After reading 10 Home Improvements You Need To Make Before Selling, I thought of how difficult it is sometimes to maintain a nice home in the first place. Even if someone has the time and energy to make necessary changes or repairs, often the money just isn’t there. However, there are ways that a homeowner can save money in taking care of their home; and keep it in good repair in case they ever decide to sell. Here are just a few.
- Do what you can yourself. If you don’t know how to do something, barter with someone who does.
- In some cultures, an old fashioned “barn-raising” is how they get stuff done. If you face a monumental task—like putting a roof on—and are coming up short, ask the men at church to come and do the job. Just feed them well and keep the sweet tea coming.
- Ask for seconds. My husband routinely asks at the home improvement store for culled lumber or items that have been special ordered and not purchased. They generally mark these items down for a fraction of their regular retail price.
- Invest in a home improvement library. Reader’s Digest, Home Depot, and Better Homes and Gardens have published some great ones for basic home repairs. You can also use YouTube.com to learn just about anything.
- Scrounge for free supplies. Several years ago, I built a beautiful hearth for our woodstove for $38. I had roofing tiles my son salvaged from the tear down of an old farm house and stained glass from a friend. The $38 purchased other necessary supplies and tools.
- Wrap your hot water heater and hot water pipes with insulation to hold the heat in.
- Turn down your hot water.
- Install a timer on your hot water heater to come on when you know you will want hot water and off when you won’t. Or, purchase a new hot water heater with the timer built in.
- For those that garden or like to stock up on food, use two smaller deep freezers rather than one large one. When they start to get empty, combine the items and unplug one when not in use.
- Set your dishwasher to air dry.
Lawn and Garden
- Ask for mulch at the local landfill. When landscape professionals and homeowners take in their brush and tree trimmings, a lot of landfills chop it up into mulch and sell it for a fraction of the cost of the nursery.
- Bag your grass clippings and use them to mulch your vegetable garden. This not only keeps the weeds at bay, but holds in the moisture between rains.
- Install a rain barrel or two. When the rain fails to fall and your grass is crunching under your feet, you will be glad to save on your water bill.
- Start a compost bin. Nothing beats it for potting soil or filling in your raised garden beds.
- Plant perennials. An annual needs to be replanted every year. That not only takes time, but costs a lot of money. Ask at the nursery for perennials that come back each year.
- Shop second-hand stores. All home furnishings and decorator items can be found for a fraction of retail at the local thrift store or yard sale.
- Get out the sewing machine. If you can sew a straight line, you can make your own curtains, linens, or bed covers.
- Recycle. Ask yourself what you have on hand that you can already use. A basket with magazines in the family room can easily be painted and repurposed in the bath to hold wash cloths. You can find wonderful, do-it-yourself decorating ideas on Pinterest.com.
- Before buying paint, ask the dealer for special mixes that didn’t please. These gallons are always marked down to move and you just might find the perfect color in the lot.
- Turn things over. To prolong the life of your home furnishings, turn and rotate cushions and rugs. Also, vacuuming your upholstered furniture will keep it looking newer longer.
What ways do you save money around the homestead? We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.