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How to Save Money on a Renovation


20th Mar 2020 Home & Garden

How to Save Money on a Renovation

The cost of home renovation can get out of control fast, regardless of if you have a big or small budget. Here are some tips to help you manage and achieve a renovation fit for your home and budget.

1. Create and Stick To a Budget

A budget does not mean cheap. Before spending money on anything, whether big or small, establish the savings set aside for the purchase or your income. If you are planning to work on your home, start with a dollar amount you can spend, then price the materials and fixtures. 

Create a spreadsheet and add everything you will need. Get quotes for labor and materials, including tax, to your budget sheets. This summary will highlight areas that consume a lot from your budget. You can make adjustments by choosing cheaper materials or dropping unnecessary items.

Budget for the unplanned. Some experts advise on reserving 10 percent of your budget, but it all depends on you.

2. Pay Cash

Paying cash for your project will save you a significant amount of money in loan interests and credit card charges. If you are renovating a home for sale, taking a loan to fund the project is financially sensible as you will get a return on your investment and pay the loan quickly. Otherwise, cash payment is the best option. Consider trimming your household budget to save for the project.

3. Take Your Time

Time is essential when planning for renovation. Making cohesive and functional design can be overwhelming, so taking more time even with money ready is crucial. You may regret the choices you make in a rush.

Start with the most intense project, like one or two rooms, and finish before moving to other areas. This approach will save you from running into unexpected expenses. In case they occur, you can handle them without taking out a loan, making significant compromises in other spaces, or halting the work altogether.

4. Do It Yourself

 Some tasks are complex, but there are things you can do to prep your space before the arrival of the crew. Since you pay per hour, tasks like cleaning up, paint, preparing surfaces, will set you a step ahead and save you some labor costs.

With moderate DIY skills, time to learn new skills and access to YouTube, you can do wonders with determination. If you rent tools, the due dates of the rental tools are excellent motivators to keep you on toes and get the job done fast.

Avoid work that requires a license to execute even if you have the know-how; hence get the right person to do it. Get appropriate permits for the ones you can. Comply with regulations to protect your future inhabitants.

5. Reuse Materials

Reusing some appliances and cabinetry can be one of the most significant ways to save money in kitchen renovations. For a window installation, you can change the panes if damaged but maintain frames.

If you cannot recycle, consider purchasing fixtures and material from salvage yards, building material auctions, and Habitat for Humanity ReStores, among others. You can get good bargains from buy/sell/trade websites.

Besides the fun, hunting for salvage materials adds character to a project and helps the planet as you save money.

6. Balance High and Low-End Materials

Spend less on impactful areas, but get the most bang on statement items. The balance varies depending on an individual’s style and project. You can choose to spend more on appealing windows that will transform the home appearance and go slow on some appliances.

7. Wait For Sales Before Making Big Purchases

Leverage on sales like Black Friday for power tools or electronics, or end of summer to purchase big-ticket items. Patience will land you great deals. Also, check scratch-and-dent appliances or floor models for great bargains as well.

8. Enlist Help

Take advantage of offers to help from friends who are experts in their field, but make financial compensation terms very clear from the onset. Trading professional services, in this case, is a great win for both parties.

9. Be Smart About Hiring Help

 Check their reviews or use personal recommendations before engaging a contractor. If you have excellent contractors in your network of friends and family, you will get outstanding services.

Though it varies by region, try to schedule your project for the off-season like before summer and after holidays as experts are busy with big jobs during summer.

10. Find Money Saving “Hacks”

IKEA allows people on a budget to find cheaper ways to do expensive-looking things. Look for other options from creative blogs. Try using inexpensive lauan instead of shiplap siding, or concrete feather finish to replace your laminate countertops.

11. Keep Your Home’s Footprint the Same

Opening up a wall may be easier than changing the stove ventilation, and a gas line as removing a wall means reinstalling expensive load-bearing beams. Unless the functionality of your space is compromised, these big-time changes may not be worth the cost. 

12. Stick To The Classics

Classic material is a safe choice as it provides neutral backdrop items that can be easily changed with trends. Classics will keep you happy through the years if you are not sure you can live with bold and permanent changes like patterned tiles. Do not avoid the trendy items; just choose those that you can change quickly.

13. Don’t Skimp On Cost-Saving Opportunities

Avoid paying for items with credit. The interest on payments will consume the money you save on utility after purchasing an energy-saving appliance. The return on investment is more visible when you pay for the items in cash.

14. Sell Anything You’re Not Using

Sell your old fixtures on buy/sell/trade sites like Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp, or Craiglist if you need the money. You can also donate fixtures to Habitat for Humanity ReStore within your locality.

15. Earn Rewards For the Money You’re Spending

Utilize reward cards to pay for purchases and settle the card debt immediately with the cash you save for renovation.

Purchase grocery store gift cards offering perks for spending money like savings on fuel, or grocery purchases in the future.

Other Costs To Factor Into Your Renovation Expenses

Keep in mind unexpected expenses that may sneak into your budget when doing renovations.

A house built before 1950 presents a bigger risk of things that need updating like electrical, even wall, or plumbing. Until you open up the walls, you may not know.

If you go for a fix-upper, check out for these top three renovation nightmares: foundation concerns, bug infestations, and moisture issues. Engage your home inspector to rule out these problems.

Do not go beyond your budget. Nothing is worth the anxiety that comes with anxiety debt, even the most beautiful home. As long as you have someone good for the job, hire out the work if you have the money. Though not mutually exclusive, sometimes home building equates to character building.

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