Home renovations can be costly. However, there are ways to keep the costs down and avoid overspending. Since renovating a house may be one of the most expensive projects a homeowner can undertake, it’s a good idea to consider some options to stay on budget.
Do your research
Search for materials and appliances you want online. If the first price you see is more than you want to spend, find places where you can get it cheaper. Also start to research what you might be able to do yourself.
Create a Budget and Stick to It
Sit down and realistically work out what you can afford to spend by creating a spreadsheet and adding everything you want to buy. Consider appliances, cabinets, countertops, fixtures, flooring, lighting, paint, tiles, and any other changes you want to implement. Seeing where the money is going will allow you to make adjustments by choosing less expensive materials or deciding to cut out items altogether. Be prepared to reserve 10-15% of your budget for unexpected expenses.
Different contractors put their quotes together considering different variables, and they can vary wildly. You should try to get at least three different quotes for comparison. Compare, contrast, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Find out where there might be possibilities to save money, whether that might come with completing the work in stages, or changing your design specifications. But don’t just accept the cheapest quote. That could cost you more money in the long run. Be sure that any contractor you may work with has relevant experience and a good reputation.
Oversee the Project Yourself
Acting as your own project manager can save you 10-20% of the overall project if you’re able to do the job efficiently. This will cut out the cost of a contractor’s time, as well as their mark-up on labor and materials. However, it will take more of your time. You’ll have to hire the electricians, carpenters, plumbers, and other installers and be sure that they have the materials, tools, and information they need to finish the job.
Do the Job Yourself
Even if you can’t do the entirety of the job, like putting up drywall, laying tile, or installing electrical work, you can still do some portions to save yourself money. Research how to do demolition work and prepare the space for the professionals. Although you may not be able to do the skilled tasks yourself, unless you’re feeling especially confident that you can, there are a number of the unskilled tasks that you can do if you want to provide the elbow grease. You may even want to call in friends and family to make an event out of it.
Paying for your project with cash will save you from having to take out a loan and paying interest. You may not be able to pay for the entire project out of pocket, but using the money you have on hand will certainly keep you more budget conscious.
Consider reusing cabinetry and the appliances you already have before purchasing all new materials. You can reface or replace doors to change the style while leaving the actual cabinets in place, which can cut down on a lot of costly work. Even if you don’t reuse your own materials, consider getting used material and fixtures from Habitat for Humanity ReStores, buy/sell/trade websites, or architectural salvage stores.
Get What You Need Instead of What You Want
While it may be tempting to add in aesthetic luxuries, invest your money where it will do the most good. Be sure to have good-quality work surfaces, but you can minimize tile costs by only tiling the areas that need to be waterproof instead of tiling the entire room.
Don’t Change the Footprint
Moving sinks, bathtubs, stoves, walls, and windows is going to add a lot to your budget. You not only have to pay for the materials to support the move, but you will also need to hire a professional to do the work. You can still give your home a great face lift without changing the functionality of the space.
We hope these ideas are helpful as you begin your renovation, and we look forward to helping you source the materials that will help give you the home of your dreams.