10 Outdoor DIY Jobs that Save Big

Make these upgrades and improvements to your property and save 30-80 percent by doing it yourself.

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

10 Outdoor DIY Jobs that Save Big

If you're a homeowner who likes working on your house outdoors, consider doing these jobs for a fraction of what a contractor charges. By doing it yourself you'll save more than 50% on most of these jobs that require more grunt work than talent and a small investment in materials and tools. We picked these jobs out of our project cost database that is compiled from the estimating publications that contractors use to actually bid their jobs. The material cost come from online pooling of major national retailers and manufacturers. Take a walk around your house and decide what work is needed and if you want to do the job. The numbers say it all - your sweat equity really pays off.

1.POWER WASH SIDING To keep your house looking its best, consider an annual clean up with a power washer. You can hire a building cleaning service to power wash a house or rent a power washer and pocket a nice 75 percent saving by doing it yourself. Figure you'll spend a good two days on the job. Read more to compare the DIY and Pro costs at Power Wash Siding

2.SEAL ASPHALT Over time moisture and sunlight can damage an asphalt driveway and create cracks and crevice so sealing it with a fresh coat of asphalt is a cosmetic and practical solution. You can hire a sealing service or do it yourself in a few hours and save 44 percent. Read more to compare the DIY and Pro costs at Seal an Asphalt Driveway

3. CLEAN AND REPAIR GUTTERS An important seasonal maintenance chore for every homeowner is cleaning and repairing gutters. You can hire a handyman if you have a ladder, garden hose, bucket and rubber gloves you can do the job in two hours and save a whopping 74 percent. Granted, if you don't like heights, pay someone but this is a no brainer if you're comfortable doing a messy job on a ladder. Read more to compare the DIY and Pro costs at Repair and Clean Gutters

4. PAINT A GARAGE Transform a neglected garage from an eyesore into eye candy with a coat of paint and save more than 50 percent for your effort. You can do the job in a weekend spending the better part of the first day prepping the area before you paint. Read more to compare the DIY and Pro costs at Paint a Garage

5.PRUNE TREES AND SHRUBBERY It's double your pleasure if you like doing yard work because you'll enjoy being outdoors in the garden. Routine pruning of trees and shrub is a good example and you'll save 56 percent by doing it yourself. Read more to compare the DIY and Pro costs at Prune Trees and Shrubs

6.LAY BARK MULCH Laying bark mulch is yard work worth doing and in a day you can complete the job and save 80 percent. If you have a vehicle that can haul it you won't have to pay extra to have the mulch delivered. Read more to compare the DIY and Pro costs at Lay Bark Mulch

7.SEED A LAWN You can seed a lawn and create a luscious green landscape and you can do it yourself if the soil is level and free of grass, weeds and rocks. But if there are rocks and dead grass to be removed leave it to the pros. Check with your local Master Gardener's county extension program Master Gardeners to have your soil tested. Read more to compare the DIY and Pro costs at Seed a Lawn

8.LAY A GRAVEL PATH Consider laying a gravel path as a walkway or winding path through your garden. It's a lot of grunt work that involves digging and hauling material but you'll save money by doing it yourself. Read more to compare the DIY and Pro costs at Lay a Gravel Path

9.LAY A BRICK PATIO A brick patio is one of the best ways to extend living space to the outdoors. And if you do it yorself you'll appreciate a 53 percent savings. Read more to compare the DIY and Pro costs at Lay a Brick Patio

10.BUILD A SPLIT RAIL FENCE Building a split rail fence is one of the most attractive ways to enhance your yard and define your property. Fence building is not for the faint of heart, it's hard work but a long time investment. Read more to compare the DIY and Pro costs at Build a Rail Fence

Install Wall Paneling
Install Wall Paneling
Replace a Tub With a Shower
Replace a Tub With a Shower