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Save Big on Household Repairs With These 4 Savvy Moves

Cutting costs is easier than you think.


Have you ever put off fixing a broken appliance, window, or TV because you’re worried about the cost? These simple tricks can lower the price by hundreds of dollars or more!

Check for free fixes.

From dishwashers to windows, 100 percent of a repair could be paid by someone else! Just ask yourself these three questions to find out:

  • Was the item recalled? If the problem is due to a manufacturer’s error (faulty wiring or wrong parts), they’ll pay to repair or replace it. Go to and search for the product name.
  • Does the item have a warranty? Some companies offer ones lasting up to 10 years, while others (like Craftsman tools) offer them for a lifetime!
  • Did the item get damaged during a storm or a flood? Call your insurance agent to find out if it could be covered by your rental, homeowner’s or auto insurance policy.

Save on labor with DIY.

Ever watched a repairman fix something in your home — like a running toilet — and realized you could’ve done the same repair yourself, for hundreds of dollars less? Before hiring a pro, determine if you can do the fix on your own, urges Karrie Truman, founder of HappyMoneySaver. “Do an online search for step-by-step instructions and watch a few YouTube videos.” If you’re confident you can do the repair, get the tools and materials you need and follow the directions. You’ll save a fortune on hourly labor costs!

Time it right for discounts.

If you’ve got fixes or upgrades to make that aren’t emergencies, wait for the peak season to end, says Laura Agadoni, real estate agent and author of New Home Journal. “When demand slows, the price of materials drops, and so will your cost, saving you up to 25 percent.” For example: Heating and plumbing fixes are cheaper in the spring and summer since repair calls for these spike in the fall, just as mending fences, windows, roofs and air conditioning is cheaper in the fall and winter. Her tip: “Get estimates from mom-and-pop repair businesses — they’re likely to strike better deals during slow periods than big-name companies.”

Trim costs by picking up parts.

Know you need an expert or licensed professional to make the repair? Once you find the right person and price, ask them if you can buy the parts required for your fix on your own. Many times, the repairman will be happy to give you a list of items needed — such as PVC pipes, fittings, even paint — and which hardware store stocks them, since it means he doesn’t have to go get them himself. And it saves you a bundle on the hefty markup you would have been charged you for shopping time!

This story originally appeared in our print magazine.

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