It’s funny how you always see financially savvy blogs that talk about how to save money and get out of debt, start a side hustle, increase your credit score, and everything in between.
“How I retired at age 20 with $16 trillion in the bank”, but you’ll never read about the cost savings DIY projects. This includes everything from renovating your house, painting, and building your own furniture.
It is absolutely incredible how much you can save over a short time by doing the most basic DIY projects without hiring a “professional”. I use the word professionals loosely because both my mom, and sister, was ripped off by contractors, one of which still has a pending lawsuit.
Not only do you not have to worry about strangers coming into your home but you can save boat loads of money by doing projects yourself and also potentially increase the value of your home, which is an added bonus. It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint or new floors can do to the value of a home.
It’s hard to see the real cost savings of doing projects yourself. Meaning, if you increase your salary, you quickly see a larger sum of money, or when you save money, you see your bank account grow, but when you’re simply cutting costs, you won’t necessarily understand how massive the cost savings actually are.
This blog is not just about completing DIY projects, but the actual savings and satisfaction you get from completing a project. I’ll give a breakdown below to give you an idea of things I’ve done to my 1,900 sq ft town home and how much I saved. I did provide a range with most of these because there is obviously high end and low end work.
- Rustic Farmhouse kitchen table w/ custom bench – $125 (savings=$375-$900)
- I’ve seen tables very similar go for a thousand dollars or more, and if it’s an Amish table, forget it. The bench was made of left over wood, and I saw benches alone for over $100.
- Rustic coffee table – $40 (savings=$100)
- Realistically, this cost me nothing because it was scrap wood from other projects (and still turned out awesome) but it would roughly cost $40 in material. I’m probably shooting on the low end of savings with this but simplistic coffee tables like mine can range from $150 to over $300.
- Tore up carpet and installed Pergo wood floors on roughly 750 sqft – $1,500 (savings=$1,500-$2,000)
- This job would easily cost a professional $3,000 plus. Worse yet, my friend had a bamboo floor “professionally” installed and after a few months the boards were separating and there was gaps by the quarter round. I think he paid $1,000 for the labor on a much smaller area.
- Installed over-the-range microwave, and dishwasher – It cost me nothing (savings=$175)
- How did you save $175 by installing a few appliances? Well a very popular home improvement store quoted me $100 to install the microwave, and another $75 to install the dishwasher. I promptly declined.
- Renovated bathroom with new tile, vanity, light fixture, mirror, and toilet – $600 (savings= $1,500-$2,500)
- First, you have to demo the bathroom then lay the new tile, install the vanity, hang the mirror, add the toilet, and connect all plumbing. This job would easily run you $2,000-$3,000… if not more.
- Paint every room in the house, including the ceiling – $250 (savings= $1,250)
- Our neighbors got an estimated cost of $1,500 for painting their town home from top to bottom.
- Full-sized bar that seats 8 – $800ish (savings $1,200)
- My brother paid to have a bar built that ran him $2,500 and only sat 5 comfortably, but granted it did include a sink, which I left out of mine, so I’ll say safely it would cost at least 2k.
- Reface kitchen cabinets – $250 (savings $250)
- Getting a professional to reface or paint your cabinets would mean removing hardware, doors, etc. and easily go $500 or more.
All of these DIY projects cost me about $3,500. The total cost savings for a house that I’ve been in for 2 years is roughly $6,100 – $8,100.
This cost savings doesn’t even include the other projects I’ve done like building a console table, game table, building our headboard, replaced my hot water heater, and installed new light fixtures.
There are also other basic things that we’ve done like replacing outlet switches, door handles, and hanging blinds and curtains, all of which would cost you hundreds if you hired a handy man.
Of course the risk is if you do something wrong, you may have to hire a professional anyway, but I found each project easier than the last, and it was addicting to accomplish one project, then another, and another, especially if you realize the cost savings of all these things you ever wanted to do to your home.
If you’re not comfortable doing these projects yourself, start small and work your way up, because even doing something like installing blinds will save you $200 or more. Have confidence, have fun, take your time, and save money along the way. What’s your biggest cost savings project?