Dec 08, 2008

Money-Saving Tips from a Home Contractor

PR post crawl 0406.jpg.jpgPaul A. Rude, retired General Contractor and member of the American Society of Home Inspectors, answers your questions on remodeling, dealing with contractors, and home maintenance.

Dear Paul: What money-saving tips can you offer to homeowners who need to make repairs or would like to start remodeling projects?

Dear Reader:
Because times are tough for everyone, you might actually get some good deals. Here are some of my favorite strategies:

  • If you have the time to shop for things to spruce up the ol' homestead, you can find just about anything on Craigslist, EBay, etc.
  • Lumber yards often have returned merchandise that is seriously marked down -- sometimes these are top-of-the-line items like custom windows or doors. You just have to be imaginative to think of how to use them.
  • Paint stores always have lots of returned paint that's just fine but wasn't the exact color someone else wanted. It's nearly free, and even if it's not what you had in mind for the dining room, it will be fine for the basement, garage, or wherever the exact color is not important. If it's a light color, you may even be able to get it re-tinted closer to what you want.
  • In the current economy, lots of contractors will be going out of business and may sell off their stock of materials and tools at cents on the dollar.
  • Most larger towns have salvage yards and recycling centers that handle building materials, appliances, and fixtures.
  • If you have friends or neighbors whose homes also need sprucing up, put together a cooperative effort -- have a painting bee, share a debris box to get rid of junk, and so on.