you plan your improvements, and you’ll end up with positive changes to your house, apartment, or condo.

Sears Home Services can be counted on to get the job done. If you’re planning on replacing siding, windows, or doors, consider talking to a professional.