Renovating Your Fixer Upper Houses To Save Money At A Profit
Renovations can be expensive, but if you're savvy, you can simultaneously cut costs and expand profit. Doing so is, as many things in life, easier to conceive than achieve. But it’s certainly not impossible. Following we’ll briefly explore ten tips to help you save money on home renovation, and perhaps even stimulate profit over the long-run.
1. Building A Shed Or “Tiny Home” In The Backyard
A tiny home is going to be under 400 square feet. That’s a room twenty feet on a side. Basically, it’s a shed. But if you outfit that shed like a “tiny home”, you can rent it out. Here’s the kicker: you can build one for between $500 and $12,000. If you don’t believe that, think about this: what if you bought an old storage container and reinforced it with household materials?
In fact, you can probably find at least two good-sized, structurally-sound storage containers and stack them atop one another, or link them together side by side, using rented cutting equipment to install windows, doorways, or stairways. Then you insulate the space, paint it, decorate it, put in a gravel path to the alley out back, and voila! You’ve got a guest house for your mother-in-law, or something you can rent out every month.
Do it for under $12k, rent it for $500 a month, in two years you’re profiting. Make it nice enough inside, you can charge $1k for rent, get the cost paid off in a year, and profit from then on. Or, you could just make a shed for general purposes. The point is, maximize your backyard.
2. Adopting Eco-Friendly Energy Options
China is making cut-rate solar panels that will only last five years, but which you may be able to acquire for under a dollar a Watt. Generally, solar panels in the U.S. right now are at minimum $1 per Watt. That means a 100-Watt panel is $100. A 3.1, kWh (kilo-Watt hour) energy array is accordingly $3,100 at minimum, up to twice that depending on panel quality.
Factor in about another $1,900 for mounting brackets, cords, energy storage arrays, surge controllers, and power inverters. Altogether, for $5k you can DIY-install a pretty effective solar array. This will likely net you a tax break, and increase property value by a factor of between $10k and $20k. Other eco-options exist as well, and you save money on your utility bill.
3. Maximizing Unused Existing Space
Unfinished basements and attics are part of your home. You can use them as workshops, for storage, as little theaters, reading rooms, observatories, additional bedrooms, “man caves” (just installing proper lighting and tv wall mounts) . But leaving unused space alone is a great way to waste the resources you have available.
4. Varying DIY Projects Such As Decks
DIY work can be very cost-effective, as the majority of expenses involved in renovation have to do with contracted cost associated with the upgrades. That is to say: you have to hire people to do the work. But a lot of construction is simply a matter of fastening part A to part B in reference to whatever blueprint you’re using. In a nutshell, it’s “big boy” Legos.
Look at a DIY deck as a project to help you get your head around this. You can find schematics online for free, read them, determine your home’s dimensions, what materials you need, and how long do you think it’ll take to get the job done. Likely enough, if you’re dedicated and diligent, you can get the job done in a week if not a weekend for only a few grand.
5. Going With RTA Cabinetry
RTA stands for Ready To Assemble cabinets. Essentially, you figure out your dimensions, what you’re looking for, and why. Then, you order your cabinetry online, and it’s shipped to you for on-site assembly. This makes it so you can control how your furniture conforms to your home. Stylish RTA options exist, too; like these shaker style kitchen cabinets.
6. Standardize Sizes, Seek The Deals
When you renovate a room or a part of the house, be sure you continuously practice these two things: make sure all the sizing of the nuts, bolts, screws, and other parts used is standard, and find the best deals on materials. If you don’t standardize, repair may be impossible in the future. When you avoid available deals, you pay more unnecessarily.
7. Leave. The. Plumbing. Be.
Plumbing expenses regularly run into the tens of thousands of dollars. If you’re in a position where some pipe has broken without your intervention, by all means get that fixed. But if you’re doing home repairs yourself, try to avoid plumbing issues as best you can. Installing a faucet usually isn’t a big deal—unless you forget to turn off the water.
If you don’t turn the water on or off right, you could easily cause tens of thousands in water damage to your home. Additionally, even if you get that part right, should your renovation efforts be less than comprehensive, you might give yourself a leak you don’t even find out about until it’s rotted out your home’s insides. Leave plumbing to professionals as you can.
8. Renting Scaffolding Rather Than Making Your Own
When it comes to scaffolding, you’re likely going to save more money through rental than you would by simply building one on-site. If you build your own scaffolding, you’ll need to pay for the materials, you’ll need to assemble the scaffold, and you’ll have to do something with it after the fact. It’ll probably just be disassembled and unused forever thereafter, in all reality.
When you rent, you get the scaffold for your exact needs, use it, and return it. This saves time, it saves money, and it’s a better way to go for the most part. Certainly this will depend on the job, but for most pursuing home renovation, scaffolding needs are minimal and for a limited time. It’s also worth understanding that the price of commercial scaffolding and domestic scaffolding is completely different. So don’t be tricked into thinking it’s cheaper to buy than rent, as you've likely seen commercial prices quoted online.
9. Budget With Time And Monetary Margins For Error
Expect any renovation job to take much longer than it appears it should on paper. Expect it to cost more than your projections, too. Design for yourself a margin of error which simply tacks on an added percentage to all you do. A 25% margin of error in terms of time and budget should see you coming in within your expected margins regularly.
10. Seek Consultation To Apply The Best Renovations
Consulting with local contractors and homeowners can help you determine what the local “code” restrictions are on your home, and how to avoid common issues. Additionally, such consultation can help you identify which specific renovations will best benefit your property.
Make Your Home More Comfortable And Expand Property Value
Renovations help you increase the comfort of your home. Additionally, they help you expand property value. The tips outlined here are some great areas for you to start as you go about getting the renovation ball rolling; but by no means are these the only best practices. Lastly, consider this tip: whatever you do, see it through.
Video | DIY Projects For First-Time Homeowners
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