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Saving Money on DIY Construction

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    Saving Money on DIY Construction

    Posting for forums member bjl584.

    DIY Construction Money Saving Tips

    1) Framing and basic building products don’t require premium material. Look for discounted and cheaper lumber and materials. Ask a sales associate at the big box stores to show you the lesser quality or “cull” lumber. Also, check online at sites such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. Often individuals and contractors alike will sell unused or extra material at deep discounts.

    2) Spend the money upfront for good quality and the correct tools for the job. Good quality tools will make and job easier and safer. Plus, good tools and equipment will last for years and will be able to be used for multiple projects. A quality tool may cost 50% more than a cheaper alternative, but it will most likely last 3 times longer. Exact prices will vary, but don’t fall into the trap of buying the cheapest things that you can find. It will cost more in the long run.

    3) Take a course or read a few books on how to do DIY projects. The time and money that you spend now will save you thousands over the course of your life.

    4) Lumber prices are somewhat seasonal and can change with market conditions. Stock up on materials and store them when prices dip. Prices may be cheaper in the winter, but the market often will follow the construction industry. When the housing market is hot and a lot of new home construction is taking place, prices will trend up. One word of caution. If you do store materials be sure to keep them indoors and completely out of the elements and extreme changes in humidity. Often, professionals will advise to just buy what you need when you need it if you don’t have an adequate storage facility. Otherwise wood will twist, warp, and rot.

    5) Fasteners such as screws, nails, and bolts are expensive. Purchase the larger containers of these items and keep them for multiple projects. Buying in bulk is often cheaper in the long run. Avoid cheap imported screws - the stuff made in China has a high failure rate and can make your jobs harder to complete.

    6) Carefully plan out your projects to eliminate waste and minimize mistakes. “Measure twice, cut once.”

    7) Follow the steps carefully for every project and don’t cut corners. Doing so could be unsafe, yield a poor-quality result, and could cost you more in the long run.

    8) When in doubt, call a professional. If unsure about something don’t attempt it yourself. It could be unsafe or violate codes.
    james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
    202.468.6043

    #2
    I made my living in the building industry and would agree with #2, #3, #5, #6. #7 & #8
    Don't agree with #1, it almost never pays to but second rate material. Heck, even the #1 grade framing lumber they have is often pretty crummy and you have to pick through ti to get decent boards.
    Don't agree with #4, you can't predict what prices are going to do, especially if you are a do it yourselfer. Let the lumber yards hold and store the material.
    #7 "Don't cut corners" is pretty much the opposite of what is recommended in #1.

    Biggest piece of advice I would give a do it yourselfer is to start out with small simple projects and gradually build your skills, confidence and tool inventory.
    Don't dive right in to something like a total remodel or room addition if you have never done one.

    You can get a lot of satisfaction in doing things yourself.

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