So you've got a couple things around the house that need fixing up, but money is dwindling. Welcome to the club. When you're living in Oklahoma on a budget, home repairs likely seem daunting. Don't worry. With patience, resourcefulness, and some elbow grease, you could tackle many household jobs yourself at almost no cost.
Whether it's minor plumbing issues, small leaks or cracks that need patching, squeaky floorboards that need securing, or fixtures needing an upgrade, we've got you covered. In this blog post -- we're discussing several ways to make home repairs that won't break the bank.
Setting a Budget For Home Repairs in Oklahoma
Setting a budget for home repairs in Oklahoma is essential when tackling issues without breaking the bank. As a homeowner on a budget in OK, you're going to want to determine how much you can allocate each month for repairs and maintenance. A good rule of thumb is 1-4% of your home’s value each year.
Do research to compare contractor vs. DIY costs. Many minor repairs like painting, fixing cabinet hardware or unclogging drains you can likely handle yourself for way less. With more significant jobs, request multiple quotes from licensed and insured pros in OKC or Tulsa and check reviews.
Saving Money On Materials
Find ways to save on materials too. Buying supplies in bulk, using coupons or shopping sales at home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot. Consider repurposing or reusing when possible. And ask about warranties or guarantees to avoid paying twice for the same work.
Prioritizing Critical vs. Cosmetic Repairs
When you're on a budget, prioritize critical repairs over cosmetic ones. Focus first on anything that causes health or safety hazards.
Issues with your foundation, roof, or load-bearing walls top the list. Cracks in your walls, sagging roofs, leaks, or water damage could turn into much bigger deals if left unattended. It’s best to have a professional evaluate as well as repair these.
Faulty plumbing can lead to water damage, mold growth, and sky-high utility bills. If you have leaky faucets, running toilets, or low water pressure, call a plumber. They can locate the source of the problem and suggest affordable solutions.
Exposed wires, flickering lights, and frequent circuit breaker trips could be dangerous. Have an electrician check things out, especially if your wiring is older. They could upgrade unsafe panels or wiring and suggest energy-efficient improvements to save money.
If your furnace or AC isn’t running efficiently, it’s worth repairing or upgrading before the next season. An HVAC tech could service the units and provide estimates for higher-efficiency systems if needed.
DIY vs. Professional: What You Can Do Yourself on a Budget
When it comes to home repairs, doing it yourself can save you a lot of money versus hiring a professional. However, some jobs are better left to the pros. Here are some tips for DIY home repairs on a budget in Oklahoma.
What You Can Handle
On minor plumbing issues like unclogging drains or fixing leaky faucets, you can probably handle it yourself with some basic tools. Same goes with painting, installing fans, and minor roof repairs like damaged shingles. These types of jobs don’t usually require specialized knowledge or training and can save you hundreds of dollars.
- Unclog drains
- Leaky faucets
- Paint rooms
- Install fans
- Repair damaged roof shingles
When to Call a Pro
Anything that involves electricity, major plumbing like re-piping, or structural issues should be left to the professionals. It’s also a good idea to hire an expert for large-scale jobs where mistakes could be costly.
- Rewiring electrical systems
- Re-piping plumbing
- Foundation repairs
- Major roof work
- HVAC system installation
Professionals have the proper certifications, training, and experience to handle these complex jobs safely and ensure they’re up to code. Although it likely costs more upfront, it could save you money, time, and headaches long term.
Finding Affordable Materials and Supplies For Home Repairs
Finding affordable housing materials and supplies is also essential to reduce your home repair costs. Shop sales and check discount retailers for the best deals.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Non-profit Habitat for Humanity operates over 900 ReStore locations across the U.S. and Canada that sell new and used building materials, furniture, and home accessories. Products are donated by individuals and companies, so you never know what you might find, but you're sure to discover great bargains. Check their website to find a ReStore near you.
Stores like Home Depot, Lowe's, and Menards frequently run sales on home repair essentials like lumber, drywall, plumbing and electrical supplies. Sign up for their newsletters to get coupons and be notified of the best promotions. Dollar stores and Big Lots are other options for finding cheap cleaning supplies, paint brushes, and other consumables.
On pretty significant projects, consider buying larger volumes to save money. Some extra storage space could be well worth the investment. Lumber, drywall, and insulation often come with price breaks when you increase the quantities. Just be sure to properly store any leftover materials to avoid damage or waste.
- Shop end-of-season clearances for the best prices on tools, hardware and building materials. Retailers need to make room for new inventory, so they're eager to move out the old.
- Check sites like Craigslist or Nextdoor for free or cheap secondhand tools, lumber and other supplies. Some homeowners are eager to get rid of leftovers from their own projects.
With some patience and persistence, you can find everything you need to take on home repairs while sticking to a budget.
Government Programs to Help Cover Home Repairs
If the cost of necessary home repairs seems out of reach, don’t despair. There are government programs available to help Oklahoma homeowners on a budget make critical repairs and upgrades.
Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
The CDBG program provides grants to communities for housing and community development projects that benefit low- and moderate-income residents. The funds can be used for home repair and improvement, including roof repairs, plumbing and electrical upgrades, weatherization, and more. Contact your city or county government to apply.
USDA Rural Development Grant Program
The USDA offers low-interest loans and grants to homeowners in rural areas facing health and safety hazards. Things such as installing a new roof, siding, plumbing or septic system qualify. This program also offer grants for elderly or disabled homeowners to make accessibility modifications. Income guidelines do apply. Check with your local USDA office for details.
Habitat for Humanity Home Repair Program
Habitat for Humanity may be able to help with critical home repairs for low-income homeowners, especially the elderly, disabled, or families with children. They provide volunteer labor and donated materials to help with repairs like leaky roofs, rotting porches, or broken steps at no cost to the homeowner. You must own your own home, meet household income requirements and be unable to afford necessary repairs. Contact your local Habitat for Humanity to apply.
Rebuilding Together provides critical home repairs and renovations at no cost to low-income homeowners, especially the elderly, disabled, veterans and families with children. They rely on volunteer labor and donated supplies to help with repairs such as plumbing or electrical problems, roof leaks or wheelchair ramps. Homeowners must meet income requirements and own their home. Visit rebuildingtogether.org to find an affiliate in your area and apply for assistance.
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