How can I get the best value out of my home repair projects?

How can I get the best value out of my home repair projects?

An increasingly popular option being pursued by more consumers is to personally take on routine chores and tackle major projects themselves rather than paying others to do them. This majority of this growing group of Do it Yourselfers consists of consumers from the Gen X and the Millennial populations.1

While it may not be the first thing you think of—a rewards credit card might help you get even greater value from your home repair projects. Using a credit card that offers rewards on every purchase, along with promotional rewards offers that pertain to home improvement, might help you earn enough rewards, points or cash back to redeem towards that special piece you’ve had your eye on, or to spend on décor for your newly renovated space..

Here are some ideas on how to get the best value when fixing up your house—whether you’re doing minor maintenance or tackling major repairs.

Home Repair Tip #1: Look for energy-efficient appliances

Replacing old appliances and equipment could help you reduce your utility bills. If you own a home, check to see if your home improvements qualify for tax credits and rebates at the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency. Here you can research whether you may also qualify for rebates from the U.S. Department of Energy when you purchase new Energy Star-qualified appliances when you replace your used appliances.

Before you head out the door to shop for energy-efficient appliances—check to see if your rewards credit card offers special discounts or additional cash incentives from partner merchants, home improvement stores or department stores. You may be able to earn extra credit card rewards on your appliance purchases.

Home Repair Tip #2: Find easy ways to cut your utility bills

When you reduce heat loss you can save money on utilities in the colder months of the year. Check door and window frames for leaks and add insulation, along with weather-stripping or caulk where needed to prevent drafts. Look for energy-saving products such as a programmable thermostat, storm windows, energy-conserving window treatments and water heater insulation blankets. See if your local utility company offers energy audits, rebates or other incentives for purchasing efficient products—and you may be eligible for lower rates by using energy at off-peak hours.

You may also be able use your rewards credit card to automatically pay for your ongoing or recurring utility bills —and earn cash back with each utility bill payment.

Home Repair Tip #3: Even small home repairs could pay off

By staying on top of regular home maintenance—you can make sure your home stays energy efficient and avoid expensive problems later. But you don’t have to be an accomplished do-it-yourselfer. Even small jobs like re-caulking, replacing furnace filters and leaky garden hoses could help you save on your utility bills. If your DIY skills don’t extend much past replacing a burned out light bulb, consider taking workshops from home improvement stores. You can also find free how-to tutorials on You Tube and other websites.

Home Repair Tip #4: Keep records of your “capital improvements”

Be sure to keep records of big-ticket capital improvements that increase the value of your home. A well categorized credit card statements can make it easier to keep track of your major home repairs.

When you use a rewards credit card for your home improvement projects, you can easily keep track of all your purchases and accumulated rewards. See what resources are available from your rewards credit card to help you manage, categorize and analyze your expenses.

Your rewards credit card may help to make a good home repair deal even better.

Add up all the ways you are considering investing in your home—appliances, electronics, heating/cooling, landscaping, lighting, insulation and more. Consider using a no annual fee rewards credit card that can help you earn cash back on your purchases—and comes with a low APR.

Compare various credit card offers. Is there a low APR offer? Is there an introductory balance transfer offer? Will you have a low interest rate after the intro APR expires? Does the card charge an annual fee or is it a no annual fee card? Be sure to read the terms and conditions and understand what fees, along with added features and benefits are involved.


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