real estate

5 handy ways to save on home rehab

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The crew is you

Before you do anything, ask this question: Who's the boss? Perhaps it should be you. If all your home needs is a little TLC, DIY may be better for your billfold.

"DIY saves a fortune," says Roger Lew, a builder of high-end homes in Sag Harbor, N.Y., noting that labor accounts for up to half the cost of redoing a bathroom. "But you have to have the time and the inclination."

If DIY is how you want to go, get free or cheap help from resources like your local hardware store or home improvement chains. Most offer free information and tutoring. For example, Lowe's Shop Class is a woodworking course taught via video and e-mail. The Home Depot Home Improver Club offers free in-store workshops that cover painting tips, flooring solutions, cabinet refacing ideas and more. The site will also walk you through projects like "Update your kitchen backsplash for under $300." Female DIYers might want to check out a workshop called Do-It-Herself.


 

 

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