3 Ways to Save On Your Next Home Renovation

Home renovation can add value and greatly improve your lifestyle in your home. The only problem that homeowners find with home renovation is controlling the cost. According to Houzz, the basic kitchen renovation on the low end is about $14,000. Renovating your home to customize it how you want it can be costly. Luckily, there are ways you can save on your next renovation project. Here are 3 ways to save.

Do This First

One of the big mistakes you can make on your home renovation project is to equate value with cost. Please don’t feel bad; many homeowners are out there hiring the cheapest contractors they can find. Going as cheap as possible is NOT one of the 3 ways to save money. Only seeing the cost without comparing what you are getting for the cost can be a terrible way to save money. As a matter of fact, it can wind up costing you more money.

When you are deciding on contractors, whether a foundation contractor to repair your foundation or a paint contractor to paint your walls, you must look for value. Let’s say you ask for a few different estimates before hiring a contractor (and you always should), and one contractor returns with a low estimate. Have you ever heard the saying, ‘if something seems too good to be true, it likely is? That statement applies to choosing a contractor. If a contractor is offering a too-good-to-be-true price, beware. On the surface, it may seem like you are getting a great deal, but you should dig deeper to see if you are getting a deal or just getting less value.

What does ‘less value’ mean? It can mean a lot of things. Going with the lowest possible price can mean you are not getting the experience needed for the project. It can also mean that the contractor will cut corners and compromise the quality of the project.

The better way to decide about hiring a local plumber or any other contractor is to review the estimate closely. Look to see what work is covered by the estimate. Additionally, you always want to check ratings, reviews, and references. Sometimes, it is better to pay more upfront to save money.

Paying a little more for better service and better results is well worth it and ultimately will save you money in the long run. It is better to get high-quality results that will last than it is to cut corners now and have to redo the work later.

Saving is always important, but not at the risk of having shoddy work done. Now that that’s out of the way, we can move on to the 3 ways to save on your home renovation project without sacrificing quality results.

The First Way to Save On A Home Renovation Project

Have you heard the term sweat equity? Sweat equity is one of the 3 ways to save on your home renovation project. Sweat equity is doing the work yourself. You have to put some sweat of your own into the project. To save money, you can DIY parts of the project. You may think you do not have the skill set to participate in a renovation project, but you are more skilled than you realize.

Something everyone can do is demolition work. You don’t need a specific skill set to swing a hammer and break things. Anyone can do anything, like ripping out cabinets, disconnecting the old waste disposal, and pulling up flooring.

You want to speak with the contractor to find out how much savings there are available if you do part of the work yourself. Of course, there are some things that you will need to have a specific skill set for, and if you don’t, it is best to leave that part of the project to the pros. For example, septic installs are something you need a professional to manage unless you have the equipment and the experience.

Here are 3 ways to save by investing in sweat equity:

  • Handle the painting on your own. DIY painting can help to reduce the overall cost of your renovation.
  • Manage the finished work. Finish work can range from adding the baseboards and crown molding to putting the final touches on kitchen cabinetry.
  • Offer to provide some of the labor for the contractor. Instead of paying a laborer, they can reduce the project’s costs for your labor.

Doing part of the project yourself is one of the 3 ways to save, but not every contractor will be down for the deal. Some contractors prefer to do it all themselves for their protection and yours. They fear that if the homeowner does part of the project on their own and something goes wrong, it will cause a problem for them. If your contractor is hesitant, offer to put something in writing saying you will take responsibility for the part of the project you did. Putting it all in writing may help to persuade the contractor that your motives are to save money.

If you are brave enough and have the skills, you can find construction equipment rentals cheaply and save even more money by doing more of the project yourself. However, you do want to carefully weigh your options regarding how much of the project you can handle. Yes, DIY is one of the 3 ways to save money on a renovation project, but not if your part of the project will hold up the rest of the project. This savings plan only works out if you have the time to dedicate to your part of the project.

