Advertiser Disclosure

Five Home Maintenance Projects that are Cheaper to DIY

Completing home maintenance jobs yourself can be a smart way to save. Remove the pros from the picture, and you could save half the cost of a project-or more.

We’ve put together a list of five projects with high DIY savings potential, along with estimates of how much money you’ll potentially keep in your pocket (courtesy of the True Cost Guide) by rolling up your sleeves and tackling the task yourself.

1. Cleaning your gutters and downspouts

Average Cost of Hiring Pros: $65-335

You should clean your gutters at least once a year. To prevent damage to your home, ensure that your gutters are free of debris. Clogged gutters don’t allow water to flow the way it should, causing it to pool around the house. This pooling could result in flooding, mold, rot, or, worst-case scenario, damage to your home’s foundation (which costs, on average, $4,337 to repair) or roof (which costs an average of $828 to repair, or roughly $6,500 to replace).

You could hire a pro, or you could set up a ladder and clean your own drain pipes every few months (assuming you already have an appropriately-sized ladder. If you don’t, it’s worth the investment to purchase one).

2. Painting your walls

Average Cost of Hiring Pros: $380-790 per average-sized, 10′ x 12′ room

Considering the average cost of supplies for painting an average-sized room is $200-300, more than half of an interior painting project cost is labor, making painting one of the best DIY projects for home improvement cost savings. Luckily, step-by-step house painting instructions are only an internet search away, and if you take good care of your brushes, rollers and trays, you can use them again for future projects.

3. Finding and fixing water leaks

Average Cost of Hiring Pros: $176-485 (plumber); $75-718 (roof inspector); $715-2,500 (roof repair)

Water leaks are an easy fix if you catch them early, but they can lead to mold, mildew, rot and other damage when left undetected or unaddressed. Check all toilets and under-sink cabinets for leaks or constant running. A leaky roof – whether caused by weather, age or neglect – can also cause significant and costly long-term damage to your home. Inspect your roof for damage at least once a year, as well as after any major weather event. Catching early damage or leaks could save you the estimated $6,500 it costs to have a roof replaced.

4. Cleaning vents and filters

Average Cost of Hiring Pros: $263-472

Whether they run from your dryer, air conditioner, heater, or septic tank, dirty or clogged vents and filters can cause serious problems. An accumulation of lint in the screen of your dryer can cause a fire. Ignoring the filter in your AC unit could cause an early breakdown. Regular inspections and filter replacement is worth the time it takes, considering that a new air filter costs between $10 and $25, and a new air conditioner can run up to $10,000.

5. Attic Insulation Installation

Average Cost of Hiring Pros: $1,900

Installing new attic insulation or upgrading an under-insulated space is a project you can knock out in a weekend. In addition to the money you’ll save by completing the project yourself, new insulation can save you up to 50% per year in energy costs, with the added benefit of enjoying more comfortable indoor temperatures year-round. According to, a standard insulation project requires about 535 square feet of insulation, which averages $145 to $200

All projects should be completed at your own risk, and should only be attempted based on your level of confidence to successfully complete them. If you’re up for the challenge, going DIY can be the ultimate money-saving tool (not to mention the satisfaction of creating a better home environment and learning home improvement skills that’ll last a lifetime).

Man on computer

Everything for your move, all in one place

Curate your personalized moving checklist, set up TV & Internet, and more with a free MYMOVE account.

Get Started

Already have an account? Sign In

View our Privacy Policy

Related Articles

A State-by-State Guide to Changing Your Voter Registration Address

Did you move this year? Do you plan to vote in the November election? If you answered yes to both of those questions, you need to complete your voter registration change-of-address.  Voter registration is handled at the state level, not the federal level. That means if you moved to a new state, you need to […]

Read More

What is Peak Moving Season?

Whether you’re moving to begin a new job, start school, live in a bigger house, or some other major life event, one thing is true — you’re not alone. MYMOVE data finds that one in five U.S. households move each year. That adds up to 24.1 million moving households annually!

Read More

Shared Dorm Room Items to Coordinate with Your Roommate

Deciding what to bring to college can be overwhelming, not to mention that dorm room space is at a premium. The great news is you and your roommate don’t have to attempt to fit two of everything in your tiny area. Save time and money by using this list to coordinate with your roommate on these essential shared dorm room items.

Read More