7 Ways That You Can Save Money on Home Renovations
Saving money on home renovations doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to scrimp on the essentials or settle for below-par work. Almost every stage of every project offers opportunities for you to save. If you plan out your project properly, you can reduce non-essential expenditures and enjoy the savings on everything from an extra furnishing purchase to an Intertops casino bonus gaming event.
As you move through the renovation process, be sure that you keep track of each and every expense so at the end of the project, you can see just exactly how much money you saved.
The Do It Yourself phase of renovation money-management comes in two phases – when to do something yourself and when you admit that it’s time to have a professional take over.
It makes sense to do as much of the project as you can by yourself. You don’t have to be certified or talented to plaster or paint a wall. Even if you’re unsure of your abilities, you can always watch a few YouTubes for tips on how to do a professional-looking job. If you’re adventurous, you can take it a bit further – laying tile, varnishing wood and even wall-papering takes only a little know-how and a little self-confidence.
There are obviously things for which you must call in professionals but even here, you can save money by saving them time. Gather the materials and prep the work space beforehand so the crew can get right to work once they arrive. Prepare surfaces (skim-coat walls, scrape mastic on the floor, lay newspaper below the work space, etc) to stay ahead of the game.
By the way, if you’re going to try to learn some new skills from YouTube but are deterred because you don’t have the right tools, speak to your local home center – many of these stores allow you to rent tools so you don’t have to make big purchases for a few days of work.
Finally, remember that there are some tasks – electrical work especially – for which you must be licensed. There might be other tasks for which you need a permit and must have the site inspected when the work is finished. Don’t scrimp on those requirements because failing to adhere to the law can cost you dearly in the long run.
It’s always best to avoid going into debt for a purchase but that’s even more true when you’re spending a lot of money on a home renovation. Simply put, you pay interest on a loan, even on money that you put on your credit card. Save up the funds to do your renovation before you start and use the savings to treat yourself.
It’s good to have credit or a loan for a back-up plan (if your project goes over budget or if you have a sudden additional expense but you shouldn’t rely on that loan or credit for the bulk of the work.
You can also use rewards credit cards to pay for your budgeted purchases. Pay off the card immediately so that the money that you save from interest on the card can go directly into your pocket.
You’d be surprised at how many materials and appliances you can recycle during your renovation project. If something is no good, get rid of it. But if it’s useable, you might be able to recover or refurbish something and incorporate it into your new design.
For instance, if you are renovating a kitchen and your cabinet doors are good, consider painting or covering them with formica to blend in with your kitchen’s new look. You’d be surprised at how easy it is to reface cabinet doors in a way that allows them to blend in with your new style. You might even want to replace the doors but leave the cabinet body in place which will still save you a ton of money.
Another often-overlooked option involves buying fixtures and materials from salvage yards, buy/well/trade websites, Craig’s List listings and other second-hand opportunities. You might find lumber left over from someone else’s project, appliances that are being sold by someone who is moving and needs to sell quickly and more.
When you’re ready to renovate, the impulse is to jump in and get started. However, planning is the key. If you make your purchases when the items are on sale, you’ll save a bundle!
You can actually count on certain items being on sale at specified times of the year. Some of these sales include American holidays for appliances, the end of the summer for outdoor furniture and lawn care items, Black Friday for power tools, etc.
If you’re planning on renovating an outdoor deck and know that you’ll need furnishings for the deck, go ahead and buy them at the end of the summer and then store them until the deck is finished and ready for you to put everything out. If you’re strapped for space, it might be a problem but you may know a friend or relative who has a bit of extra storage space that you can use for a few months.
Contractor vs. Specialists
A contractor can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. If you’re not on-site, can’t coordinate the various workpeople and don’t have the expertise and knowledge to oversee the work, it’s a good idea to have a contractor run the project. The contractor knows when to schedule the various stages of the project so that, for instance, you don’t have both the plumber and the electrician working on the back wall of the kitchen on the same day, or that you have the tiler come AFTER the plumber has laid the pipes.
On the other hand, if you can coordinate the work and feel confident that you can direct the various workpeople, go right ahead. Get references before you hire anyone and don’t be shy about asking to see previous work.
Depending on the area in which you live, you might find that there are times of the year that are considered “off season” – when professionals aren’t very busy. That’s generally in the winter. Planning your project for that slow season may offer you an additional opportunity to bargain a bit and save money.
There are tons of blogs, magazines and YouTube videos that are gold mines of ideas for finding less-expensive ways to do expensive-looking projects. They have suggestions for cheap materials that work as well as the more expensive options, design ideas and more. Sometimes it’s as simple as finding something cheap at IKEA or replacing one type of lumber with another.
Not every idea is appropriate for every project or for every home. But it’s worth a look.
Remember the section on recycling? Recycling isn’t limited to buying – you can sell off appliances and fixtures that you are replacing and give someone else a chance to take them into their home. Today you can get the word out in seconds….all you need is an Internet connection and a camera. Buy/Trade/Sell sites like CraigsList, Facebook Marketplace, OfferUp or your local community bulletin boards make it easy to make connections with people who might want your discarded cabinet doors, hardware, appliances or other items.