Frugal Friday – Home Maintenance

I noticed, as I was coming up with my list of 6 areas in which you could cut your spending, that while I’ve touched on many issues I mentioned there in previous Frugal Friday posts in that post, there was a pretty glaring omission:  I haven’t ever written a Frugal Friday post about keeping your home maintenance costs under control.  Given how much it can cost to keep your home in liveable shape, it’s always good have methods of keeping the cost to a limit.

Now, since there are a wide variety of maintenance issues, and I’m not the most handy person around to begin with, I’ll be looking at some of the broader issues you need to consider when it comes to home maintenance.  If you are looking to save money while keeping your home in good working order, there are several things you can consider, including:

1. Do the Maintenance Yourself: It’s one of the easiest ways to cut down your cost of home maintenance: do as much of it as possible yourself.   Now, there are some projects that are almost certainly out of your ability to perform that you will have to hire a contractor like Chase Construction; things involving electricity always make me reach for the telephone.  But, there is quite a bit of home maintenance that even a rank amateur such as myself can do without risk of injury to self or property.

For more elaborate work, you probably should leave it to the experts.

2. Borrow or Rent Unusual Tools that You Need Rarely:
Unless you are quite the handyman (or handywoman) already, you’re likely to not have all the equipment handy that you need to do all the repair work your home will ever need.  Since home maintenance equipment can be very expensive, it’s worthwhile to consider alternatives.  If you aren’t likely to need the equipment often (or ever) in the future, you could consider renting the tool; you’ll spend much than with a purchase, and you won’t need to find room for a tool in your home.  You could also consider borrowing a tool from a friend or neighbor; just make sure you return it promptly, as the cost of a broken relationship will be far more than that of the equipment.

3. Keep Up on Preventative Maintenance: As with most things, from health to car care, it’s easier (and cheaper) to prevent problems than to fix them once things have gone wrong.  By keeping up on the preventative maintenance around your home and performing the simple maintenance actions you are able to do, you can minimize the amount of more serious problems you’ll have to deal with, and as a result, save money.  You’ll also benefit from not having the minor but annoying problems that plague some households.

4. Keep Extra Parts Around for Future Repairs: If you are doing it yourself, you are likely to have to buy your supplies in fairly large quantities; when was the last time you saw a single screw or half a dozen nails for sale?  If you do buy such supplies, make sure you save the extras, somewhere you will remember where they are located.  That way, the next time you need screws, nails, or any other supplies to do further home repairs, you’ll have them on hand.

5. Don’t Neglect Problems When They Arise: It’s easy in our already busy, busy world to put off maintenance for tomorrow that we should do today.  The problem is, there is an unfortunate for problems to just grow if they are neglected; a small leak gradually gets bigger and bigger, that small hole in the house’s paint gets larger, and the wind and sun slowly wear down the exterior paint of the house.  If you catch these problems when they first start, you can make relatively minor repairs, ones that can be done yourself with limited difficulty, while waiting can leave you with more complex and difficult to perform repairs.  Save yourself time and effort by being proactive with your repairs.

How do you keep your home maintenance costs under control?

3 Responses to Frugal Friday – Home Maintenance

  1. Thankfully, I worked in construction and still do. It makes things cheaper when it comes to maintenance around the house for sure. There is probably one thing I would outsource, however. That would be plumbing! HATE that. Great tips!

  2. @Jon: Being handy around the house is definitely a big help trying when trying to save money on maintenance. There are areas I wouldn’t try on my best day, with serious plumbing jobs being one. Anything beyond, tightening an obviously leaking pipe is probably beyond me.

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