How to Afford Major House Repairs

You always planned to fix the roof but delayed it because of expensive contractor prices. Now the roof is leaking and you need to replace the entire roof but you still do not have the funds. However, a large house repair can be done with a limited budget. All you need is a little research and the right home improvement contractor.

Step 1

Create a list of the necessary home repairs. Prioritize the list based on the urgency of the repair.

Step 2

Figure out how much money you have to spend.

Step 3

Get written estimates from home improvement contractors for the work. Obtaining a quote in writing prevents a contractor from changing the price later. Make sure potential contractors have liability insurance, which is required by most states. Look in the phone book and online for local contractors (see Resources below). Ask your chamber of commerce and Realtors to recommend contractors. Call local home improvement contractor associations and request a list of members to consider for the repair projects.

Step 4

Determine your budget for the repairs based upon the contractor quotes and decide how much more funding is needed.

Step 5

Explore contractor home finance loans. Some contractors offer loans for repair projects as a convenient financing option. These loans can help you afford repair work. However, the loans are often unsecured and have high interest rates.

Step 6

Use your home repair warranty, if possible. Check your warranty criteria to find out if the needed repairs qualify for coverage.

Step 7

Consider home equity loans. Ask for a home equity line of credit with an interest-only payment plan to minimize monthly payments until you can afford to pay more. Shop around for a lender that offers the home equity program that meets your financial needs.

Step 8

Hire a handyman contractor instead of a large business for the repair work. Independent handymen often charge less than big companies. Ask local home improvement contractor associations and Realtors to recommend handymen. You can also look for local independent contractors online (see Resources below).

Tip

Obtain at least three quotes from contractors before you hire one. Get recommendations for home improvement contractors from friends and family. Ask to see the contractor’s work in your friend or family member's house so that you have an idea of the work quality. Research a contractor at the Better Business Bureau to verify the contractor’s identity and business practices. Request references from the contractor and call them. Ask the references if the contractor completed the work on time, was punctual and provided quality repairs. Find out if there were unexpected fees or any complaints.

Warning

Only work with licensed contractors who have liability insurance. Be cautious of home improvement contractors who come to your house uninvited and tell you that your roof, gutters or chimney needs immediate repair. Some of these door-to-door contractors may be running a scam.

Things You'll Need

  • List of home repairs

  • Budget

  • Home improvement contractor quotes

resources