Here are a few tips and tricks for saving money on repairs –
Keep track of your manuals. I have a binder wherein I keep the manuals for all of the tools and appliances that we buy. Quick tip – If you’ve lost your manual, check online. Search by manufacturer and model number.
Check to see if the item is under warranty. Remember those little warranty cards that come with the stuff you buy? They’re important! Keep up with them – and register stuff. If something breaks, and it is still under warranty, you may have it repaired, or replaced, for free!
See if you paid for the item with a credit card. I know, I know. I’m no fan of credit cards, but, that doesn’t take away from the fact that several credit card companies offer extended warranties on items purchased with their cards.
Take a look on youtube. If you have a bit of a “DIY” spirit – search for the repair that you need to make on youtube. I’ve learned how to replace the drive belt on my dryer and to repair our garbage disposal, simply by watching videos on youtube. What an awesome resource.
Talk to friends and neighbors. I was talking to my neighbor the other day, telling him about building a small desk for my son. A few days later, he stopped by – and asked if I could help him with a small project, repairing a broken board on his front porch. He saved a few bucks – and I got to repair the board and look like a hero in front of my boy!
Visit your local library. This is old school – but very, very practical. I love old woodworking books, and our local library has several of them. I’ve learned how to frame up a shop, install an electrical outlet, and lay shingles, all from books available at most libraries.
Check out the bulletin board at a home center, lumber yard, or feed store. I live in a rural part of the state – and there are dozens of carpenters who tack their business cards to bulletin boards in local stores. Grab a few of these and make a few calls. You might be surprised by the reasonable rates some will offer – especially if the job you need doing is a one-person gig.
Discuss the cost for parts and supplies before hiring a contractor or carpenter. Often, these folks will be able to buy parts and supplies (think lumber, paint), cheaper than you can. However, in some cases, if you are willing to do a little legwork, you might find better deals. Discuss this with your carpenter and figure out what works best for you.
Buy new? This can be a tough one – but there are times when purchasing a new item is actually cheaper than fixing an old one. So, do a bit of research and make sure that a repair is worth the money. Blessings.
Find out if the item has been recalled. I almost forgot this one. It’s a good idea, any time you have a product that isn’t performing like you think it should be, to check for a recall. A simple internet search will reveal several sites where you can find recall information.