Delaying Home Improvement Projects? Here Is What to Do

December 6, 2022 by Chevron Federal Credit Union

If you’re considering postponing projects at home, you’re not alone.

Between rising inflation costs and ongoing supply chain issues increasing prices on home improvement supplies, many homeowners are feeling the pressure. In fact, 46% of recent homebuyers said inflation and price increases have kept them from completing planned home improvement projects.

Delaying plans is never easy — but there are steps you can take now to keep things running smoothly at home and plan for the future.

Make easy repairs now to avoid costly repairs later

Homeowners often face a lot of projects, ranging from straightforward repairs to small weekend jobs to major renovations. Deciding what to tackle and what to delay can be tricky, especially when you’re on a budget.

Generally, you can delay most cosmetic upgrades and pricier renovation jobs, but there are a few tasks you want to stay on top of. For example, maintaining, cleaning or repairing your rain gutters is an affordable project that could potentially save you thousands later on. If your gutters fail, it could lead to costly damage to the exterior or foundation of your home. Repairing leaking windows or broken windowpanes, especially as we head into the coldest months of the year, can help you save on heating costs every day. Even something as simple as pressure washing your home can not only keep things looking nice, but can prevent salt, dirt and debris from causing a pricey problem.

Keeping up with easy repairs may still cost some money up front, but the savings will usually be worth it in the end.

Know when to DIY (and when to call in a pro)

Handling home projects or renovations yourself can potentially save you hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars on average, depending on the project.

For example, tiling a shower yourself could cost as little as $300 and up to $3,900 if done by a professional. Bigger projects, like installing drywall in a room, can range from a $150 DIY task to as much as a $10,000 professional job, according to a study by Clovered, an insurance provider.

The trouble is, while many of us like doing things on our own, we’re not quite Bob Vila. The study also found 87% of homeowners made a mistake attempting a DIY project. Mistakes can be costly, especially if you damage your home and then need to hire a professional to come in and make repairs. You might even consider hiring a retiree who worked in a specific trade and is looking for work to help coach you through the project.

Before attempting any DIY project, make sure you can reasonably tackle it or have a backup plan in place should you need to bring in a pro.

Shop around

For projects where you do need to hire a professional, it makes sense to comparison shop as much as you can.

Most professionals will offer a free or low-cost estimate for any work you need to have done. Generally, getting at least three estimates is beneficial so you can compare prices as well as timelines.

Be sure to ask any professional you’re considering hiring a few key questions such as:

●       If they’re licensed to complete the work.

●       If they have done similar work in the past.

●       If they include the cost of supplies in their estimate or can obtain a discount on materials.

●       If they can provide photos or videos of past completed projects to review.

Keep in mind, supply chain issues are still impacting many industries and there may be higher costs or longer delays than you’re expecting. If you are sourcing materials, keep your eyes peeled for discounts or explore using reclaimed or second-hand items that can keep your project moving forward with less sticker shock.

Grow your project funds with interest

For bigger or more expensive projects, it may make sense to delay your start date until you have saved up some cash to cover expenses up front. If you are planning to postpone, consider setting up a home improvement fund in a savings account.

Planning to save up for a remodeling project? With a Share Certificate members can lock in a guaranteed rate of return for three months — or up to five years. And if you need access to your funds sooner, your MarketEdge Money Market Savings can help you earn more interest and includes access to a debit card.

By regularly contributing to your savings account, those earmarked funds will earn interest while you wait, helping to get you even closer to your goal. Plus, keeping the money separate from your regular checking or savings accounts may reduce the temptation to dip into it for unrelated wants.

The to-do list for homeowners never ends, and it can be frustrating to put projects on hold. But you can still take steps to be ready to hit “go” when the time is right.


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