5 Do It Yourself (DIY) Tips to Save

This week on the Ally Straight Talk Blog, we’ve been looking at how home improvement projects can help you save money in the future.

But today, the projects we’re sharing can save you both in the near and long term.  These “do it yourself” (DIY) repairs and projects can often cost less than hiring a contractor. Plus, there are many websites that provide step-by-step instructions to make DIY simple.

For example, here are a few relatively easy DIY projects and repairs that might pay off right away and continue to cost you less over time:

If you’re looking for more great DIY projects, check out DIYIdeas.com and DIYLife.com. Both websites offer an array of DIY ideas, tips and videos for home improvement.

What DIY projects are you planning this summer? How have you saved money with a DIY home improvement?

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  1. 1

    I watch GMA every morning I can,(love you George!) and laughed when they asked about women and home improvements. I am an only child and my Dad died when I was 9, leaving just my Mom and me. I learned early that if something needed to be done, it was up me. I have done everthing from fixing leaky pipes to my latest project of putting in mosaic tiles above my laundry tub and adjacent wall. I did this after I installed a mosaic tile backsplash in my Myrtle Beach condo. I had installed ceramic floor tile for years, but never wall tiles. Both the laundry room at home and the condo look great. This fall I am heading back to MB to install the same backsplash tile in my best friend’s condo. I started tiling years ago when my next door neighbor took me to a tile store and the manager said it’s just not that difficult and a real savings could be realized if you did it yourself. His confidence in me had made me realize it’s just like quilting, only messy! (I have also been sewing since I was 9, but that is another story!)

  2. 2

    I’ve put in 2 bathroom sinks, a shower stall, painted my house inside and out, and built a deck for my pool. This summer’s projects include wallpapering and a new deck connecting the house and the pool deck.

    I started doing plumbing and appliance repair when I was newly married and couldn’t afford the fixes, unless I did them myself.

    I found that, there’s no reason not to TRY anything……the worst that will happen, is it won’t work, and you have to call someone.

  3. 3
    D Jalene Brancazio

    I just finished an entire bathroom redo. Ripped out the fiberglass shower replacing it with subway tile. Had to removed the sub floor the old tile was applied directly to it (common before cement board). The hardest part was the cement board 1/2 is very heavy. With a new floor and shower, the installation of the new vanity and toilet was a piece of cake. It is beautiful!

  4. 5
    Debbie Cox

    I’ve painted the inside of my house THREE times, the outside twice.
    Our carpet needed replacing… So I ripped it up and painted the concrete. With Walmart bags and two different colors of paint…that was five years ago – I will NEVER go back to carpet. Our house had zero landscaping. I’ve planted all the shrubs…and yes, I LOVE to mow and do yard work. I wall-papered the boys bathroom..and oh yeah, I put siding on the back of our house…by myself…
    Hubby is a school teacher, an amazing cook, does laundry and says he’s going to start hiring me out!

  5. 6
    Julie M.

    I always have projects going. Changing out light switches to tearing down walls to the 2×4’s. I have done it all. The challenge for me every time is how can I do this project and save money. I tell my girlfriends my designer brands are Power Tool brands. Projects going right now are: reupholstering a sofa, sanding down used coffee table and end tables, recovering a papasan cushion, all for my daughters apartment. Spending time showing her how to do these projects priceless. DIY thank you for all the ideas and how to do projects.

  6. 7

    Are you kidding me–I have been doing home improvements forever–painting the house replacing glass panes in sliding doors refinishing the floors caulking the windows and painting the trim repairing stucco putting up fencing for the horses, building a run-in putting up lighting I have replaced faucets and have put siding on the shed as well as repaired the roof.
    I also am very handy with a chainsaw and a tractor!!

  7. 8
    Lydia Walsh

    After looking at boxes and boxes of hardwood flooring stacked in a room in our home for months and searching for a reasonable price for an installer, I decided, I could do it myself. My husband and son said it was impossible. Well that was all it took. I laid appx 1000 sq feet in the living room, den and the apartment behind our home. I had my husband show me how to use the table saw and another saw that has angles on it. I think it took 5 days total. We bought the 10% extra to allow for waste. Since I was doing it myself, there was very little waste. I used every scrap in the house and had 7 full boxes left (238 sq feet). Therefore I had enough for the apartment.
    That’s where it happened…..I ran my thumb across the table saw. eeeeek. I was really lucky. May 6, 2011 was not a good day. Finished the apartment on May 9th. lol. I was really really lucky. Nearly lost it but its still functional. I told my husband I cut myself and he went to get the first aid kit. I said, Honey, that won’t work ! Then I showed it to him. have some pic for you too. Hasn’t slowed me down.
    ps. We actually added a bathroom and kitchen to make this an apartment. I dug for and found the sewer line to save twelve hundred dolalrs on plumbing. Our original estimate for getting all of this done was fifteen thousand dollars, it actually cost fifty nine hundred since I DID IT MYSELF ! weeeeeeeee and I’m 57 years old. lol

  8. 9
    Amy Washko

    We recently remodeled our kitchen and I got to help! I helped smash (with a hammer) the old tole counter tops. I picked out new granite, new cabinet colors, new handles, new appliances, and potential back splash. I also learned how to put new cabinet drawers together as well as paint a special coating on the wood drawers AND inside the cabinets. The whole experience was a long process BUT I learned so much about what is truly involved!

  9. 10

    I’m 72 years old and do almost all of my own projects to save money. I can wire a house, paint, lay tile, do plumbing, and decorate. Not only does it save money, it’s fun. Oh, I make my own curtains, do reupholstry, make throw pillows too.

  10. 11

    I am almost finished with my do-it-yourself kitchen renovation! I first just wanted to paint but then it snowballed after I decided to tile the backsplash which lead to ripping up the entire floor myself 195sq ft of it (with some muscle from hubby and son)lol…which lead to tiling the floor and actually making a mosaic design in the center! Looks awesome! Next r my cabinets which I will be refinishing. I know I saved a bundle…I can see how contractors would charge alot for kitchens. Its been so helpful to have sites to show you how to do certain things…thats been a real help! Great satisfaction also!

  11. 13

    I used to be a good handy woman I 60 now and can’t do much but 15 years ago my husband went to vist his mother for 2 weeks and paint her house.We had a l- shape living room,dinig room,kitchen combo,that we hated it had wall to wall carpeting in the dining room ( what a pain that was). So I got it in my head to redo. I built a half wall between the living room and dining room,tore up the rug and found hardwood floor under it,sanded and refinished it. Then I put in a tub surround in the bathroom. He came home and he was so upset( man feelings) he later got used to it. 5 years later he went to his mothers again to fix her bath for the weekend when he came home I had took the half wall down cause he didn’t like it, again he came home and got upset cause I done it. He later said I’m not going anywhere anymore I don’t know what else you would do. Men go figure

  12. 14

    I constantly try out to seek out the most effective way cleaning my carpets.
    I found out that steam cleaning is among the most effective cleansing methods for your most carpets.

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