Have some home maintenance that you need to take care of, but you’re not excited about spending the money on? Me too. Home maintenance costs can be boring and expensive, so I have come to live by a few money-saving strategies for reducing those necessary costs of maintaining a home.
Coupons, Vouchers and other Promotional Discounts
These discounts or promotions can be found everywhere if you live in a major-metro area; you just have to look in your mail, on your door or in your email inbox. The competition is fierce and many vendors will offer promotions to get your business. I have not yet paid full price for carpet cleaning, vent cleaning, window washing, lawn fertilizing, or HVAC maintenance. Some of the best ways to sample new vendors and their services are through pre-paid vouchers like LivingSocial ( www.livingsocial.com ) or Groupon ( www.groupon.com ) that can be tailored to your region. As long as you buy it with a date to use it and schedule it right away, then you will not have a wallet full of unused or expired vouchers and you can save anywhere from 30-70% off the full service price.
Schedule Services in Bundles for a Discount
You have a home that needs a good deep clean? Many companies will steam clean the carpets, furniture, tile and clean out your vents for a bundled service discount. The same should apply for other services like landscaping, painting, HVAC service, etc. Schedule all similar services for the same time, during the same visit. It’s more earnings for the vendors, but only one trip, so your negotiation here can save you anywhere from 10-30% off full price.
Purchase Maintenance Contracts
Since maintenance is on-going, how about systemizing how often it is done by purchasing a service agreement for regular, on-going maintenance, cleaning or service? With your promised loyalty to that vendor, you will receive a break of some kind, ranging from 10-35% off of the full price of a single, one-time only purchased service, plus you can often save on repairs with that vendor if you have a regular service agreement, equaling more savings over the long term.
Buy in Bulk
For items that need to be replaced or used on a regular basis, like furnace filters, light bulbs, fertilizer, etc., plan ahead, buy in bulk and save approximately 10-30% off of single purchases.
Share Rentals with Neighbors
In my neighborhood, no one wants to rent an aerator for a complete day by themselves. One of us secures the equipment, but we all pitch in to share the cost of the rental while we take turns using it. If you plan ahead, organize and share a rental with one or more neighbors, this can reduce your costs minimally by at least 50%.
My favorite painter does not like accounting, so we trade painting services for bookkeeping or other business assistance. Bartering and swapping services has proven not only mutually beneficial, but money saving and creatively rewarding as well. Find a friend or someone whose strengths are your weaknesses or dislikes and partner away! Using your gifts and talents to help others is priceless.
In a world of competing places to spend our money, it is easy to put home maintenance on the back burner and forgo it all together from time to time. This is a major mistake and slacking off will lead to deferred maintenance. Letting things go is always more costly in terms of time and money in the long run than just being proactive about taking care of things on a regular schedule.
Not a hard and fast rule, but more of a general guideline, maintenance costs per year per home are estimated to be approximately 1% of the value of the home and this is depending on the age, condition, location and energy efficiencies of your home, according to the NAHB ( National Association of Home Builders ) . So on a home worth $400,000, with an estimated cost of $4000 per year of maintenance, saving anywhere between 10-70% off of the individual maintenance services will literally save you hundreds, possibly thousands, of dollars each year.