The Second Way to Save On A Home Renovation Project

We talked about rolling up your sleeves and taking on the part of the project. The next one of the 3 ways to save money on a home renovation project also requires you to get involved, but don’t worry; there is no sweat involved.

The materials are one of the most expensive parts of any home renovation project. Material costs are skyrocketing. If you can cut costs for materials, you will save a ton of money. Of course, you are wondering how you can control the cost of materials. That is a fair question, and the answer might surprise you.

No one says you must use the contractor’s materials. With the contractor’s blessing, you can purchase materials and save money. While it is true that contractors get a lot of insider pricing and discounts because they buy in bulk, you may be able to find higher quality materials for less just by searching for them.

There are a few materials and parts that you should not buy on your own. HVAC parts for HVAC service (this is best left up to the professional), heating components, electrical components meant to carry electricity into your home, and some plumbing parts.

You do not want to get too involved with HVAC parts and equipment as a novice because it can lead to calling for 24 hour AC repairs. It is best to leave the whole home water filter systems and even water heaters to the plumbing experts. The same is true of electrical equipment that is installed in your home. Anything that falls under the building code you should not try to cut corners on, but everything else is game.

How can you save on material costs? Here are 3 ways to save on material costs:

  • Consider buying used materials. According to Houzz, about 66% of homeowners plan on a renovation this year. Where will all those gently used cabinets go? What about all those countertops? Check local online marketplaces to see what you can score. Free materials may be yours for the taking
  • Shop special sales. Throughout the year, big box home improvement stores will run sales and offer deep discounts. Take advantage
  • Buy discontinued items. From time to time, home improvement stores will have materials that have been discontinued, like flooring tiles that are sold for up to 75% off. If there is enough of the product, buy it.

Consider material options carefully. The materials you choose can drive the cost of your renovation project up, or it can be one of the most effective of the 3 ways to save. You can control costs by being proactive in your material choices. Choose carefully.

The Third Way to Save On Home Renovation Project

The final of the 3 ways to save on a home renovation project is the hardest but very necessary. Putting yourself into debt to renovate your home makes the renovation bittersweet. While you may love all the custom features of your home and how great it looks, having to pay down debt every month does not feel so good. How can you avoid digging yourself into a financial hole?

You must make a realistic budget and stick to it. Most contractors, like your local paver, will respect the budget and not pressure you to spend more than you can, but some will. Don’t fall for the upselling even if the financing terms seem reasonable. You know what you can spend on the project, stick to that number.

If you find the cost climbing and going over budget. Take a step back from the project and audit where the cash is going. Look for ways to reign in the costs before it gets too out of control. According to REA, most homeowners went over their home renovation budget because they did not pay close enough attention to costs during the project. Don’t be that homeowner that goes over budget because they did not pay attention.

The little add-ons can start to add to your budget and get out of control the quickest. Keep good records during the project to see where the money is going. If you need to stop things for a little while to get a better hold on the cash flow, do it.

Another part of the last part of the 3 ways to save is to pay in cash whenever possible. It may pinch at first to hand over a wad of cash, but you will be glad you did down the road. Paying down debt for years can be painful when you could have just tightened the belt and paid in cash.

Don’t rush the project. If it takes you a little more time than you thought it would because you are paying as you go, that’s okay. Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to renovations. Rushing to get things done can be the opposite of the advice and the 3 ways to save. You pay a premium when you look for quick fixes and fast completions.

It All Comes Down To This

The 3 ways to save listed above come down to this simple idea; go into the project with your eyes wide open, be involved, and be proactive. It’s your home and your renovation project, regardless of who you hire to help. Don’t let anyone push you to do work you cannot afford; don’t just take any contractor at face value.

Research anyone you will hire to help with the project. Any good contractor would not mind providing you with references and answering all of your questions. Do yourself a favor and only work with licensed contractors. Cutting corners when it comes to experience and skills almost always ends badly.

Remember the 3 ways to save money on your renovation project as you move forward with your plans and stay involved in the project from start to finish. Follow the 3 ways to save and get the renovations done that you want for less. Start doing your research today and connect with trusted contractors that can help you save.

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