Saving Money With DIY

by Sean Bryant on November 20, 2012

Every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I seem to undertake more projects at home.  Maybe it’s because I have more time on my hands, or maybe it’s because I have family in town that can help (or force help upon me).  Either way, I believe that doing “do-it-yourself” projects are great ways to save money while still improving your home.

Types of Projects to Choose

This can be the hardest thing to think about when doing it yourself.  There are tons of different projects to choose from, so which do you pick?  I prefer to pick projects that are a little bit a of stretch, but not too much that I’ll botch the project.

For example, I wanted to build a gazebo in the yard, but it required a lot of different skills, some of which I’d done, and some that I hadn’t.  I was comfortable pouring concrete and cutting wood, but not with the precise angles to make the gazebo.  But through a little research, and some testing, I was able to get the right touch.

I didn’t, however, have any roofing or electrical experience, which is what made the project a little fun.

Where to Find Help

If you do need help, like I did, I’ve found the best places are the internet, which has a lot of tutorial videos to show you what to do, and your local hardware store.  There are usually very experienced individuals at the hardware store that will explain to you exactly what you need to do to be successful, even if you don’t buy anything.  Most of these guys just like to talk shop.

Ways to Save 

But doing it yourself isn’t the only way to save.  Looking for discounts and savings on your materials is also just as important.  For example, I found a 10% off + free shipping coupon from Home Depot that enabled me to save lots of money.   There are also a lot of other deals that blow me away online where you can save 50% or more compared to local shops.

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Sean Bryant

Sean Bryant created in 2011 to help pass along his knowledge of finance and economics to others. After graduating from the University of Iowa with a degree in economics he worked as a construction superintendent before jumping into the world of finance. Sean has worked on the trade desk for a commodities brokerage firm, he was a project manager for an investment research company and was a CDO analyst at a big bank. That being said he brings a good understanding of the finance field to the One Smart Dollar community. When not working Sean and he wife are avid world travelers. He enjoys spending time with his daughter Colette and dog Charlie.

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