5 DIY Projects That Save Money

Home improvement projects don’t have to be large-scale to return a big value. In fact, the 2015 Cost vs. Value report points out that even something as simple and cheap as replacing a steel door returns on average 101.8 percent nationally.

“Going DIY is the ultimate money-saving tool,” says John Riha, editorial director of the Black & Decker Home Improvement Library. “You’ll also get tons of satisfaction and enjoyment from creating a better home environment, and from learning home improvement skills that’ll last a lifetime.”

Before deciding to DIY, there are some things to keep in mind. Some projects are worth the cost of hiring a contractor, including fixing electrical work, or big home exterior improvements, like replacing roofing and siding. Also, it’s important to consider the time and labor trade-off involved in DIY projects.

Learning the tricks of the DIY trade is easier than ever.  There are instructions for almost every project on Youtube, and many manufacturers have DIY tutorials online. Or if you’re truly old school, the local library offers how-to books on many home improvement projects.

Here are the five best home improvement projects with great ROI:

  • Deck addition: Building a 12-foot-by-16-foot wood deck addition is fairly simple, and may only take three or four days to complete, depending on the decision to use concrete piers instead of poured concrete footings. The ROI of doing this type of project is an incredible 490 percent, compared to 80.5 percent when a professional is hired. When it’s time to sell, owners can expect to get back $8,085.
  • Small bathroom upgrade: Installing ceramic tile may be one of the more labor intensive DIY projects, and one that typically requires being without a bathroom for six to eight days, but it provides a great ROI at 170 percent compared with the 70 percent if a professional handles the job.  The profit when it comes time to sell? $11,707.
  • Installing a new front door: Steel door replacement not only provides great curb appeal, it has a huge cost return. The ROI if it’s replaced by a professional is 101.8 percent, but if done as a DIY project the ROI is an incredible 501 percent. When it comes time to sell, owners can expect getting back $1,252.
  • Replacing the garage door: This easy DIY project can net$1,410 when it’s time to sell. Swapping out an older garage door for a steel door has a ROI of 166 percent if done by the owner, and 88.4 percent if hiring a professional.
  • Window replacement: If replacing more than three windows, or windows on a second story, it’s best to leave this to the pros. Window replacement has an ROI of 72.9 percent if done by a professional, and 320 percent if handled by the owner. DIY window replacement can expect to gain $816 when it’s time to sell.

Source: “Best Money-Saving DIY Projects (and Tips for Doing Them Right),” Houselogic, June 2015.

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