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Money-saving tips for home improvement using Home Depot: Tool Rental

By (view all posts by Susan.Yoo-Lee)
at 6:00AM Monday March 4, 2013
under Money Saving Tips

Are you a first time homebuyer like myself? Congratulations! Buying a home is such a wonderful experience, but it's one that comes with a huge responsibility and requires some dough.

Everything costs money and for a newbie like myself, I know that these contractors, flooring professionals and roofing experts see dollar signs all over me. But guess what? After paying my closing costs, putting a down payment and paying for inspections and more, I have no money!

My ideas of getting a professional cleaning company to come out and deep clean, the movers to move my boxes and the painters to freshly paint my home has gone out the door. Why? Because I have no money. Let me clarify, I do have money to live in the home in it's current condition, I just don't have the money to do all my original remodeling I planned in my head while I daydreamed in bed, you know, the ones you see on HGTV.

So once I figured that I would have to add another thing to my list of Jane of all trades, I headed directly towards Home Depot. Yes, it was a store that I once cringed while driving by it and yes, I thought it was only for those DIY folks because they lacked cash, but guess what?  After buying a home, I now smile at the thought of heading to Home Depot and yes I'm just another DIY folk that lacks cash (I'm sure there are many people who have cash and still DIY, but this is from my experience).

Before we moved into our new home, we had to deep clean it. The previous owners maintained the home well, but they wore shoes in the home and had 2 large dogs that lived inside the home. When I called all the folks that were beaming with A's from Angie's List, they all quoted me a lot of money, like anywhere from $700-$1300. Wow!

There was no way I was going to pay that amount of money, but I still had to clean the home before we moved in. My mom had mentioned that her local Jewel grocery store in Chicago offered a steam clean rental for $50 and that maybe a grocery store in Southern California would offer something similar. I went on Google to do some research and found that Home Depot offered the same thing but you only paid $20 for 4 hours or $29 for 24 hours.

After finding out that Home Depot had a rental department that would charge me almost next to nothing, as long as I put the time and effort into it, I was sold. But beyond that, my experience from start to finish uncovered 4 reasons why I would return and continue to use their services in the future:

Price is right. I went to my local Home Depot, paid $29 for 24 hours and bought the cleaning solution for another $20. While I didn't have the luxury for someone else to do the work for me, between my mom and I, we were able to steam clean a 2 story house with 2300 square feet. We steam cleaned each carpet approximately 3-4 times and it took about 7 hours to do it.

DIY to save on labor costs. The guy who was working at the rental department knew a lot about the equipments and even showed us the wall steamer so that we could use it to remove old wallpaper (I've got plenty of it including roosters and all). The price: $29 for 24 hours. While I have to do the labor intensive work myself, it saves me up to $1,300 to hire a professional to do it. You can't beat that!

Seemless process. The rental process was very easy. You put a deposit down, plus actual fees and then you take the rental home with you. Make sure you clean any rented equipment because if you bring it back dirty, they will charge a cleaning fee, but it's common sense. They have their own pick-up and return door, adding convenience to the whole process.

Drop off made easy. I made sure I cleaned the steam cleaner and when I dropped it off, I conveniently used their drop off door. The employee unloaded the cleaner from the car and I proceeded to the counter. Got my credit back from the deposit and off I went! 

During the whole experience, I felt like I was in the driver's seat and never felt like an amateur. It's nice to be in control and know what you are doing and paying for. I will definitely be a repeat customer at the rental department of Home Depot!

Come back tomorrow for my experience at the paint department. I am going to try to tackle on my ugly blue living room.

Every day during our 5 part series, answer the question of the day by commenting on the post to be eligible to win a $100 Home Depot gift card. You must comment on all 5 posts by 11:59pm PST on 03/10/2013 to be eligible (please see contest rules). Plus, take advantage of this rare Home Depot coupon to get $5 off your purchase over $50. Today's question is: What is the best tip or advice you can give to a first time homebuyer?