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Home Improvement

Find remodeling supplies and contractors to fix your home for less. Learn how to save money on basic home maintenance and repairs you can do yourself. Get discount paints and more.

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  • Use Freecycle to get and give household items for FREE!
    Freecycle is just what it sounds like ("free" & "recycle"). People donate their unwanted items to other people, for free. If you have something you no longer need, you can donate it and keep it out of the landfill. Likewise, you can search for [...]
  • Use tax incentives to pay for "green" upgrades
    Federal and state governments are offering various subsidies and credits to offset the cost of home upgrades that are environmentally friendly. Take advantage of a 30% savings (via tax credit) from the Federal government, plus add on any available [...]
  • Take advantage of free home remodeling consultants
    Lowe’s, Home Depot and other home improvement stores all have them. Kitchen planners, tile experts or paint specialists are often on hand to answer questions and help with your remodel. Pick their brains, get their advice and take home some [...]
  • Hit the salvage yards and recycling centers
    Amazing and unique items can be found at architectural salvage yards, from reclaimed wood from a now defunct bridge, to doors, windows, kitchen and bath essentials to raw building materials. Recycling centers can be filled with cast-offs form [...]
  • Dollar store finds: bargain tools
    They might not be name brand or overly fancy, but a $1 or $2 hammer will probably work just as well around the house as a $10 one. Bargains on everything from pliers, kitchen gadgets, screws and screw drivers, Exacto knives and painting supplies can [...]
  • Shop online remodeling supplies
    No brick and mortar store = no overhead. Bargains on everything from new doors to furnishings, light fixtures, railroad ties and handicrafts can be found online, at places like Craigslist.org and Ebay.com, and the websites of big retailers like [...]
  • Build up and in, instead of out
    Foundation work is very expensive, so, large outward additions to a house equal an expensive remodel. And these typically don't offer a great payback (maybe 50-70%) when you resell. Think about ways of remodeling by making use of the space you [...]
  • Know your stuff? Skip the contractors to save 25%+ on remodels
    Contractors’ fees can add thousands of dollars to a project. If a project can be completed with the help of family and friends or a local handyman, you can save up to 25% on a remodel. However, you sacrifice expertise and a lot of time this way, [...]
  • Pay now, not for the next 15 years
    If possible, avoid taking out home equity loans and second mortgages just to finance a remodel. You’ll be paying for that new kitchen for the next 15 years. Instead, put money aside for a few months - or a few years if necessary - to save for a [...]
  • Leave the plumbing where it is
    When planning a home remodel, If possible leave the plumbing where it is. Moving the plumbing in a house can double the cost of a remodel. Also, electrical work can be very expensive, so instead of totally rewiring, try to supplement what is already [...]
  • Use mostly inexpensive materials
    Top-of-the-line materials are not necessary for every inch of a remodeling project. Use inexpensive materials where possible for the bulk of a project, then splurge on eye-catching areas like a kitchen island. Also, for countertops, consider ¾ inch [...]
  • Build your tool set one by one
    Most of us don't need the entire 100-piece tool set we so often see advertised. They take up space and will put a dent in your wallet. Instead, buy tools one by one as you need them. Look for bargains on each piece, grabbing on to big sales as they [...]
  • Choose wood- or coated metal-handled tools – they are the best value for money
    Wood-handled tools are strong, but not too heavy. Look for handles with a close and tight grain, that have not been painted – painting can be a sign of inferior wood cover-up. Look for Ash or Hickory (they are the most durable), but avoid Douglas [...]
  • Store tools properly
    Proper tool storage keeps them in good condition and can extend their lifespan – that means less money spent on tools in the future. Keep short-handled tools in a garden bag or tool box you can take with you as you work. Hang long-handled tools [...]
  • Be sure to add tech wiring when you remodel
    Electronics technology is constantly evolving, meaning gadgets will undoubtedly become outdated. And wireless technology is improving and expanding, making wires optional for some networking needs. However, the use of cables and wires for TV, [...]
 
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