Cut Your Cleanup Costs and Other Ways to Save on Your Next DIY Job

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It started out as a simple project. Jeff and Amy Mischel decided to open up their tiny kitchen by knocking out the wall to the dining room, then building a breakfast bar between the rooms. “We’d done mini-DIY jobs around the house before, so we thought that we’d be done in a few weeks, at around $5,000,” recalls Jeff.

Three months and $12,631 later, Jeff wrote the final check to the contractor he hired to complete the job. “Let’s just say, we hadn’t anticipated the extra time and expenses it took to finish,” he sighs. “The only thing we saved on was the cleanup. Thanks to the Bagster® bag, that part was easy.”

So before you jump into that “simple” project, consider these time- and money-saving tips, courtesy of the Bagster bag from Waste Management.

Do Your Own Demo and Cleanup

Bagster bag full of debris.
Save on the cleanup with the Bagster bag!

While you may need to bring in an expert for electrical work or plumbing, you can save on labor costs by handling the demolition up front, and doing your own cleanup at the end of each workday.

Speaking of job cleanups, DIY-ers and Pros alike have been turning to the Bagster bag. Just buy it at a home improvement store, fill it with up to 3,300 pounds of debris, and schedule a collection from Waste Management (it takes three business days or fewer). And, considering it can cost less than half of a traditional dumpster, it’s an incredibly affordable solution too.

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Expect the Unexpected

Pad your budget. Home renovation experts suggest building an extra 10-20% contingency into your budget in case you run into unforeseen costs. It’s also smart to build extra time into your work schedule, in case you need to order more materials or hire extra help.

Know What to Splurge On

Achieve an overall high-quality appearance by mixing pricier materials with lower-cost ones. So if you love granite counters but can’t afford them for the entire kitchen, install lower-cost composite counters that match the real-granite island counter. Or if you need new windows, choose quality for the overall house, but throw a little more money at the ones that face the street.

Opt for Energy Efficiency

Sure, those high-efficiency windows, low-flow toilets, extra-thick insulation and high-efficiency appliances cost more up front, but they’ll pay for themselves in energy savings in the long run. Plus choosing greener options are a smart investment, as they can increase the overall value of your home.

Maximize Your Time

Tackle jobs that can be completed in a weekend, like a garage cleanup or new carpet installation. The Bagster bag is perfect for these mini power projects, because it’s ready when you are. Just fill it up, schedule a collection, and it’s gone!

Visit for our DIY Before-You-Start checklist.


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