Keeping your home in tip top condition can be challenging. On top of general wear and tear, you may have to deal with emergency damage as the result of an accident, a storm or even a burglary. Some of this damage can be very costly, but you may not be able to ignore it. This is where it pays to know a few cost-cutting repair methods. Here are just a few ideas to help afford home maintenance costs.
Take out home insurance
Home insurance may be able to cover damage as the result of bad weather, burglary and fire. Providing that you don’t live in a high-risk area, insurance rates can often be found at affordable prices if you shop around. Make sure to always read the terms and conditions so that you know exactly what is covered. Tricks like upping your deductible can lower your insurance rates, but you could end up spending a lot of money when damage actually does take place.
Shop around for contractors
When choosing contractors to work with, shop around for prices. Many contractors won’t give a quote over the phone and will want to visit your home to assess the damage. Get lots of quotes so that you can negotiate a price match. Make sure to read online reviews if they’re available – some companies may charge low rates as a way of making up for a bad reputation. You want a cheap price, but you also want the job to be done right.
Check for guarantees
Some contractors will offer a guarantee. If repairs aren’t done to a good quality, a guarantee ensures that you will get a refund. This could save you money if things go wrong – you don’t want to be spending extra to repair a botch job. Shop around for companies with guarantees.
Source your own materials
You can save money on the cost of hiring contractors in many cases by sourcing your own materials. There are lots of places online in which you can buy materials cheaply in bulk. There’s also the option of reclaimed materials. These are materials that have been used in previous construction projects and are still in condition enough to re-use. Reclaimed materials aren’t just more eco-friendly – they’re also much cheaper. Buy materials from honest sources so that you know you’re getting good quality.
Those brave enough to go DIY can often save a lot of money. There are lots of tutorials online including blogs and Youtube walk-throughs that can guide you through many home repairs. You may have to own certain tools in certain cases, which could add to the costs and possibly make a contractor more economical. That said, you may be able to improvise certain tools in some cases. Basic leaks, roofing repairs and flooring flaws can all be repaired oneself. More complex jobs like faulty electrics and complex plumbing may require hiring a professional and could be unsafe to DIY. Know your limitations – you don’t want to screw up and end up paying more to repair the extra damage.
Take out an emergency loan
A popular way of affording home repairs is to take out a loan. There are many cash advance lenders out there that can offer you money if you can’t wait until payday. You should always shop around for loans to find the lowest interest rates in order to avoid paying more in the long run. Certain lenders may offer specialist home improvement loans with cheap interest rates. If you have a mortgage, your lender may also contribute some money to spend on home improvements.
Part-pay on credit card
Paying for home repairs using your credit card could be another way to afford these out-of-pocket costs. Many credit cards have limits to how much you can borrow, so check that expensive repairs don’t exceed this limit. Even if you part-pay for repairs on credit card, this can have several advantages. Credit cards offer a certain security, giving you the option to refund if a job isn’t done to spec. In a way it’s almost like creating your own warranty. As with loans, make sure that you’re using a credit card with a relatively low interest rate in order to reduce debt.
Start up a rainy day fund
A rainy day fund is a savings account to be spent only on emergencies. This could include home repairs, medical costs and car repairs. A rainy day fund can be a more economical alternative to insurance and borrowing, although it does require a certain amount of discipline as you need to make sure that there is always enough money in your rainy day fund to cover emergencies. High interest savings account can help you to grow this fund without having to keep contributing money.
Check for grants
There are home repair grants out there for those on a low income. These grants usually only cover repairs to serious damage such as a broken roof or dangerous wiring faults. In some cases, these grants could allow you up to five grand to use on home repairs. Get in contact with grant organisations and see if you are eligible.
Know your legal rights
There are times when you may be able to seek legal action for damage to your property. This could be damage caused by a neighbour such as a tree belonging to them that’s fallen into your garden or a fire that was caused by your neighbour and has caused damage to your property. There are also other times in which you may be able to seek legal compensation. If you hired a surveyor before moving into your home and they failed to identify certain faults, you may be able to make a negligence claim and cover repair costs this way.