A few secrets to free home improvements.

I haven’t added any updates on the house in a while, so I figure its time now.  As the sun tries to come out and the weather starts to warm up, its time to start getting the outside ready for BBQ season.  I’ve done quite a bit of changes in the front and backyard already and haven’t really blogged about it but here is a start of what happened today.

Trying to keep things on a budget is always a challenge.  Keeping things under budget is even tougher, especially if you don’t want it look cheap and most importantly want it to last.

I have some little secrets that a lot of people don’t normally think about.  So here we go.  I wanted to add a little shed to the side of my house, and if I had enough concrete, add a little retaining wall for the kitchen window for the tenant to clean up the side yard.  If you  are tight on money, one my secrets  get your lumber for free.  I just finished a job which had a lot of form material left over.  There are many job sites which have  left over lumber, scraps, bent pieces or they just don’t want to haul it away.  All you need to do is ask.  Sometimes they’ll even help you load it.

I will also use, used lumber to build my shed.  If you find a good pile or site, tell’em what your doing and they might have more for you.  Just looked for a site, complex or building that has a few guys working and ask’em if they have any used or left over wood.

Once I had all the wood loaded up, I formed up the areas that I wanted filled with concrete.  When I was done I wanted to place the concrete as soon as I could.

Here is the second secret.   If you figure you need anywhere from 2 or under meters of concrete you might be able to get it for free.  Call the  concrete companies to see if they have any left overs, or loads set back.  I got lucky on the day that I wanted pour and had some come in 45 minutes.   A slow day is sometimes the best day to call,  on a busy day they might have some extra a few blocks away.  Concrete doesn’t always get all used up!  This is a savings of anywhere 300-500 dollars.  You would be surprised at how much concrete goes to waste.

Lastly, if you know a guy that knows how to finish concrete, a case of beer usually works.  I didn’t have to do that since I can do it on my own.  So this part of project cost me nothing.  I will keep you posted on the rest of the project.

8x12 pad at 4 inchs, roughly one meter of concrete

8x12 pad at 4 inchs, roughly one meter of concrete

Heres the small wall, for extras

Heres the small wall, for extras

 backyard_reno1