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How to Learn DIY Home Repair Skills for Free | Pennyhoarder

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2015 and has been updated.

The handyman looked at the plaster dangling from the top of our downstairs window. Then, he headed upstairs to check the seal on the window directly overhead.

“It needs some caulk,” he announced when he returned. “If I come out again and fix it, it’ll cost $250. Or, you can pick up caulk for two or three bucks and do it yourself.”

My husband and I exchanged a nervous glance. The last time I’d held a caulk gun was 10 years ago. He never had.

But we’d just been told how to knock 99% off our potential repair bill. It seemed like now was the perfect time to learn!

We’re here with ways to help you get started on your own DIY.

Guide to DIY Home Repairs

When we moved into our first house, it seemed like everything started breaking. The toilet ran. The bathroom fan died. Rain leaking in the upstairs window loosened plaster in our dining room.

No wonder financial experts recommend homeowners save between 1% and 3% of the value of their home for annual maintenance and repairs.

Thankfully, you can save hundreds or even thousands annually by doing some of the repairs on your own. Here’s how.

Learn to Do DIY Home Repairs Online

Your phone may end up being your most important tool.

Home DIY apps can help at just about every stage of a home improvement project. Better yet, several great ones are free.

On Houzz, a social media platform that connects home professionals and enthusiastic DIY remodelers, you’ll find all the design inspiration you could dream of, plus lots of tutorials.

Pro Tip

Before you start a project, decide where it falls on your to-do list. You might want a

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7 Best Ways to Finance Home Improvement Projects | Pennyhoarder

Home improvement projects have a way of increasing in priority when you’re always in the house.

The leaky kitchen faucet never really bothered you until you had to turn your kitchen table into a desk, forcing you to listen to the dribble. All. Day. Long.

Or maybe you discovered your cozy home isn’t quite big enough to also house an office, gym and school, so you need to rethink your space.

Whatever the reason and whatever the size of the project, you need to make a change — but how are you going to pay for it?

Considering the eye-popping price tag — the average cost for just a garage door replacement is $3,695 and a minor kitchen remodel surpasses $23,000 — you might not know where to start for financing your home improvement projects.

But whether the price tag is a few hundred dollars or into the triple digits, we’re here to help you decide the best way to finance your project — without winding up in debt long after the last coat of paint has dried.

7 Ways to Finance Home Improvements

Listening to financial experts talk about how to pay for your home improvement is a good idea, but what do they know about the real-life leaking roof you’re living with?

Well, Jill Emanuel is the lead financial coach at Fiscal Fitness Phoenix. She works with plenty of clients as they choose financing for their home renovations.

But she’s also a homeowner who needed to replace her entire air-conditioning system and ductwork this past spring — and in Arizona, air conditioning is not optional.

She spoke with us about how to decide which options are best for a home renovation — as well as her personal experience financing her own project.

Wait, Should You Even Be Doing

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