8 Ways to Save Money on Home Maintenance

by Shelley Frost
Young Male Property Inspector Photographing a Line to a Residential Air Conditioner Condenser Unit at the side of a stucco home

Does it feel like you have a never-ending to-do list of home maintenance tasks? Being a homeowner means you have full control over your space, but it also means you're responsible for maintaining everything.

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Here’s how to save money on home maintenance costs to keep your property in good condition without going broke.

What Are Some Ways to Save Money on Regular Home Maintenance Tasks?

Keeping up with home maintenance is a cost-saving trick in itself. By doing regular maintenance, you keep all systems in good working order. They'll last longer and you'll likely have fewer major repairs, which can save you money in the long run.

But many maintenance tasks also come with a price tag. You have to spend money on maintenance to save more money on repairs and replacements. With these tips, you can handle the upkeep while saving on home maintenance costs.

1. DIY Your Home Maintenance

Any home maintenance work you can do yourself eliminates the labor costs that come with hiring a pro. Tasks such as changing your HVAC filter, cleaning gutters and caulking seams are all things the average homeowner can handle easily. Look at your list of maintenance tasks and identify the ones you can handle yourself.

2. Know When to Call a Pro

Sometimes, you need the help of a professional. While changing your HVAC filter is a DIY project, you still need a yearly HVAC tune-up from a pro to make sure everything is working correctly. Many plumbing tasks, including cleaning your sewer and drains, are also better left to the pros. Some minor repairs around your home are things you can do, but others could be risky as DIY projects. If it goes wrong, you'll spend more having a professional fix your work. Be realistic about your skills and limitations to know when to hire help.

3. Invest in Basic Tools, Rent Others

Having a set of basic tools on hand makes it easier to do maintenance tasks and minor repairs. Grab a toolbox and fill it with the basics, such as:

  • Hammer
  • Screwdrivers
  • Clamps
  • Drill
  • Stud finder
  • Pliers
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Wrenches

You might occasionally need a specialty tool for a certain job. Maybe you're repainting your siding and want to use a paint sprayer, or you have a roof maintenance task where scaffolding would come in handy. These items have a higher price tag, and you probably won't use them very often, so renting them is often a more cost-effective option.

Another strategy is to ask around if you need a tool you don't own. You might find a friend or neighbor who has the tool you need and will lend it to you.

4. Buy Maintenance Supplies at a Discount

You'll need some items frequently, such as HVAC filters and cleaning supplies. Look for bulk buys on those items to save on the per-item cost. Check the clearance racks for maintenance supplies you use frequently. Stock up when you find a sale. Not only will you save money on supplies but you'll also keep your home stocked, so you won't have to make lots of last-minute trips to the store.

5. Spend More on Quality Products

The lowest price option isn't always the best. Upgrading to higher-quality items can save you money overall because they don't have to be replaced as often. For example, felt or foam weatherstripping is inexpensive, but it typically doesn't work as well as metal or vinyl and won't last as long. Vinyl or metal options cost more, but they'll last a lot longer. Higher-quality HVAC filters might not need to be replaced as often, or you can invest in washable filters that can be used over and over.

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6. Stick to a Schedule

Home maintenance is more effective when you stick to a regular schedule. It's a good idea to clean your gutters at least twice per year, for example. HVAC filters typically need to be changed about every three months. If you wait too long, the maintenance task can become more involved, or it might cause damage that requires repairs. Clogged gutters can cause water damage, and dirty HVAC filters make the system work harder, causing extra wear on the equipment.

7. Choose New Materials and Appliances Wisely

When you remodel your home, do your research on the materials and appliances you choose. Invest in longer-lasting, lower-maintenance materials to save you time and money. Vinyl siding is a low-maintenance option for your exterior, while wood siding needs a lot more upkeep, for example.

8. Consider a Home Warranty

Investing in a home warranty can save you money on home maintenance costs. The warranty can cover many home maintenance and repair tasks. You can leave the work to a professional without paying for it out of pocket.