Welcome to part 2 of our Money Saving Week! Yesterday we shared how we save money through negotiating. Today’s tip is DIY.
Given the overall theme of our blog, DIY had to pop up in our top 4 ways of saving money somewhere and for us this has been and still is the easiest way to save.
There was no way that we could have bought the house that we wanted in the area that we wanted to be in if we hadn’t been prepared to compromise and in our case it was buying a house that needed some serious DIY.
Of course you can’t do everything yourself, but you’d be surprised at what you can achieve if you put your mind to it.
When we bought our home we’d never tackled any home improvements, but now we’ve done everything from sanding floors and painting right through to installing a new water mains connection and even replacing our garage roof.
Here are some of the savings we made:
Garage Roof. The companies that gave us quotes to completely replace the roof covering were happy for us to do the demolition work and remove the old roof covering ourselves. Comparing quotes this would have saved us about £450. In the end we decided to tackle the whole project ourselves and ended up saving about £1300! Now, I’m not suggesting that everyone should replace their roof themselves, but removing the existing covering was really easy and was done in less than a day.
Water Mains. The quotes we got for the work were all around the £600 mark. As the actual connection to the mains water supply is carried out by the utility company (for free if you’re replacing old lead pipes) we figured that we could do the work ourselves. Materials for the job cost under £100, so by digging a hole in our front garden we saved ourselves about £500. I should point out, that the companies that gave us quotes would have pushed the pipe through the ground and not dug a hole. Our front garden is only grass, so we were happy to dig a hole, but if you have a paved garden you’re probably not going to want to dig a hole!
Sanding Floors. When we first moved in, we paid a professional floor sanding guy to sand the living room, our bedroom and office floors. When it came round to sanding the rest of the floors in our home we decided to tackle the job ourselves. The sanding we paid for came to around £550. The weekend hire of the sander and supplies needed when we sanded the remaining floor area of the house (which was a slightly larger area) came to just over £200 meaning we saved about £350.
Whilst some of the projects we’ve tackled are probably for the more experienced DIYer, you can save loads on even little projects and preparation work. Saving on the projects we could do ourselves meant that we could pay for the projects that we couldn’t do like having new windows installed or our wood burning stove in the dining room.
Of course DIY is much broader than just home improvements. Most things that you can do yourself will probably save you money whether it’s cooking instead of eating out or making your own wedding stationery. Just remember that there’s always only so much you can do, so try to be realistic and don’t take on more than you can chew!
What jobs to you do to save money? Have you tackled any home improvements that you’ve saved money on? Or do you prefer to take a back seat and let the professionals tackle things?