Taking on a home renovation project can quickly get expensive, and some good tips can help to save a small fortune when starting a project. Smart planning and shopping can help keep you on track, and budget.
Start (and stick with) a Budget
Before getting started, you should plan what you can spend before anything else. This is a crucial first step for any remodeling project or home renovation. You should also build in a buffer for unexpected or additional expenses of at least ten percent. Homeowners often underestimate, and working without a budget is a sure way to overpaying or even going into debt over a renovation project.
Reuse Materials Where You Can
Depending how extensive your renovation project is, you can save a lot by reusing some materials at times. If it’s a kitchen renovation, you might reuse some of the cabinetry and simply replace the doors while leaving the cabinet body in place. Same goes with a bathroom vanity.
Keeping it in Place
An expensive part about doing renovations can be the relocation of certain items like a sink, appliances, or even a wall. This can require specialty work of plumbers or electricians, or having a contractor install load-bearing beams.
Keep it Stock
If you can live with manufacturers’ off-the-shelf dimensions rather than custom solutions or fabrication for things like windows, doors or other aspects, you can save yourself even more money.
Replace or Renew
While you might like a new vanity or kitchen cabinets, you can save a bundle with a coat of paint that can create a fresh new look at the same time.
Timing Can Count
Unless you must have your renovation between summer and fall, which is the height of the season for home renovations, consider doing it during a different time of year, where you might be able to save a little due to slower periods of the year and potential discounts.
Proper Planning and Communication
If you’re serious about a home renovation, it’s never too early to be prowling about the hardware store or home center to start getting an idea of the potential costs of materials, fixtures, appliances and similar. When you are not specific about what you want, then you’ll be at the mercy of a contractor’s estimate, called an allowance. If you don’t communicate that you were thinking marble and they estimate ceramic, costs will be far off and may lead to disappointments.
Other Things to Keep in Mind
Be sure to keep in mind that there can be costs involved with building permits, or even getting permission from a homeowner’s association.
If new lighting is part of the plan, you might consider limiting the number of recessed lighting options when remodeling, as these can be more costly due to being labor intensive.
If your home was built before 1950, there might be other unforeseen costs that simply can’t be estimated until you open up a wall or get into the plumbing, so consider adding additional wiggle room within your budget for potential surprises.
One way to fund your home renovation project can be a home equity line of credit (HELOC) rather than using your savings.
You can also save with slightly used items, or even scratch and dent sale items. It’s amazing what you can find when you start looking.