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How Learning to Fix Things Has Saved Me a Small Fortune

I’ll admit it: COVID-19 has been a financial blessing for my family. My spouse is an essential worker, my job has taken off, and we made enough to stop renting finally.

The mortgage process was crazy. We made an offer in March, so the bank kept asking for income updates. It was like they didn’t want to provide a loan.

We bought a fixer-upper. It was a little overpriced, but houses in our community go fast. The house across the street went up for sale yesterday, and they got an offer over the asking price today. We had to move on it.

We felt it was a great deal because I could fix everything that’s wrong with our house. Since moving in, I’ve replaced the garbage disposal, torn up the carpet to restore the hardwood floors, and refinished the formal dining room.

My next project is our wooden garage doors.

How Much Have I Saved on Each Project?

Let’s take a look at the garage door project as an example of the cost savings I can achieve by fixing stuff myself.

We have two wooden garage doors. Each one needs a new paint job and refinishing because of water damage. Our realtor said it would be easier to replace them.

The lowest quote I got for a replacement was $4,500 – per door. If I went with steel or wood, it would have been $1,700 per door.

I asked a few local painting contractors to give me a quote for restoration work instead. The lowest price I got was $1,600 for the project.

I’ve secured the tools, stripper, and paint I need to complete the work for about $450. It’ll take me a weekend or two to finish things, but those doors will look fantastic when I’m finished!

Let’s see. Should I pay $9,000 for new doors or $450 to have them look like they’re brand-new again? That’s an easy choice.

Here’s the hidden benefit. I can reuse those tools for other projects around the house. That means I get long-term advantages for my future DIY efforts to reduce my expenses further.

When you multiply those savings opportunities to your cars, landscaping, and similar needs, you can save tens of thousands of dollars on your projects. 

Doing your own repairs makes sense. If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some sanding to do.