Are you a landlord looking to trim expenses? If you are willing to put in some elbow grease, we have some DIY tips and easy fixes for landlords to save money. Property managers in Philadelphia and the Bucks County area agree that there are some basic repair tasks every landlord should know and, in turn, can save big! BUT, be sure to call in professional when the need arises. Taking on a job that is too big or outside your skillset can cost you more money in the end! Check out the list below!
Money-saving DIY Tips Every Landlord Needs To Learn
Painting: Turnovers provide an opportunity to save some money by painting yourself. Whether just touch-ups are needed or a full redo, painting costs can add up fast. Painting isn’t tricky but can be time-consuming without a solid plan to tackle the task. Before beginning, gather all needed supplies, lay drop cloths to minimize clean up, and workroom by room.
Potential DIY Savings: $1500 to $3000 (based on 1,000 square feet)
- When to Hire Professional Help: If you have a large home, high ceilings, or exterior painting needs, it may be worth it to hire professionals. Expert painters have access to a wide variety of specialty equipment and added labor to tackle more complex jobs.
HVAC Maintenance: Tenants are not happy if their heat or AC suddenly breaks down. Repairs to HVAC are costly, but with some basic regular maintenance, you can help prevent those breakdowns. Learn simple tasks such as changing the filter, lubricating fan motors, replacing a heat sensor, and cleaning refrigeration coils. These minor repairs can save you money in professional labor and trip costs.
Potential DIY Savings: $300 per repair or more
- When to Hire Professional Help: When a system breaks down altogether, the time for troubleshooting is usually passed. While DIY fixes are great for preventative maintenance, when a serious issue arises, seek professional help.
Simple Plumbing: Leaky faucet? Clogged pipe? Learning how to dismantle and replace a faucet or how to replace worn gaskets and washers can prevent leaks and water damage. Also, learning how to snake a drain and properly plunge a toilet can come in handy. Fundamental how-to instructions for these types of tasks can be found online or even Youtube. This is an easy way for landlords to save money and prevent further damage from leaky or faulty fixtures.
Potential DIY Savings: $175 to $450 per job
- When to Hire Professional Help: In the unfortunate situation where pipes burst, or there’s a clogged pipe you can’t reach, seek out the experience of a licensed plumber. Know where your home’s water shutoff is to help prevent further damage while waiting for repair services.
Basic Electrical Repair: Know where your breaker box is and be sure it is labeled clearly. If an outlet has stopped functioning, t may just require you to tighten the connection. Replacing units or light fixtures can also be a simple process aided by online tutorials.
Potential DIY Savings: $300 or more per repair
- When to Hire Professional Help: If a fixture is dimming, sparking, or flickering, it could be caused by an electrical short. This should not be a DIY fix unless you have electrical knowledge. Skip the potential fire hazard and call an expert.
Troubleshooting Appliances: Appliance owner’s manuals and online how-to will help you with simple troubleshooting tasks. Knowing how to locate and repair a blown fuse, broken drive belt, or internal obstruction can save landlords big money.
Potential DIY Savings: $250 per repair or more
- When to Hire Professional Help: Washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and other appliances have complex systems. Sometimes DIY fixes can cause more harm than good. So, unless it is an obvious and easy fix, trust the professionals.
Pest Control: Tenants and landlords both play a role in preventing pests from entering the home. Eradicating an infestation takes knowledge and experience. For DIY tips, focus on preventative pest control measures to help save money. Repairing cracks and rodent points or entry can aide in preventing a problem from occurring. Additionally, consider regularly treating the exterior of the home for pests.
Potential savings: $150 to $260 and significantly more for infestation removal
- When to Hire Professional Help: Infestations and issues such as termites require several precise steps and specialty treatment. To best protect your investment from damage, reach out to a pest control expert for more extensive issues.
Small Roofing Fixes: If you are not afraid of heights, landlords can save big by performing small roofing repairs or fixing gutters. Minor leaks can usually be remedied by a savvy landlord using replacement tiles, roofing tar, and even caulk. While on the roof, gutters are another source of potential issues. Maintain gutters by cleaning them seasonally and sealing any leaks. Additionally, make sure drains take water well away from your home’s foundation.
Potential DIY Savings: Up to $1,000 or more for minor repairs
- When to Hire Professional Help: Large scale roofing or gutter issues can cause severe damage to your rental property. Before it gets worse and ends up costing more, contact a licensed roofing professional right away.
Patching Drywall: Patches are often needed during turnover. Simple supplies such as a joint compound can quickly fix minor homes or cracks. However, after water damage, replacement is the only option. Learning to do this yourself can save a bundle.
Potential DIY Savings: $250 or more per repair
- When to Hire Professional Help: While small repairs are pretty straightforward, hanging large sheets of drywall is not. When it comes to large scale jobs, hire a pro. They have the right equipment and additional labor to get the job done efficiently.
Useful Tools All Property Managers Should Have
- Slip-lock pliers
- Sink auger and toilet auger
- Bell-shaped toilet plunger
- Voltage tester
- Wire splicing tool
- Crescent wrench or spanner
- Rodent traps and Insect bait
- Caulk and caulking gun
- Putty knife
- Tape measure
- Utility knife
- Drywall saw
Developing your DIY skills as a landlord is sure to save you money. Follow these easy tips above to get started making easy repairs in and around your investment properties. However, don’t forget to contact a professional when the need arises. Hiring a property management company in Bucks County can help take the hassle out of maintenance for your Langhorne, PA rental property. Bay Property Management Group Bucks County offers full-service property management throughout the county as well as the greater Philadelphia area. Our team includes in-house maintenance technicians and we also contract with local professionals to bring you the best prices on property maintenance and repairs.