Spring is finally here and you’re ready to give your home a little TLC. Warm temperatures will be here before you know it, so you want to focus on spring-specific tasks to prepare your place for summer.
This might involve giving your house a deep clean, planting a garden, power-washing the deck, clearing gutters or repairing damaged screens. No matter what you have in mind, you want to do it right, but in the most economical way possible.
The consumer price index for February increased 7.9% over a 12-month period, the largest increase since January 1982, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even worse: The price of gasoline has surged 38% over the past year, so your budget likely has taken a hit to account for these added costs.
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to complete all the home improvement tasks on your list without overspending. Here are five ways to accomplish this in April.
Do It Yourself
Hiring a professional to handle your home improvement projects is nice, but it isn’t always necessary.
If taking the DIY route is a safety hazard — i.e., a job that needs to be completed by a skilled professional — or will require you to invest a considerable amount in tools, it’s not worth it. However, if the project is something you can accomplish on your own without pricey equipment, doing so can save you serious cash.
For example, the average cost to hire a professional to paint a room is $525, but it drops to around $100 if you do it yourself, according to Angi. Additionally, hiring a professional housecleaner costs roughly $30 to $50 per hour, which can cost more than $600 for homes over 3,000 square feet.
If you need to hire someone to complete a home improvement task, get a few quotes before committing to a specific company. Sites such as Angi, HomeAdvisor and Fixr can help you determine average rates for the service in your local area, so you know whether the rate you’re quoted is fair.
Of course, it’s not necessarily wise to go with a quote notably cheaper than the rest, but this should help you avoid being price-gouged.
Some spring home improvement projects involve maintenance and repairs, while others focus on a revamp. If yours fits into the latter category, it’s easy to get carried away when purchasing furnishings and décor.
It’s only natural to want the best of everything for your redecorated space, but spending more on everything isn’t necessary. Instead, invest in a couple of quality pieces that will be used the most — e.g., a great mattress, a solid dining table, a durable couch — and fill the rest of the space with lower-priced items you won’t feel guilty about swapping out when you need a refresh.
Anyone can buy full-priced items in a store, but opting to shop secondhand is cheaper and allows you to score more eclectic finds. Whether you need tools for a DIY update or décor to refresh a room, you can save serious cash by shopping at thrift stores and garage sales.
For example, the Bragdon 23″ Table Lamp is $109.99 at Wayfair, but you could also get a great lamp secondhand for a fraction of the price. As for tools, the Craftsman 135-Piece Standard and Metric Combination Polished Chrome Mechanics Tool Set is $149 at Lowe’s, but you likely can get all the tools you need used for significantly less.
Ask for Help
You can’t reasonably handle a certain home improvement task, but you know someone else who can. If you have a friend or family member with a special skill, calling in any favors can help you save serious cash.
For example, labor costs to hang wallpaper average $25 to $80 per hour, according to HomeAdvisor. Alternately, leaf removal and a yard spring cleanup average $200 to $550.
If you’re not owed any favors, consider offering to help a loved one with a home improvement task on their list, in exchange for their assistance.
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