People usually shy away from DIY home improvements because they regard them as a waste of time and money. While time management is entirely up to you, it is not true that home improvements cost a lot of money if you carry them out yourself. In fact, if you are skilled enough, you can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on the services of handymen. Basically, all you need is the material that is readily available at any DIY center or hardware store, watching a couple of online tutorials, and gearing up before you are ready to start tearing down walls. The following projects have the potential to save you the most amount of money if executed on your own.
Cleaning the gutters
Essentially, this is neither a home build nor a home renovation but cleaning the gutters is equally important. If too much debris and leaves pile up on the roof, the drainage system will collapse, potentially leaving your house flooded. During and after fall you need to pick up a ladder and go up the roof to clean the gutters, mostly from fallen leaves, although you might find a baseball or two.
Carefully remove by hand all of it into a bag, climb down the ladder and empty the bag into a dumpster. Then reposition the ladder and repeat the same process. It is important that you move the ladder to the side and not your body, as leaning out too much could cause you to fall from height! Also, while you’re up there, assess any potential damage to the shingles, flashings or the gutters; perhaps they are in need of a repair.
Updating the appliances
Every room in your house is bound to have an abundance of appliances inside it. They weren’t all purchased at the same time and you do not use them to the same extent. That is why some are a worse shape than others, so they could do with some updating. This move will result in saving energy in the long run, so be sure to refresh big energy suckers such as AC units, heating systems, dehumidifiers, stoves, and refrigerators.
You can take the top off the air-conditioning unit and gently rinse the filter in warm water. The heating system could be set to “eco” mode in order to balance the air temperature and consumption, while coils behind the refrigerator can be dusted, ideally every six months. These might seem as miniscule undertakings but combined, they can cut the utility bill at the end of the month by at least a third. The best thing is you needn’t spend a single dollar on tuning them up.
Due to aesthetical and reasons of functionality, you might decide to tear down a wall or two. This is usually done in the kitchen or upstairs when you want to create a master bedroom from two smaller rooms. Before you pick up the sledgehammer, you need to check that the wall you are demolishing is not a support wall and that there are no pipes, gas lines, and electrical wires inside it. Secondly, you need to take great of your own safety, as just one piece of rebarred concrete can smash your foot, sending you to the ER instantly. Get one of those steel toe boots as made by Redback Boots that will ensure your feet are safe during the demolition process. Extremities, such as hands and feet, are most vulnerable, so put on some protective gloves as well.
Setting up a home security system
People who own property in crime-ridden neighborhoods know best how important a good home security system is. You want to keep the house safe but the truth is security firms charge a lot of money for installation of these systems. It is expensive enough to buy them, so it seems unfair that you have to pay extra cash to have them installed. This is an activity that, with the use of a good manual and some professional advice, can be carried out by the homeowner. Once in place, the home security system will not only keep your house and loved-ones inside safe but it will actually increase the market value of your property.
Roof solar panels
There is more to the roof than just cleaning the gutters. Saving money by owning energy-efficient appliances is one thing but what if we told you that could do away with the electricity bill altogether! This is possible through the installation of plug and play solar panels that have recently appeared on the market and made it possible for homeowners to connect them to the home power grid on their own. Of course, solar panels are a huge investment but after a decade or so, they will start making you money.
The 5 projects listed here require little investment (apart from solar panels, of course) and they are lucrative in the long end. Just make sure you stay safe during any DIY home improvement projects as staying safe is the biggest investment you can make.
Liam Smith is a young and aspiring Australian blogger with a passion for everything related to home, design