How to Save Money on Major Home RepairsJanuary 19, 2023 Shelby Barker
It’s time for a much needed (and potentially long overdue) home repair. Problems such as foundation issues, sinking concrete, sump pump failures—you name it! —can sneak up on us.
Even if you’ve known for a while that an expense was coming, why pay more than you have to? When it comes to home repairs, the best thing you can do is be informed to make the right decision.
Fix It Early
It goes without saying: The smaller the issue, the easier the fix and, consequently, the lower the cost. For example, the crack under your egress window can be quickly diagnosed and repaired. But add some rain to the picture, and the crack opens up, water floods into your basement, and suddenly your expenses have multiplied—and something priceless may have been wrecked in the process.
Think of this scenario with your car: It’s less expensive to change the oil regularly than replace your engine, right? The same thing goes for home maintenance. Unfortunately, your home doesn’t come with a check-engine light. But think of a sticking window, sloping floor, or wall crack as a warning sign that there is a bigger problem.
It’s true that your home won’t repair itself. However, we can tell you that the sooner you diagnose and repair a problem, the better it will be on your bank account in the long run.
Be Ready to Make Home Repairs
Often, contracting businesses take a no-haggle approach with homeowners. But in the absence of negotiating, they do offer discounts for home repairs.
Some businesses offer same-day savings, because it helps them run more efficiently. That’s because if you wait to make your decision, another inspection may be needed. Which means sending out another person, using more gas, putting additional miles on a company car, etc.
If a company offers same-day savings, you should seriously consider it. Every day, homeowners miss out on 5% off a project that’s $10,000 or more simply because they weren’t ready to make a decision. By the way, 5% of $10,000 is $500. Not a small amount of money to anyone.
Pay Attention to Financing Options for Home Repairs
In addition to paying cash, there are other ways to finance home repairs, including personal loans, home equity loans, lines of credit, or using a credit card.
Sometimes interest rates are low, which helps keep the total cost of borrowing down. But other factors to consider include how low you’d like your monthly payments to be and how long you want to carry the debt.
Also, it’s a good idea to ask the contractor if there is a benefit to financing with them directly, such as paying no interest for a certain period of time or receiving a discount on the total cost of the project.
Fix It Once and For All
There’s only one way to make sure you don’t need to fix an issue again, and that’s getting it done right the first time. Yes, we know this seems obvious, but hear us out. Google “bad contractor,” then immerse yourself in the hundreds of stories about the homeowners who were “taken advantage of” and “never thought it would happen” to them. Unfortunately, there are bad actors in the home repair industry. Sometimes, it’s intentional. Other times, it’s a well-meaning effort, but they simply didn’t know what they were doing.
The solution? Pick the business that you know will do it right the first time. Not the cheapest. Not the fastest. Pick the one who will stand behind their work.
Lastly, hire a specialist for the type of repair you need instead of a general contractor or handyman. Read reviews. See how the company interacts with its customers online. Ask how long they’ve been in business, what training they’ve completed, and how many homes they’ve fixed. And always ask about the warranty and what happens to it if they go out of business.
As you can see, by following a few simple guidelines, you can make sure you not only get your home fixed right, but you can sleep well knowing you’ve actually saved your money in the long run.
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