Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thrifty Home Improvement Part 2

Two weeks ago, I started a Thrifty Thursday series focusing on home improvement.  Part one focused on knowing your limits.

This week, I'm talking about the importance of planning ahead, prioritizing projects and paying cash.

Last summer, we had a list of projects we wanted to do before Emma arrived. We had saved money and had a set budget. That's step one to any project: set a budget and have cash. There's a time to use credit for home improvement,  in the middle of winter when the roof is leaking and you're expecting a storm. Yes, get the roof patched however possible. On the other hand, painting the house so it looks pretty is a cash project.

We made a list of all the projects we wanted to do and divided it into what we could do on our own and what we needed help with. We collected bids and calculated costs. We had also ranked projects in order of importance.  We were able to put in new windows, replace facia boards, replace gutters, repair stucco on front of the house, and color coat the front of the house. Painting the sides, back and patio cover would have to wait. Raised garden beds and planter boxes would also wait.

Next week I'll explain how we saved money on all these projects. (I know I promised part 2 would be about windows and paint,  but a discussion with a friend made me realize we need to talk about priorities and payment first.)

This summer we will be painting the rest of the house and patio cover, setting up raised planter beds for next year's garden, and putting in planter beds in the front yard. Each of these projects will be a post in the thrifty home improvement series.

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